Hayfork Creek Upper Run


Stretch: near Wildwood to East Fork Confluence
Difficulty: class V- with 3 portages, harder as flows increase
Distance: 5.7 miles or longer, 1 day
Flows: kayaks 500 - 1200 cfs, IK minimum 300
Gauge: estimate 35% of Hyampom (USGS site)
Gradient: 93 fpm average
Put-in: Gemmill Gulch Picnic Ground, 3190'
Take-out: confluence with East Fork Hayfork Creek, 2660'
Shuttle: 6 miles (15 minutes) one-way
Maps: USFS Trinity NF, AAA Northern California
Season: early spring, from snowmelt
Agency: USFS
Notes: © 1998 Bill Tuthill, CreeksYahoo

This is a good run with fine whitewater, although my friends who ran it in inflatable kayaks are reluctant to do so again because of a death-defying small eddy and 80' portage climb around the first unrunnable rapid. Parties should break into groups of 2 or 3 boats when approaching this eddy'n'portage.

Holbek describes the run well, but the optimum level for inflatables would be under 500 cfs. Boaters encounter a log bridge, overhanging Roxy's Rock, Ed's Eddy, then a class III-IV section. Where Hayfork Creek enters a small gorge, get into that death-defying eddy (river left) to begin your 80' portage climb and 100' descent. After a major rapid and many class III-IV rapids comes a second portage, much easier, and a third portage around a gorge with fishladder. Just before the East Fork confluence on river right, take out on the left where a dirt road descends to the creek from Wildwood Road.

Upper Hayfork Creek CA

Upper Hayfork from Wildwood Road
Upper Hayfork Creek CA

Mike Kosa boating Upper Hayfork gorge


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