Sunday, August 24, 2008


Another whitewater kayaking run on the LowerLower NF Cosumnes River ?? (California USA)

Let us know if you have done any whitewater kayaking on LowerLower NF Cosumnes River.

Holbeck & Stanley report two whitewater kayaking runs on NF Cosumnes River (pg 182-184). The Lower Run on NF Cosumnes River is class V+ whitewater and they report another serious gorge immediately downstream from the take-out at Sweeny's Crossing. The next bridge downstream at County Hwy E16 has bedrock with "lots of potholes." They don't say anything about the ~14 miles of river downstream from there to the confluence with the main Cosumnes River. Considering their famous disdain for class II and sometimes even class III whitewater rivers, the fact that these authors did not report on the LowerLower NF Cosumnes River does not mean that this section is uninteresting. (El Dorado County, California USA)

Long ago I have kayaked the 2 miles of easy class I & II whitewater river from Sand Ridge Road to the Hwy 49 Bridge. I got one-time only permission from a local landowner to put-in on his property. I am interested to explore the 12 miles of river upstream from Sand Ridge Road to see if there is any interesting whitewater or good scenery up there. This small fork of a small river probably doesn't have good flows very often, but if the LowerLower NF Cosumnes River is runnable I want to try kayaking it. Gas prices and other factors have combined to limit my long-distance trips to kayak on far away rivers, so I'm especially interested to know about ALL of the whitewater runs that are close to home.

Contact me and lets go explore this section the next time it has flow. Or if you kayak it before I do please send in a trip report to let others know about it.

Landmarks on NF Cosumnes River Map.

A. Sweeney's Crossing (N 38.65249 W 120.62570).
      - class V+ take-out with another "serious gorge" immediately downstream.
      - where does the class V+ section end ??
B. County Hwy E16 Bridge (N 38.65931 W 120.67786).
      - bedrock with "lots of potholes," probably still class V+.
C. Bucks Bar Rd Bridge (N 38.65331 W 120.70159).
D. Cosumnes River Gorge (N 38.64882 W 120.70659).
      - popular rock climbing area.
E. Yearling Trail / Metate Trail Bridge (N 38.63216 W 120.76756).
F. Union Mine Road (N 38.61107 W 120.84066).
G. Sand Ridge Rd - private road & bridge (N 38.58937 W 120.84446).
      - NOT a legal river access.
H. Hwy 49 Bridge take-out (N 38.55085 W 120.84927).

River map user instructions.
• Full screen river map - see below.

Full-Screen River Map: NF Cosumnes River landmarks.
Markers on the map show locations of landmarks listed above (A, B, etc.).
Point or DoubleClick on the markers to see their names.

More about:
Using these guides to white water river paddleboating - BRT Kayaking.
Cosumnes River, California - Whitewater Overview, Sacramento River Valley Region.
California River Maps - Atlas & Gazetteer by Delorme, 2008.
Whitewater River Paddle-Boating Guides - California.

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The 5.25 miles on NF Cosumnes River below Buck's Bar drops 100 feet per mile. 250 feet in the first mile, another 200 feet in the next 2.24 miles, only about 60 feet in the last 2.25 miles down to Metate Trail.

The run from Metate Trail to Union Mine Road is 6 river miles long with a drop of 276 ft. (46 feet per mile). That looks interesting. I would be willing to explore the Cosumnes River below Metate Trail if we can find parking, and legal access at put-in and take-out. I think I may have paddled part or all of this section many years ago.

Wow, that puts things into perspective! I agree that take-out in the Union Mine Road area would be ideal for a whitewater kayaking exploration trip, but there is a legal take-out 4 miles downstream from there at the Hwy49 bridge. The Metate Trail to Union Mine Road section is most interesting, but I also want to see if the 4 miles of river below Union Mine Road would be a worthwhile daytrip for class II kayakers. Now we just need to nail down a put-in location at Metate Trail and hope for lots of rain this winter!!
In the rock climbing area at Cosumnes River Gorge the NF Cosumnes River is at least class V whitewater. Too many undercut boulders etc. and not a lot of wriggle room.

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