||below Indian Falls to Peavine Road
||class IV (and maybe a class V)
||9.1 miles, 1 day
||kayaks 700 - 3000 cfs, IK minimum 500
||flow measured upstream at Kyburz
||70 fpm average
||roadside turnoff below Indian Falls, 3590'
||end of Peavine Ridge Road, 2960'
||10 miles (15 minutes) one-way
||Eldorado NF, AAA Lake Tahoe Region,
||spring into early summer, from snowmelt
||© 1998 Bill Tuthill,
This is one of the top 20 class IV runs in California,
although in some years it contains a class V rapid,
depending on recent landslide activity, common in this area.
Wildfires, often set by burning cigarettes ejected by tourists,
reduce the stability of steep wooded hillsides.
Previous guidebooks have always separated this run into two portions,
and included four additional upstream miles in the first run.
That is kind of silly, because the upstream stretch
is more class V than class IV in nature,
and would be better combined with portions of the Silver Fork.
Also, the lower run in previous guidebooks is a too-short 3.5 miles.
It is best to run the combined stretch recommended here.
To reach take-out, exit highway 50 at the easternmost Peavine exit.
Drive east while the road changes to dirt and descends into a canyon
(high clearance or 4WD might be required to get close to the river).
- Put in below Indian Falls (class VI) where a trail from the
highway turnout leads down to the river. Steep rapids begin
just around the bend.
- Site of landslide, which was a long class V+ rapid at first,
and gradually eroded away to more runnable individual rapids.
This section still changes annually, so use your judgement.
- Gradient eases to 55 fpm, and the rapids are less steep but
still enjoyable, with many surfing spots.
- Highway 50 bridge, possible take-out if you are running short
on time, recommended take-out in previous guidebooks.
- Potential brush hazards below the bridge.
- Gradient steepens to 80 fpm, resulting in many long class IV
boulder gardens from here to take-out.
- Peavine Road angles down to the left bank. Difficult for rafts.
Do not miss this take-out, because downstream is the very tough
class V+ Golden Gate run.
To reach put-in from there,
return to highway 50 and drive uphill until you reach a parking turnout
just before Sand Flat campground.
If you get to Kyburz, you have gone too far.
Map of Rivers