Yuba, S. Fork, California, US
C) Washington to Edwards Crossing
||IV (for normal flows)
Photo by Dave Steindorf taken 05/16/08
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.
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.
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.
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
Other California Boating Sites: Dream Flows
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2011-04-13 05:56:06