This photo needs editing.
Difficulty V
Length Miles
Flow Range 200 - 600 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 38 minutes ago 73.9 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 12/11/2015 11:11 pm

River Description

Messages  at imply that this section has had exploratory descents, but otherwise there has been very little information about this section of river.  It was kayaked in 2008 and a trip report is linked below. 

Aerial photos on the map tab show that much of this section is low gradient separated by usually short sections of falls or cascades.    One long section of boulders and cascades squeezed between major cliffs, appears to be a significant obstacle.  

Take out:  Early Intake is only a few miles away from Holm Powerhouse, the put in for the regular Cherry creek run.   From Highway 120 near Colfax Spring, find the Cherry Lake Rd, (Forest Rd 1N07).     It is unclear if the best take-out is on the small reservoir at Early Intake or upstream near where the road makes a switchback.  

Put in:   From the take out, backtrack a short ways to Forest Rd. 1S02, Mather Road.    Take this road east through Mather to Hetch Hetchy.   There is a parking lot near the dam.   From the dam side of the parking area, a dirt road leads back downstream to a bridge over the river.    This road may be gated.

Other Information Sources:
Poopenaut Gorge   Trip report by Darin McQoid, 2008.
HETCH HETCHY:    Panoramic Photos of Hetch Hetchy from the dam and nearby.
Restore Hetch Hetchy    An organization working to remove the dam and restore the valley of Hetch Hetchy.
Photo Tour of Hetch Hetchy   By Betsy Malloy at

Rapid Descriptions


Gage Descriptions

Hetch Hetchy reservoir spills during the spring of many years.   Most spill flows will probably be too high for boating in this section, so your best bet will be at the very beginning and the very end of spill.    There is a USGS gauge available for this section.    Ben Stookesbury reported after a 2008 trip that he would have prefered more than 200 cfs, but not a lot more. 

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.

No Accident Reports



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Yosemite Releases Tuolumne River Plan

Megan Hooker

On Friday, March 14th, Yosemite National Park released their Final Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River Final Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, announcing that boaters will have the opportunity to enjoy the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne by kayak on a trial basis. While we’re pleased that the Park has placed boating on equal footing for this reach, we're disappointed that the plan continues to prohibit boating on the rest of the river.

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5th Annual Paddle to the Sea with Tuolumne River Trust

Megan Hooker

This May and June join Paddle to the Sea – the Tuolumne River Trust’s popular paddle-a-thon where hundreds of river lovers and boating enthusiasts raft, canoe and kayak from the Sierra to San Francisco Bay. There is adventurous whitewater and mellow flat-water; fun one-day trips, or going the distance. Boaters of all skills and ages are encouraged to join.

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Paddling in Yosemite–Comments Due April 18th

Megan Hooker

Thanks to everyone who submitted comments for the Tuolumne River Plan last month! Now is your chance to weigh in on how the Wild and Scenic Merced River in Yosemite National Park will be managed in the future–comments are due April 18th. With your help, we can advocate more effectively for opening this stunning and amazing river to the public!

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ACTION ALERT–Help to open Yosemite to boating!

Megan Hooker

Yosemite National Park is currently seeking the public's input on how the Wild and Scenic Merced and Tuolumne Rivers will be managed in the future, including the question of whether to open them up to paddling. While we're pleased to see the park is considering lifing the ban in some areas, the preferred alternative for both rivers keeps the long-standing prohibition on paddling in place for the Tuolumne and on sections of the Merced. With your help, we can advocate more effectively for opening these stunning and amazing rivers to the public!


Matt Muir


Paul Martzen


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1194749 03/12/09 n/a n/a
1205585 12/11/15 Paul Martzen changed a dead link
1195907 08/30/09 Paul Martzen