Monday, August 20, 2007


Boca to Floriston Run, Truckee River, kayaking class II+ (IV), Aug 19, 2007

Kayaking California whitewater at high elevation.

Driving up Hwy 80 from Davis MasaO, KenyaO and I were talking about how beautiful the mountains, forest and rivers are up in the Donner Summit and Truckee area. I had kayaked on this section of the Truckee River a few years back and I was wondering why it took me so long to get back up there again.

We Don, Sherry, BruceF and PaulaF at put-in, just upstream from the Hirschdale, CA exit. The Truckee River was flowing at 445 cfs. This is a great flow for mid-August in a California drought year. My river guide for the Truckee River provides maps and other trip planning information. (Nevada County, California, USA).

The day started out cool and cloudy, but once most of the clouds cleared out the sun warmed up to make a glorious day. In the first part of the run the rapids were pretty mellow class II and the forest was pretty green. Highway 80 was close enough to be seen or heard at times, but most of the day it was not an issue. Overall the scenery was quite good. We stopped for lunch at the start of a little mini-gorge. I forgot again to reapply sunscreen at lunch, but I'm working to make it a habit.

Here are more of my pictures of whitewater kayaking on the Truckee River.

Rocks + Water + Gradient = Whitewater Excitement

After lunch we got into a section of canyon that was slowly revegetating after a forest fire, so this was the geology section where the rocks dominated the views. The railroad crosses the river at Gray Creek, marking the entry to the steep final section of the run. Here the whitewater rapids were pretty long and pretty steep.

At this flow Jaws Rapid had no clean runnable line, so I quickly and easily decided to portage. Then our two demonstration kayakers got smacked down and bounced around before rolling up. This settled the issue and the rest of the group portaged with me.

Bronco Billy Rapid was a long continuous minefield of rocks with only narrow, twisting whitewater routes to get through in our kayaks. It was a fun, technical challenge for most of us, but a very harsh place for our one swimmer. Kenya was the "hero of the rapid" for finding the paddle that escaped and went off on a short journey of its own.

We took out of the river under the local road bridge at Floriston, CA. On the way home we stopped for sodas at Truckee, CA and tacos in Auburn, CA.

More about:
Trip Reports - Kayaking on Whitewater River in California.
Whitewater Guides for California Rivers.

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Nice paddling there. I wanna do it again and the lower section below the Floristion.

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