North Fork Stanislaus 1-Day. 12 years ago. The North Fork Stanislaus River provides outstanding opportunities for experienced whitewater enthusiasts. However, the choice of routes varies depending on the river’s flow. Your California whitewater rafting trip on the North Fork Stanislaus River starts with Beginner’s Luck rapid. Door #1 is the most fun with a 5-foot “spout” waterfall. The second drop is typically run as far left as possible. If you make it through the Sluice, you are through the most difficult part of the run, and the take out at Caleveras Big Tree State Park is right downstream. North Fork Stanislaus Mile-by-Mile Whitewater Rafting Guide The following mile-by-mile river map describes some of the exciting highlights you can expect from this Intermediate-Advanced river trip. THE SLOT (IV) Several routes are possible depending on the river’s flow. BODY SLAM (IV) There is a technical entrance to this rapid, especially at low water flows. There is a collection of rock jumbles on river right. This rapid is broken up into the upper, middle, and lower section, all of which would be class IV rapids alone. North Fork The North Fork of the Stanislaus River runs in the Sierra Nevadas, and in doing so presents a very different kind of run than the Lower Stanislaus does. Please include good judgement in your packing list. Just came back from whitewater rafting on the North Fork Stanislaus with AO, and I highly recommend it! The North Fork is a technical class IV+ river, meaning that only very experienced crews should attempt this river in a non-commercial fashion. While on the river, you need little other than your river attire. The North Fork of Stanislaus River starts up at Highland Creek (below Highland Lakes) and parallels the Ebbetts Pass pavement westward down the mountain. The North Fork of the Stanislaus river requires technical whitewater skills to navigate through large hydraulics, tight drops and rive hazards typical of high mountain streams. After it was dammed in the early 80’s, most rafting companies moved their businesses to the South Fork of the American. The in-house web development team at All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting has created this website to serve as an educational and informational resource for guests, guides and the general whitewater rafting community. There is a hard left move followed by a hard right move. For a brief time during the Spring–when snow is melting in the Sierra–the “North Stan” offers some of the most technical Class IV … WHITEOUT (IV) Numerous car sized boulders make it virtually impossible to see the bottom of this rapid. Commercially, trips run from Sourgrass (close to Dorrington) to There is limited space available in a water-resistant bag for additional items, such as rain gear or medication, that you might need during the day (no towels, please). The North Fork of the Tuolumne enters from river right, and there are campsites here. Wonderful river and great scenery. A veritable insta-epic, the North Fork of the Stanislaus River (also known as the “Stan”) starts at 4,000 feet and hurtles six miles, at a 70 feet per mile gradient, down to the feet of some of the most massive trees you’ll ever see—the Giant Sequoia groves of Calaveras Big Trees State Park in Northern California. You will make a hard push to the left to avoid a 6-foot wide by 6-foot high pour-over. Aggressive paddling required through rapids like Dig Dog, Whiteout, Rattlesnake & Big Trees Falls, Your trip concludes in Calaveras Big Trees State Park - home to 2 groves of giant sequoias, $8 per person per day federal, state and local access fees, Wetsuits required on all early-season trips, 1, 2 or 3 Days from $299 | Wine trips from $649. Running a length of nearly 120 miles, the Stanislaus River serves a surprising number of water activities — from white water rafting to rock jumping, from camping and fishing to natural water slides. Intermediate-Advanced level; Steep, narrow Class IV rapids all day long, with two Class IV+ drops at the end; 5 intense miles; Lunch included; Meet Place: Arnold, CA; Usual minimum age: 15; Learn more; Last minute reservations and some discounts are not available online, requiring reserving by phone: (800) 247-2387. There are consistent Class II+ rapids until you reach the end of your North Fork of the Stanislaus whitewater rafting experience in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. At an elevation of 4,000 feet in the Sierra Mountains, the North Fork of the Stanislaus River is concealed among the granite cliffs and magnificent redwoods of Calaveras Big Trees State Parkand Stanislaus National Forest. Beginner’s Luck is often the most challenging rapid of the day. We respect and recognize that many of the river canyons, national forests, BLM and state lands, as well as national parks where we operate are the ancestral homes of many indigenous communities. mile 0 Put in from the convenient parking area on river right downstream of Sourgrass Bridge, avoiding Sourgrass Falls, currently class V or V+ with nasty undercuts at the bottom. OARS is an equal opportunity provider. The main fork of the Stanislaus River, once the most popular rafting and kayaking run in California, gained notoriety in the late 1970’s and early ’80’s when the extremely