Most people that think of Cali boating don’t consider the Fall time to be that great but there are many years when we are blessed by the fact that most all of our rivers have a dam on them. So far this season we received scheduled releases on the NF Feather, and SF Feather which were negotiated by AW. The NF Feather offers road side whitewater for all boaters. There is a nice 2 mile class IV-V stretch that you can run laps on all day.
During September this year not much was running but like most fall years we were blessed with releases on the NF Stanislaus. The stout class V+ section “Hells Kitchen” This run is full of stout rapids and can be ran as a day run or an overnighter. Yes that’s right we have dam released overnighters in the fall with beautiful warm weather.
Just after releases on the NF Feather stopped the next weekend the SF Feather started to release and is still going. This stretch of river is so fun! Especially the first gorge which contains several class IV-V rapids and even a 20 footer. The last two years some of us locals have got together to organize a race down this first gorge which is called “Gnarl Fest.:” It happens every fall the weekend after Feather Fest.
Well normally the Feathers and the Stan are the norm fall runs in Cali but every once is a while we get blessed with the occasional down pour of rain or the dam that is having maintenance issues and is forced to release water into the river bed. Last week was epic! Heavy rains brought the upper SF American to a good level and I was blessed to do a run on the “Golden Gate” section. This run in the fall is unheard of so it was really nice to paddle this classic run with good flow and warm sunny weather.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better for fall boating it did! There is an ultra classic section of the SF Yuba called the Yuba Gap. That’s right, Yuba Gap in the fall! Last week one of the generators went down forcing water into the river bed. This is one of my favorite runs in Cali. It has amazing scenery and whitewater. I was blessed with a couple of runs and could not ask for anything more. This is high sierra classic whitewater in the fall. Like always it is a great time to be a Cali boater! I hope you’re all getting some good fall boofs this year.
Golden Gate: "Drain Pipe" Photo: Darin McQuoid
Yuba Gap: "The Hour Glass" Paddler: Jared Noceti, Photo: David Maurier
Yuba Gap: One of my favorite boofs! Photo: Chris Tully
SF Feather: The goods! Photo: Chad Daugherty
South Feather POV footage.