dreaded from the boat shot does this
long rapid no justice.
We cruised through
countless fun rapids before the river flowed into a beautiful gorge,
make a sharp left turn and tumbled into what at some flows could be the
only mandatory portage of the run. It would be a fantastic rapid,
except the left wall is severely undercut and there is a nice big
stomping hole dubbed the "Fondue Pot"
Beautiful scenery through and through the canyon.
At our flow Stephen Wright found a good sneak down the left line. I
don't think this would go at all flows, but it did at ours. The author
runs the said sneak.
On our second day we
lunched at the potential portage. It seems to be a nice halfway point
through Silver Creek. Downstream the pace picks up with a lot of fun
rapids that once again look intimidating, but are just splashy III-IV
for the most part, with the occasional larger drop thrown in.
Diane Gaydos enjoys some fun kayaking on Silver Creek.
One of the more demanding
sections of river is the lead in to the Lobster Pot and the pot itself.
The lead in has some nice holes to dodge and quickly pushes into the
rapid if you aren't on your toes. The Lobster Pot is a beautiful
boiling mess, not as bad as it looks but it managed to flip about 50%
of the adventurers. There is also a sneak down the far left for those
not looking to get in hot water.
Taylor Cavin hops on in.
The key is avoiding the right wall after the first big boil. Chris
Tulley finishes off the Lobster Pot.
Once again the fun IV-V character resumes with lots of splashy rapids,
cascading tributaries and fun boofs. Middy Tilghman is about to get one.
On and on the fantastic whitewater continues, big enough to be
entertaining but not scary. Tera Muir enjoying a nice section.
Eventually Silver Creek meets the
South Fork American, for a final big water section down to take-out. I
thought that this section was one of the highlights, there are massive
wave trains and the occasional hole to dodge. Plus a quick optional
portage around F111. Floating down to the finishing our whole grew
expressed surprise at how good Silver Creek was. All thought it was one
of, if not the best IV-V run in California. It's a long day with more
than enough rapids, and with a few judicious portages none too
terrifying. It certainly makes my list of classics. While most of the
rapids are not as large as the ones on 49 to Bridgeport of the South
Fork Yuba, it makes 49 to B look almost like flat water due to the
intense quantity of whitewater.
It's a true shame this run rarely has water, as I have no
it would be one of the best resources in the state if it saw a
whitewater release. Daniel's
video of the run.
from Sacramento: Highway
50 East, Exit
at Sly Creek/Pollock Pines. Turn left at bottom of offramp and make
another left at the next stopsign. Just past the Safeway, turn right on
Forebay road and following it 8 miles down to the river. On that road,
you will go by a small lake and a cement road drops down to your left,
stay right. Park downstream of the
To reach put in, go back to highway 50 and head east. Follow it until
it crosses the South Fork American River and make a left on Icehouse
Road. Stay on Icehouse to the top of hill and make a left on Peavine
Ridge Road. Stay left on Round Tent Canyon Road (unsigned but paved)
and continue as it turns into Jaybird Powerhouse road and follow to
Wright stands on top of a
proud load of eleven kayaks.
There used to be a gauge...just look how often it flows!