River: Redwood Creek Upper Section
Put in: Hwy 299 Bridge
Take out: Bair Rd Bridge
Class: II
Distance: 5.8 Miles
Gauge: Redwood Creek near Blue Lake
Flow: 250 (was a little low)
Boat: Perception Whiplash
Shuttle: 15 minutes
Info: Schwind pg 121. Ca Creekin’ for full run

 

This is a totally underdone, really fun run even for a beginner like me.  Very much a creek, there was lots of bumping into boulders and scraping the bottom of my new boat.  I can imagine that some of the trees that have fallen make major hazards during higher flows, but at 250 we were able to go right under them.  I would love to do this run again.  The only problem is access can sometimes be an issue.  Luckily, I have a friend with the BLM so he was aware of the Bair Rd bridge, but also knew the locals there are unhappy about people parking there.  So please be respectful and watch out for poision ivy.  I am still recovering.

View Interactive Map on MapMyFitness.com

Directions to take out: From Eureka go 101-N to 299-E. After the Lord Ellis Summit look for Bair Rd on the left (there is a sign saying no river access). Drive to the bridge crossing the creek. Park close to the bridge and don’t venture far from it, only that area is public property.

Directions to put in: From the take out, go back to 299-E and drive until you cross Redwood creek. Take an immediate right and follow the dirt road to the river. Access is just under the bridge. River is wide here and moving fast.

River: Eel River Main Stem
Put in: South Fork Bridge Dyersville
Take out: Pepperwood
Class: I
Distance: 9.3 Miles
Gauge: Eel River at Scotia
Flow: 6000?td>
Boat: 17′ Aluminum Canoe with two dogs
Shuttle: 5 minutes
Info: Kayak Lunartics

A really enjoyable flat water paddle.  We didn’t have ideal sun and the wind was against us, but the paddle was lazy and easy but the river moved us along.  The scenery was beautiful with cliff walls and redwood trees.  We could hear but not see the road until the take out.  We got treated to an eagle diving for dinner, deer, geese and otters.

 

The best part of this paddle was that it could be done with the dogs (PFDs optional).  They were totally fine and got to play in the water at the put in, take out and in the middle.  The entire paddle took about three hours with our lazy pace.  There is one hazard to be aware of.  In the middle of the run, there is a low water road.  At higher flows it is a low head dam, so be careful crossing it.  You can check it out on the map (it is shown as a road crossing the river).  Also watch for big stumps towards the end.

View Interactive Map on MapMyFitness.com

Directions to take out:  From Eureka go south on 101 until you get to the second Avenue of the Giants Exit (Pepperwood).  Turn left at the Avenue and follow until you see a dirt road going to the river (there is a gate across it).  This leads to a bar.  Right across the way is a smaller cliff wall that you will use to recognize it.  You will also come across Bear Creek on the left right before take out.

Directions to put in:  Either continue on Avenue of the Giants, or go back to the freeway and take 101-S until you see the exit for Honeydew and the Founders Tree.  Turn Left at the exit and then right over the bridge.  Then take an immediate right and another right onto a dirt road.  This goes right down below the bridge to a nice beach on the South Fork.

River:         Clear Creek (Tributary of the Klamath)
Put in:        Slipper View River Access
Take out:    Confluence with Klamath
Class:          II/III
Distance:     5.5 Miles
Gauge:        USGS 11521500 (Indian Creek)
Flow:          1000
Boat:           Inflatable Kayak
Shuttle:      20 minutes
Info:            AWW, darinm

This is a fantastic run that I did with a large group of people who were in hard shell kayaks while I was in an inflatable.  I have a friend who also did this in a whitewater canoe.  It’s a solid class II with a couple of class III rapids that have easy lines if you can find them.  I would say that some of the kayakers were novice and I am a beginner and I swam twice and the other novices had at least one swim, but nothing scary.

Scenery was top notch.  There were beautiful gorge walls and waterfalls, but at this flow we definitely moved past it rather quickly.  The creek earns its name with the crystal clear cool water and it’s very interesting to see the water where it meets the murkier klamath at the confluence.

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Directions to take out:  From Eureka, take the 101-N to 299-E to Willow Creek.  Then take 96-N towards Happy Camp.  Before you get there, you will cross clear creek on a bridge.  Pull over immediately after the bridge.

Directions to put in:  After take out, keep going on the 96 and you will come to a road on the left.  Forest route 15N32.  Take it until you see a sign for slippery view river access.  There is a short downhill hike to the put in.

 

 

River:         Smith
Put in:        Slant Bridge
Take out:    Charlie Rd
Class:          II-
Distance:     8 Miles
Gauge:        JED
Flow:          4500
Boat:           Hard Shell Kayak
Shuttle:      20 minutes
Info:            Kayak Lunartics

This scenic run is great for beginners more interested in the view than rapids.  There were a few class II- rapids to run but overall it was just fun and mellow.  It’s a good float for an IK, but I enjoyed it as my first run in a hard shell where I didn’t have to roll or go for a swim!

View Interactive Map on MapMyFitness.com

Directions to Put In:  From Eureka, take 101-N to Crescent City and then take 199-E through Jedediah Smith State Park.  After the park, pass the town of Hiouchi and look for South Fork Rd.  Turn Right and cross Slant Bridge.  Turn Right at the parking lot (easy to miss) and go all the way down to the river for an easy put in at the river bar.

Directions to Take Out:  Follow above directions to 199-E, but before Hiouchi take a left on North Bank Road (197).  Then follow that past the golf course and look for a “winding road” sign, turn L at the sign on to Charlie Rd.  Follow dirt road to the river.  You need to drive over river rock.  My Mazda protege5 could do it.