Arroyo Seco - 1) Willowcreek Bridge to Arroyo Seco Picnic Area

Arroyo Seco, California, US


1) Willowcreek Bridge to Arroyo Seco Picnic Area

Usual Difficulty IV(V) (for normal flows)
Length 3 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-11151870 8.00 - 9.00 ft IV(V) 00h40m 3.06 ft (too low)
usgs-11152000 200 - 500 cfs IV(V) 00h55m 23.3 cfs (too low)

River Description

The Arroyo Seco drains west out of the Santa Lucia mountains and Ventana Wilderness into the Salinas River at Greenfield.   This section is known for its very pretty gorge and for the 3 mile hike required to get from the take out to the put in. 

Season:  Winter and spring rainstorms can bring flows up into the thousands of cfs, but as soon as the rain stops, flows drop quickly. The boating window can be from a day or two up to a week.  During periods of steady or frequent rains, flows can remain at boatable levels for longer periods. 

Christina Starr contributes:
"Arroyo Seco is one of the top class IV runs in California. Do not bother with the brushy lower sections. All the action is in the Gorge above the picnic area.
To reach the put-in, park at the upper parking lot and carry your boat around the locked gate across the dirt road. It is about a three-mile hike; not too bad, though. Put in at the Willow Creek packbridge.
The first two miles are class IV with one class V. You can scout the major rapids from river left, right after Santa Lucia Creek enters from the right.
First two miles are in a spectacular gorge and the rapids are mostly class III-IV with one class V: "MUCHOS CAJONES." "

Other boaters report that the lower sections are very scenic and worthwhile despite brush in some areas. 

Other Information Sources:  

Los Padres National Forest:  Monterey Ranger District (King City, 831-385-5434)   Campground Kiosk: 831-674-5726
CA-Creeks-Arroyo Seco  Online guidebook





StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2012-10-29 03:58:01

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.

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