Yuba, Middle Fork - C) Our House Dam to Route 49

Yuba, Middle Fork, California, US


C) Our House Dam to Route 49 (Our House)

Usual Difficulty III-V (for normal flows)
Length 7.85 Miles
Avg. Gradient 68 fpm

One of the Many Class IIIs

One of the Many Class IIIs
Photo of Rorie Gotham by Dave Steindorf taken 04/29/12 @ 550 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
cdec-ORH 500 - 4000 cfs III-V 02h31m 37 cfs (too low)

River Description

This is a busy river with many class 3 and 4 rapids through out the distance and one class IV+/V- rapid near the end.  Flows are from spill when inflows to Our House Reservoir exceed the capacity of the Lohman Ridge Tunnel diversion.  Typically this will be at peak spring snowmelt flows.  Some years spill has lasted for a considerable period, but more often it will be very short or will not happen at all.  American Whitewater has been working since 2008 to secure flows for this reach as part of the FERC relicnesing process for Yuba County Water Agnecies (YCWA) Yuba River Development Project (Bullards Bar).  We have reached agreement with YCWA that will significantly improve boating opportunities in this reach.

 This section has been run from as low as 500 cfs up to 3500 cfs.  

Take Out: The Oregon Creek Day Use Area is on the north side of the river on the upstream side of the highway 49 bridge.  A scenic covered bridge crosses Oregon Creek.  The gates are closed seasonally to vehicles, but the area is always open to foot traffic.  There is also quite a bit of parking along Highway 49 on either side of the bridge.   This area is about 25 minutes north of Nevada City on highway 49 and about 1 hour from highway 99 in Yuba City.

Put in:  Our House Dam.  Park near the top of the dam and hike down to the river just upstream of a gauging weir.  There is a trail and stairway leading to the gauge.  From the take out, drive north on hwy 49 for 1.7 miles then turn right onto Ridge Road.  After 4.5 miles turn right onto Our House Dam Road and follow that to the reservoir and dam. 

Other Information sources:


Cornbread wrote on Boof.com: "... about 3 years (2006) ago we did the run at 3500 cfs along with some rafts from Trib and most of our group was in playboats. It actually was a great level and everything was run (even the last one). That year we were consistently running it in the 2000-2500 range and also thought you could go a decent big higher than our trip at 3500."

Albert also commented: "We ran Ourhouse, oh, something like in the late 70s. We were on our ways from the Bay Area to the North Yuba when we crossed the MF Bridge and we slammed on our brakes, surprised to see water in a riverbed where we had never seen anything boatable before. The flow was around 3000 cfs.

We had absolutely no idea about the difficulty or anything so ... we phoned John Googins at his home and he assured us that it was a class III section. From the top of the dam at the put in that looked about right...

Needless to say, we were somewhat wide eyed at the "Class III" nature of the MF at 3K. I clearly remember going into the last big rapid (Class V) without scouting, in my 4 meter fiberglass Lettmen Mark V (a World Championship winning slalom race design), going over one of the ledges and into a big hole, my whole boat went under and was held under for what seemed as way too long while making a 180 degree "eddy-turn" all the while my boat was still completely buried by the big hole. That was the last straw for river running in that particularly shaped Mark V, after that rapid I had enough of its low volume ... it was instantly retired.

So, yeah, the MF had been run previous to the last 3 years.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-07-03 23:18:44

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
February 10 2015 (1435 days ago)
Matthew HenryDetails
Just did a trip Feb. 9th 2015. Flow between 1200-1500CFS Below Our-House Dam. Great run, really fun
and continuous it felt like stompy class class IV+ although some of the individual rapids are
easier, and the last rapid is probably class V.