Difficulty IV
Length 14 Miles
Flow Range 500 - 2500 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 2 hours ago 41 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 07/08/2019 4:21 pm

River Description

Washington to Edwards is a Class IV run that is 14 miles long and passes through a forested river canyon. Once outside of the small town of Washington, there are few houses and no public road access. There is a trail that parallels the run high on river right. Due to the length and remote location of the run, it is generally considered to be more advanced than Edwards to Purdons, although the rapids may be a little easier. There is one portage.

In general, the river is fairly wide and the rapids may be boat scouted. The first third of the run is a pleasant warm up. The rapids get steeper in the middle third and culminate in a portage at mile 10.5. The portage is about one quarter mile below Humbug Creek. Humbug Creek enters on river right and is very muddy if it has been raining and the river is high. Portage over the granite slabs on river left. This is a nice place to have lunch and debate the merits of potential lines through the rapid.

While you are on shore, you can scout the next series of rapids. Around the corner from the portage is a rapid with a small chute on river left. It may be scouted from a funky little eddy on river right (or from high on the bank on the left during a lunchtime hike). At low flows, the eddy just downstream of the chute is a bad place to swim. An underwater channel connects it to the next eddy downstream. Weaker paddlers having a "bad day" will want to exercise care in this region. At higher flows, the nasty eddy washes out and is not as much of a problem.

Overall, the rapids are small, but fun with lots of waves and holes for entertainment.

Shuttle: The shuttle is long (45 minutes each way), but entirely on pavement. To get to the take out (Edwards), take Highway 49 north from Nevada City. Go 0.3 miles past the split with Highway 20 and turn right at the fire station onto North Bloomfield Road. Follow North Bloomfield 0.6 miles to a "T" intersection. Turn right at the "T" and go about 6 miles down to the river. Park on the right before you cross the bridge and locate the small trail in the bushes that goes down to the river. If you just "have to" run the rapid under the bridge at the end of the day, you can also take out on river right below the bridge.

To get to the put in (Washington), drive back out the way you came and turn left on Highway 49. Turn left (east) on Highway 20 and follow it 13 miles to Washington Road. Turn left on Washington Road and follow it 6 miles down to the town of Washington. Go through the town to the river. Park off the road and put in under the bridge.

Local Info: The South Yuba River received Wild and Scenic status January 2001. This was due to the outstanding efforts of SYRCL, the local river conservation group. Their site has nice photos of the South Yuba and information on local river issues. Become a member and you'll get praise from the river gods.

Camping/Motels: Local camping is limited. If you stay on someone's land without permission, you may get shot. The South Yuba Campground is near the take out, but is only officially open during the summer. To get there from Edwards, cross the bridge and go north on the dirt road about 1 mile, then follow North Bloomfield Road toward the right. The campground is a half mile down the road. There are a number of motels in the Nevada City/Grass Valley area. The Outside Inn is nice, relatively inexpensive (for Nevada City) and has some kitchen units. There are restaurants within walking distance and it caters to mountain bikers and other atheletes.

California Boating Bible: Lars Holbek and Chuck Stanley; "The Best Whitewater in California"

Other California Boating Sites: Dream Flows, Sierra Whitewater, California Creekin

Rapid Descriptions

Waterfall Portage

Class - VI Mile - 10.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

The portage is about one quarter mile below Humbug Creek, which enters on river right.   Portage over the granite slabs on river left.


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john almassy
18 years ago

Thank you for your nice description. I just ran washington to edwards for the first time and had fun at 500 cfs.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

Date Flow Result Factor  
2003-05-04 High Fatality High Water Read More
1987-04-27 Low Injury Other Read More



article main photo

Success on the Yuba!

Megan Hooker

Culminating a six-year effort, American Whitewater has reached significant flow agreements for the Yuba watershed. These agreements were memorialized in the amended license applications filed with FERC by the Nevada Irrigation District and Pacific Gas & Electric Company. We look forward to seeing you enjoying improved flows in the Yuba watershed! 


Dave Steindorf


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1199807 04/13/11 Dave Steindorf
1190137 03/27/07 n/a n/a
1213203 07/08/19 Dave Steindorf updated image position