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Best Rivers and Creeks for Rafting in the High Sierra

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Best Rivers and Creeks for Rafting in the High Sierra

Postby andymorgosh » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:55 pm

Hello all,

My name is Andy and this is my first time posting on HST. I've been "lurking" for about six months now. The Sierras are, of course, my favorite mountain range in the world and I've been fortunate enough to log a thousand miles or so by the age of 22. My extended family has a small cabin in Tom's Place that we visit once a year.

Anyhow, introductions aside, for this upcoming summer I'm hoping to incorporate a bit of packrafting into my backcountry adventure. I'm hoping to mine the collective wisdom of HST to come up with some of the best rivers and creeks for rafting in the high sierra.

The ideal raft would be a long float down a deep, gradually descending river. Evolution creek through Colby and McClure meadows comes to mind immediately. Sections of upper Goddard Creek; the Lyell Fork of the Tuolomne River; the Upper Kern in some sections. There are also some places where it would be awesome just to paddle across a lake instead of walking along the shore: at Desolation Lake or Wanda Lake or Sapphire Lake, for example.

What comes to mind for you guys when you think of meandering rivers and creeks (some whitewater is OK) in the high sierra?

Appreciate it!



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Re: Best Rivers and Creeks for Rafting in the High Sierra

Postby Snowtrout » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:40 pm

A couple of years ago, we picked up a guy looking for a ride to Fresno on the upper Kings river that had just kayaked the Kings river from Bishop Pass. He hiked from South Lake, over Bishop pass with his kayak, put in around the Le Conte Ranger station and took about 4 days to get down the river to just above Pine Flat reservoir. He had a GoPro with him and we were able to see some of the areas and drops he did. Flows have to be right though. Said maybe 5-15 people do this a year.

Only other place I can think is the upper Kern but have no idea about the difficulty. Might want to post on a kayak or whitewater site to get more options
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Re: Best Rivers and Creeks for Rafting in the High Sierra

Postby maverick » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:02 pm

Hi Andy,

Welcome to HST! Your post has been moved from the backpacking section
into this section. You'll find some info in this section using the search feature
or looking through the posted TR's, for example: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=247&p=1287&hilit=rafting#p1287
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Best Rivers and Creeks for Rafting in the High Sierra

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:36 pm

Rafting the Middle Fork of the Kings would certainly be a class 5 experience.
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Re: Best Rivers and Creeks for Rafting in the High Sierra

Postby hurricaniac » Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:44 am

I know of only one group who rafted the MF KIngs. They got beat up pretty badly. There are major portages and the "Bottom Nine" (from Tehipite Valley to the confluence with the SF Kings) is treacherous. Full of sieves, blind drops and other nasties. You have to go with a good sized group who have world-class experience. And you better have it too.
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