An anonymous tipster provides:
When the creek is running well, there is a hole (and plenty of nice little drops and some good standing waves) about 2/3 down the run. This can be accessed from Sawmill Road if you stop and ask permission from a property owner where a corral fence leads you back to the railroad and the river. As long as you are polite and respectful of the privelege of crossing their land, they have generally been gracious in allowing that access. (Don't screw this up for the rest of us by abusing their generosity in allowing this access! Ask and receive permission, and be on your best behavior or go elsewhere!)
MnktoDave provides:A short while after leaving the put-in at Hwy.8, you will pass a golf course on the left side. Soon after, the waves begin to build, and form long roller coaster haystacks that are a lot of fun to ride. When the river is at 4'+, these haystacks will go on for a long time, and are a real "hoot". They build, larger and larger, leading to Nelly's rapids, which has a series of haystack waves at this level, and can be recognized by a railroad bridge at the start of the rapids with grafiti saying "Nelly's Rapids".
There will be a pause in the action on the backwaters of a dam. The dam at Lagoon Park is fairly sizable, and most paddlers should portage, river-left. It looks runnable, and it HAS been run (along the very left edge), at certain water levels, but is not recommended. One mistake here could be very dangerous (even with safety being set). A very large backroller can develop here, and I would not want to be the one trying to explain to the cops if something went wrong. We have run this river many times, at many levels, and we always portage the dam (even though sometimes it looks so very tempting to run). It is a very short & easy portage on the left, with a simple put-in at the base of the dam.
Some of the best waves on the river are just ahead as the gradient picks up quickly. Immediately around the next right-hand bend, a long straight away filled with standing waves and haystacks (surfable), and eddies for repeat play. This continues for a few hundred yards, then the river curves hard left and goes under two bridges. After Rice Street bridge, there is still some active water for a short distance before the river turns to just moving water until you reach the take-out on river left at Lions Park (immediately upstream of the Hwy.169 freeway bridges). There is usually a port-a-potty in the small parking lot.
NOTE: Take-out location (Lat/Lng) is intentionally off-river, up on shore in the parking lot, to allow driving directions to work correctly.
Drainage area at Nelly's Rapids. (Calculation from USGS StreamStats Beta software.)
A long series of large haystack waves, the beginning of which can be recognized by grafiti on the railroad bridge saying "Nelly's Rapids".
Recommended portage, river-left.
A long straight away (a few hundred yards) filled with LARGE standing waves and haystacks (surfable), and eddies for repeat play.
There is a gauge on the downstream center pylon of the Rice Street bridge. If you walk out on the northeast side of the railroad bridge, looking upstream, you can easily read the gauge.
At 1.5' the river is fun and doable, but a little scratchy. At 4'3" it is BIG fun waves and some LONG wavetrains.
No known USGS gauge, but NOAA has a gaugeClick here for tabular data.MnktoDave provides:There is a gauge on the downstream center pylon of the first bridge (Rice Street). If you walk out on the northeast side of the railroad bridge, looking upstream, you can easily read the gauge.I've run the whole river from 1.5' on this gauge (fun and doable, but a little scratchy), to 4'3" (BIG, fun waves, and some LONG wavetrains).
Permits are not required for this reach.
Our anonymous tipster provides:
Get to put-in by driving a couple of miles up Hwy 21, then left at Hwy. 8, stop where Hwy. 8 intersects with the Creek, backup then turn right onto the gravel road that you just passed. Park and put in there.
Get to take-out by turning off of 2nd St W at the McDonald's (right before Hwy.169 freeway). Head north on Triangle Lane for about one or maybe two blocks. You will run straight into the parking lot take-out at Lions Park.
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