This photo needs editing.
Difficulty IV-V
Length 13.9 Miles
Gauge Mi. Yuba Below Milton Dam
Flow Range 400 - 1000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 34 minutes ago 5 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 06/16/2010 5:44 pm

River Description

American Whitewater is seeking information about this reach. If you have paddled this reach or are otherwise familiar with it, please leave comments and contact a StreamTeam member so your information can be included on this page.

American Whitewater is partnering with Nevada Irrigation District (NID) and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to identify a preferred range of whitewater boating flows on this reach and on numerous other reaches in the Yuba and Bear watersheds. Information obtained from surveys completed by boaters will help us identify flow preferences for whitewater boating. Flow preferences determined from boater surveys will be used to evaluate possible effects on whitewater boating from Project operation and help define flow needs.

Boater input is very important to this process. Please help us, yourself, and your friends by filling out a survey if you paddle this reach.

Click here to fill out survey.


Access from the south is down a steep, marginal road. Access from the north, through Alleghany, is long, but a better road, as long as it is dry.


Pete Arpin reports:

"I highly recommend paddling the extra couple of class 3/4 miles from Foot
Crossing bridge to Our House Res. The Foote Rd south of the river hugs the
cliff on a Chinese built retaining wall. It is the perfect location for a
3rd world bus plunge or a Foggy Mt Breakdown. The road to the north is OK
but Loooong.

My memory is foggy, but I think dragging a boat down to the put in from the
south, IF the road was impassible, would not be too difficult. Accessing the
put in from the north is verrry looong.

My notes say class 4+ with a couple of 5- @ 566 cfs. They also say I did 3
portages. The 1st was short and at river level. The 2nd is long and partly
in the river. The main obstacle was a huge log and maybe a sticky hole. I
think its described in S&H. I can't recall the 3rd portage. It may have
been a short thing at the end of the 2nd. My foggy recollection recalls a
river similar in character to the hardest portion of the NF Cal Salmon, @ 800
CFS, which I just paddled.

Although very isolated, there are many active and abandoned mining sites.
This means there are many emergency egresses from the canyon..."


Other information Sources:

NID's Public Relicensing Website


Rapid Descriptions


Gage Descriptions

During periods when there is boatable flows in this reach there appears to be a lot flow coming in from side streams.   So actual flow in the reach can be much higher than the release from Milton.    Inflows to Our House Reservoir became available in June 2010. 


Gauge data below provided by dreamflows.   

Daily Flows Realtime Flows Dreamflows Home
Show 30 Days
Show 3 Years


Preliminary reports indicate that 600 to 800 cfs  below Milton is a good flow range, while 1,000 cfs is getting pushy.


USGS Yuba Schematic pdf shows reservoirs, diversions and gauges in the North and Middle Yuba drainages.

Jackson Meadows Reservoir collects the headwaters run off and evens out the flow down the river to Milton Reservoir.   The Milton Bowman tunnel takes the water to Bowman Lake on Canyon Creek and eventually into the SF Yuba hydroelectric system.  Flows in the river below Milton are seldom higher than 5 cfs.   Flows from sidestreams below Milton are collected at Our House and diverted through the Lohman Ridge Tunnell, eventully reaching Bullards Bar Reservoir on the NF Yuba. 

Historical gauge data is available for:  
Milton Bowman Tunnel - USGS 11408000  Diversions can be as high as 490 cfs. 
Lohman Ridge Tunnel - USGS 11408870   Can divert as much as 850 cfs.
MF Yuba below Milton Dam - USGS 11408550
Jackson Meadows Storage  66,700 acre/feet of storage.

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



article main photo

Yuba Basin Boating Flows! (CA)

Bob Center

South Yuba and Canyon Creek Update 6/03/2010


South Yuba:  at JBR is running about 1500.  In the next couple of days it is more likely to go up, say by 200-300, than to drop.

Middle Yuba: above Our House Dam (Plumbago)  740 cfs  6 am June 3
After running these rivers, fill out the boater survey to help establish future flows in South Yuba and in Canyon Creek..  

The survey is at:

Next update 06/04/2010


Paul Martzen




Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1194962 05/15/09 Paul Martzen
1197767 06/03/10 Paul Martzen notes from Pete Arpin
1197761 06/02/10 Paul Martzen
1196556 11/19/09 Rob change rating (from defaulted class I), add sequencer (B) to section name, provide length/ave.gradient values, enable directions, add abstract, remove html artifacts in description/formatting
1197826 06/16/10 Paul Martzen Added new gage
1197827 06/16/10 Paul Martzen added historical flow links