California Rafting: Mid-June 2013 Flow Update

Posted June 20, 2013 by Malina

226_tuolumneIt’s time for a California rafting flow update!  Plenty goin’ on.  Free-flowing rivers are done and done but rivers with upstream reservoirs are flowing well, thank you very much.

On the mellower end of things, we have the South Fork of the American.  Class II kid’s float trips meander through the lazy Coloma-Lotus Valley with time for berry picking, water fights, and inflatable kayaking!  Too mellow for you you say?  Well then, check out the Chili Bar or Gorge section of the South Fork, both of which are chock-a-block with Class III rapids, and lovely scenery.  Summertime flows on the South Fork this year will fluctuate between 1300-1700 CFS.

The Middle Fork of the American is another option for those with a taste for lots of whitewater.  The Middle Fork’s Class IV rapids, steepmf05mr019-ed, tree-covered walls, and isolated canyon will get you feeling a million miles away from work, 24 hour news cycles, and whatever else ails you.   Multi-day trips allow you to explore side hikes and spend more time soaking in the sun or lounging in the shade. We’re happy to see fun flows on the Middle Fork are around 1000 CFS this summer.

And further south, the Tuolumne River is now at standard (but still super fun) summer flows.  During the peak spring melt the T can run upwards of 10-12 thousand CFS which makes it truly high adventure–but its current flows of 12-1500 make the Tuolumne a solid, reliable class III-IV river with the additional thrill of the IV+ Clavey Falls rapid.

Cherry Creek is also running at standard flows–in fact the lower snowpack this year meant that we got to start rafting “the Creek” earlier than usual!  I don’t think I really need to remind you that this is Class V rafting at its best.

(Left: The Tuolumne River Right: The Middle Fork of the American River canyon)


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