Saturday, December 13, 2008


Down the Wild Rivers- A Guide to the Streams of California, 1972 - book review.

Possibly the first whitewater guidebook for paddleboating on California rivers.

This book provides good maps and guides for many whitewater kayaking, canoeing & rafting runs on the Klamath River, Trinity River, Eel River, American River, Cosumnes River, Merced River, Mokelumne River, Stanislaus River, Tuolumne River, Feather River, Sacramento River, Yuba River, Salmon River, Scott River, Big River, Mad River, Mattole River, Navarrro River, Noyo River, and Russian River. Since this book was published many of these rivers have been protected through the Wild and Scenic Rivers program.


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."


Most of the information in this guidebook has been duplicated or surpassed by more recent guidebooks or online guides. I rate this book as good, mostly due to its historical significance (*** 3 stars out of 5).

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