controversial New Melones Dam was constructed and buried the Stanislaus River under New Melones Reservoir. If you or your group are interested in learning more about the North Fork you can visit (http://www.stanislaus-river.com/nfs-river-map.htm) or call All-Outdoors at 1-800-24-RAFTS. Save 25% when you purchase for yourself or give as a gift Sale ends Sunday, January 31, 2021 Choose from the “River Trip” options listed below or enter any amount here Adjust the quantity you wish to purchase once you add the item to the cart All Trip Fares are per person and subject […] In the first mile of rafting you will encounter multiple class III rapids, as well as the class IV Rattlesnake rapid. West, Inc. holds Transportation Charter Permits (TCP0022913 - C and TCP0022913 – A) with the California Public Utilities Commission. The North Stanislaus River flows only during a short period in the springtime, usually in late April and May. http://www.stanislaus-river.com/nfs-river-map.htm. For hard-working paddlers with a taste for thrills, chills and spills—rafting the North Fork Stanislaus River in Northern California is a slice of wild whitewater heaven. North Fork American River Rafting "The North Fork American is the most difficult of the three Forks. In California, where we operate along the Klamath, American, Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced Rivers, we acknowledge the territories of the Shasta, Yokuts, Nisenan, Karuk and various bands of the Sierra Me-wuk/Miwok tribes. This website was designed to provide information about Although this section was flooded by New Melones Lake in 1983, rafting and kayaking remain popular on sections of the Middle Fork and North Fork, as well as the main stem below Goodwin Dam. A staircase sequence of drops and chutes that starts right from the beginning of the trip, the Stanislaus is for the more rugged whitewater enthusiast that thrills in tackling complicated runs. OARS is proud to be an authorized concessioner of the National Park Service and a permitted outfitter under the National Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Many of our guests choose to spend an extra day visiting the Park to go hiking on the hundreds of trails it has to offer, and to see the giant sequoias and redwoods in their natural setting. North Fork Stanislaus River, Arnold, CA. The North … Hot/cold drinks and a return shuttle to your vehicle await at the take-out of your OARS North Fork Stan River rafting trip. Unlike other Class IV Sierra runs, the North Stan is a high elevation run (nearly 5000 feet at put-in), lined by redwood trees and filled with enormous granite boulders. At the five mile mark, Macheck’s Mayhem rears its ugly head, and rafters should take care to avoid the rock at the beginning of the rapid so they don’t end up swimming through this extended period of whitewater. Go over the top and you get “Body Slammed.”. There is a hidden line on the left bank that is really fun. North Fork Stanislaus River Rafting. The Stanislaus River is one of the most popular commercial rafting rivers in California! After the put-in at Sourgrass, the rapids start right away on Beginner’s Luck, a series of 3 drops that can put you in the water early if you are not paying attention. Boaters may paddle a five-mile, Class IV stretch of the river between Sourgrass, near Dorrington, and Calaveras Big Trees State Park, just east of Arnold. Towering Cliffs and 2000 foot canyon walls spotted with black oaks and varying pines sets the back drop of one of the most beautiful California whitewater rafting river canyons. The entrance to the rapid begins on river right. Do NOT Bring from All-Outdoors Whitewater Rafting Plus . The North Fork of the Stanislaus River runs in the Sierra Nevadas, and in doing so presents a very different kind of run than the Lower Stanislaus does. Calaveras Big Trees State Park, 1170 CA-4, Arnold, CA 95223 Scout river left here before running this class IV rapid. While the North Fork is stocked at public access areas such as Board’s Crossing and Sourgrass campground (and therefore more fish are caught), to find the bigger catches you need to move away from these heavily frequented areas. North Fork Stanislaus River. Chris (lead guide) did an excellent job, in both guiding my raft and group organization and safety. 551 likes. BEGINNER’S LUCK (IV-V) Put-in (start) OARS North Fork Stanislaus Whitewater Rafting trips. SHOTGUN (III) There is a technical entrance with a lot of acceleration along a granite slab on the left side of the river. Lower Stanislaus River, winding through the Central Valley and Sierra Foothills, is a fantastic fishing spot. OARS is a proud member of Adventure Collection, a partnership of the world's premiere adventure travel companies. North Fork Stanislaus River is located 2.5 hours from Sacramento. Most rivers are rated on a scale of I – VI: from Class I, moving water with riffles and small waves, to Class VI, extreme whitewater not commercially navigable. The river was my type, also.”, “Great guides and company personnel. Reviews . The North Fork of the Stanislaus River, or the “North Stan,” is an under-appreciated gem for rafting and kayaking. The North Stanislaus River flows only during a short period in the springtime, usually in late April and May. An