Friday, November 14, 2008


West Coast River Touring - Rogue River Canyon and South, 1974 (book review).

Guidebook for canoeing, kayaking & rafting on whitewater rivers in California and Oregon.

"1700 miles of river runs for canoe, kayak and raft." This excellent, first generation river guidebook provides maps and brief descriptions of many whitewater rivers and creeks of west coast USA. From California's Big Sur River to the Rogue River in southern Oregon, this book is the original printed whitewater guide for many of these coastal rivers, including some good ones that have not been described in any subsequent river guidebook.

Alameda Creek, Arroyo Seco, Bear River (Mendocino), Big River, Big Sur River, Cache Creek, Canyon Creek, Carmel River, Cottonwood Creek, Coyote Creek, Eel River, Elder Creek, Garcia River, Grindstone Creek, Gualala River, Hayfork Creek, Illinois River, Indian Creek, Klamath River, Mad River, Mattole River, Nacimiento River, Napa River, Navarro River, New River, Noyo River, Outlet Creek, Pajaro River, Putah Creek, Rancheria Creek, Redwood Creek, Rogue River, Russian River, Sacramento River, Salinas River, Salmon River, San Lorenzo River, San Antonio River, Scott River, Shasta River, Smith River, Stony Creek, Trinity River, Van Duzen River.

Parts of many rivers and creeks have subsequently been protected in the USA National Wild and Scenic Rivers program (Big Sur River, Eel River, Van Duzen River, Klamath River, Salmon River, Scott River, Smith River, Trinity River, New River) or in the California Wild and Scenic Rivers program (Cache Creek, Gualala River).


Dick Schwind wrote on page 3: "A word of caution - this guide or any such guide should be considered only as a convenience for planning trips. It is not a substitute for skill. I have tried to point out the most challenging rapids in almost every run and to transmit a feel for each section of the river, so that the reader can judge whether the run is appropriate for his group. Probably one-third of the time you will find something in the river - a tree, snag, or unnoted rapid - that provides more challenge than any of the rapids or obstacles I have described here. River beds can change with flood waters, and even low flows will cause changes over many years' time."


"West Coast River Touring" is an excellent guidebook for boaters interested in paddling on coastal whitewater rivers and creeks from central California to southern Oregon. More recent and more detailed descriptions have been published for many of these rivers, but this book remains a very valuable resource for whitewater boaters. I rate this book as great (**** 4 stars out of 5).

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