Pescadero Creek west of San Jose


Stretch: Portola State Park to Memorial County Park
Difficulty: Class II with several logjam portages
Distance: short hike plus 6 miles, 1 day
Flows: kayaks 200 - 800 cfs
Gauge: flow reported below take-out (USGS site)
Gradient: 10 fpm average
Put-in: Portola State Park near museum and ranger station, 210'
Take-out: above dam in Sam McDonald Memorial County Park, 150'
Shuttle: 10 miles (30 minutes) one-way
Maps: Portola State Park, AAA San Francisco Bay Area
Season: winter, from recent rain
Agency: state, private, county
Notes: © 1998 Bill Tuthill, CreeksYahoo

Early 2008 update: There is talk about closing Portola State Park due to lack of funding caused by the statewide budget deficit. Perhaps San Mateo county will take over park administration.

Early 1999 update: ground saturation caused by the wet winter of 1998 caused many trees to slide down into the river. Until high water washes out some lumber, this run could involve many unanticipated portages.

This scenic stretch can be run after a large rainstorm. The put-in requires a 1/4 mile carry from State Park headquarters down to the creek. Be on guard for logjams, the principal hazard. There was a large one with huge redwood trees about a third of the way down in 1994, but rumors are that it was cleared by helicopter. Another big one is about two thirds of the way down.

Carry around, or take out above the dam in Memorial Park, which at high flows contains a keeper reversal. When the creek joins the road, rapids become more class 3-ish. If you have time to run this section, take out at the first bridge on Pescadero Road.


 Creeks Navigation

 Recommended Runs
 Map of Rivers
 Alphabetic Index
 Alphabetic Table
 Text Search

 Sponsored Links