Mono Creek, California, US
B) Vermillion Dam to Mono Diversion
||IV(V) (for normal flows)
Mono creek 1
Mono creek 1Photo by Paul Martzen
From Fresno, take Highway 168 to Huntington Lake. Take Kaiser Pass road to
Edison Reservoir. Vermillion Valley dam forms Edison reservoir. Highway 168 is excellent and fast.
Kaiser Pass road is narrow, pot-holed and slow, but very scenic. From Fresno, figure 1.5 - 2 hours
to Huntington Lake then another hour to Edison Lake.
Drive into and through Mono Creek campgrounds to the lake access. Or just carry
back upstream on fishermen trails. Probably easiest on river right.
Drive towards the dam, turn left along the base of the dam, then look for where the
water is released. Launch into the man made channel or further downstream into the natural
There is a steep rocky class 5 rapid where the man made channel ends and drops into
the natural channel. Scout from either side, but the portage is easiest on the left. The natural
channel is very nice technical class 3 or moderate class 4 for the remainder of the run. However,
there are a lot of logs in or across the channel at this time. Most are passable, but it greatly
adds to the risk factor. The whole run is easily scouted on foot.
Though this section of Mono is a long way to drive for a short paddle, it is a beautiful area, and
it is running in August. There are many additional attractions in the area; wonderful hot springs,
high quality scenery, rock climbing, backpacking and mt biking.
Put-in is about 7485 feet and take-out is about 7340 feet for 90 to 100 feet per
There is free camping in the area and in several spots along the creek. There is
also developed camping for a fee at the small reservoir at the take-out. There is lodging, a
restaurant, bar, and small store nearby at Vermillion Valley resort. Mono Hot Springs back down the
road also has lodging, restaurant and store. There is no gasoline past Huntington Lake.
Google Earth has high resolution images of this section. It is not possible to discern the rapids,
but the roads and access points are quite visible. (11-2005)
Feature by feature description:
Near the base of Edison dam the water is released from a gate house. A narrow man made channel
extends approximately 350 yards (330 meters). This channel is flat and fast with a few small
At the end of this channel the water cascades down a Class 5 rock pile into the natural channel.
One can scout on either side but portage is easiest on river left.
Once into the natural channel the rapids are continuous for 1/2 mile, though the gradient gradually
At this point the creek flattens out while it makes a U-turn to the right. Fairly continuous rapids
start again and lead to an island with log jams on both sides, forcing boaters to portage. Below
this island, rapids continue another 200 yards to the lake.
StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2008-12-27 02:30:08