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Upper South Yuba

*Summit Run*

* This write-up is a description of how my paddling buddies and I ran rapids at our flow on that particular day.  Be sure to make your own decisions ...

This is what Truckee folks consider to be their back yard run.  20 minutes from Truckee, this run offers some great rapids.  Most prefer to get right to it and put in at the concrete bridge just downstream of Kingvale.  This is where the stick gauge is located.  The Hansel & Gretel Hansel and Gretel Rapid, Upper South Fork Yuba rapid is a 5 foot ramp that ends in a good size lateral/pillow, usually run down the middle.  The next rapid just past the I-80 overpass has an innocent looking ledge on the bottom left that will give you quite a ride if stuck in it.  To avoid the hole, enter right, down a shallow ramp.  After ~1/2 mile the river splits, the main flow going left.  This leads to Righty-o, Righty-o Rapid, Upper South Fork Yuba a 4 foot ledge, boof the right to avoid hydraulic and don't pencil in.  After a long section of flat water is a big rock island, portage right to the red house.  Paddle 50 yards and scout Rainbow rapid from the road.  This is a great rapid.  Slide the ramp into river, enter left Rainbow Top, Upper South Fork Yuba but get middle/right Rainbow Middle, Upper South Fork Yuba by the time you hit the bottom ledge.  At flows >12" the bottom hole Rainbow Bottom, Upper South Fork Yuba will eat you up if you don't hit the bottom hole just right.  At any flow it warrants safety on shore, most paddlers stuck in the hole end up swimming.  Just downstream is the Flake, Flake Rapid, Upper South Fork Yuba a fun 4ft boof.  Be sure to eddy right if you plan to portage the bottom rapid.  There is a line down the left but most portage below the Flake.  III-IV rapids continue for ~ 1/2 mile past the Rainbow Lodge.  Double Drop has a funky typewriter move to the right to a 4 foot boof.  This rapid deserves some attention, I know of 3 pins this year in the lateral entrance.  III rapids and flat water for ~3/4 mile.  Now for the best rapid on the run, Tombstone.  I love this rapid.  Enter middle-right boofing a lateral at the top. Tombstone Rapid, Upper South Fork Yuba As soon as you land, look for the tombstone rock and boof just to the left of it. Tombstone Rapid, Upper South Fork Yuba Don't go right, it has a rock in the landing.  At high water you can run the whole rapid on the left.  There is a good playhole just above Grater, a plastic eating ramp/slide.  Many takeout here for the plastic loss is not worth the reward.  If you choose to run it, both left and right lines go at higher flows.  Flat water to the takeout.

Note: The rapids down to Eagle Lakes Road are more characteristic of the lower run into Spaulding.

PUTIN - The bridge ~.9 mile downstream of Kingvale exit on old Hwy 40, or the old concrete bridge downstream.

TAKEOUT - Take the Cisco Grove exit off of I-80. There is a dirt road leading to a beach on the south side of the river.

Narrative and all photos copyright 2002.  Contact Justin States.  This page was last updated Apr 20, 2008.