approximation of what adventure level (from easier to challenging) you should expect to encounter under typical conditions on this trip. It is only runnable in the springtime when the snow melts and the river rises, since the upstream dam rarely releases water during daylight hours. Please note that this map is not intended to provide a complete list of river hazards. Use code "stanislaus" when booking your Knights Ferry trip here to get $3 off per person. All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting Granite gorges, meadows of wild azaleas and old Miwok Indian sites slip by one after another, amidst big waves, churning holes and plenty of technically-demanding paddling. Eventually the north fork is joined by the middle fork, becoming the main Stanislaus that flows past Camp-9 Powerhouse. © 1969 - 2020 OARS Companies Inc. All rights reserved. BEAR CLAW (III+) “Chunky” run in the main current with a few “pin” rocks. The Stanislaus is arguably the most unusual whitewater rafting river of the Central Sierra Nevada. rafting. The North Fork of the Stanislaus River boasts some of the most technical Class IV whitewater rafting in California. Whitewater Rafting Reviews for the North Fork Stanislaus ... Our river specialists are available to help by email, phone or live chat. Rafting on the North Fork Stanislaus River is a top California whitewater adventure In the spring, this High This bag is usually available only during the lunch stop. Numerous lakes and parks along this steep northern fork, all lined with impressive granite rock. This is the first time since 2011 that the river has been open for rafting… If you are a non-experienced rafter looking to get your feet wet, there are plenty of commercial operations that can help you get started on the North Fork. It was great!” However, the lower half of the run is extremely thrilling with steep, continuous whitewater. Unlike other Class IV Sierra runs, the North Stan is a high elevation run (nearly 5000 feet at put-in), lined by redwood trees and filled with enormous granite boulders. Found upstream on the tributary is the site of an old bridge, which once linked Tuolumne City with the Mohican Trail. Sign up today for monthly giveaways, engaging stories & videos, special offers & more! (call for details). Moving up the hill to the North Fork of the Stanislaus River, rafting is available as well. At Rattlesnake a large horn rapid in the center turns the rapid into an S-rapid, and a submerged rock to river left is routinely crashed into by unsuspecting rafters. Class IV+ rapids; cold water with high flip/swim potential. Essential Eligibility Criteria for River Trips, Essential Eligibility Criteria for Sea Kayaking Trips, Essential Eligibility Criteria for Hiking Trips, The Best Rafting Near San Francisco for Every Adventure Level, Merced River Rafting Near Yosemite National Park, Tuolumne River Rafting Near Yosemite National Park, Rafting on the North Fork Stanislaus River is a top California whitewater adventure, In the spring, this High Sierra river offers six miles of virtually non-stop Class IV+ rafting through a scenic canyon. THE PLUNGE (IV) There is an 8-foot slanting waterfall with a big hole at the bottom on the left side of the river. The river takes you past high alpine scenery, including a … In California, where we operate along the Klamath, American, Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced Rivers, we acknowledge the territories of the Shasta, Yokuts, Nisenan, Karuk and various bands of the Sierra Me-wuk/Miwok tribes. A veritable insta-epic the North Fork of the Stanislaus River boasts some of the most technical Class IV whitewater rafting in California. The North Fork Stan trip was the best one-day trip I have ever experienced. After navigating the top there are three ways out of the rapid: Door #1, #2 or #3. The gently sloping hills, deep green woodlands, rocky gorges and early-season wildflowers deliver an American River rafting trip that serves as an ideal training ground for rafters moving up … This river boasts some of the most technical Class IV whitewater rafting in California. Because of its steep gradient and narrow channel,the North Fork of the Stanislaus can be navigated by raft at flows from 350 cfs to approximately 3, 000 cfs. Doors #2 and #3 involve a lot of technical maneuvering. Take out/end. North Fork Stanislaus River, Arnold, CA. Water levels are really high, and I wish I could have taken pictures of the churning rapids. North Fork Stanislaus River is located 2.5 hours from Sacramento. West, Inc. operates on the North Fork of the Stanislaus River as a permitted outfitter under the Stanislaus National Forest. In addition, the Camp Nine run reappears when New Melones Lake is low, allowing boaters to run this part of the river, although siltation of the river bed due to reservoir impoundment makes access difficult. The Stanislaus River is a haven for those looking for water recreation in the Central Valley of Northern California. The North Fork of the Stanislaus River passes through the Giant Sequoia groves of Calaveras Big Trees State Park in Northern California. The North Fork of the Stanislaus runs through the heart of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Information for this Mile by Mile guide was gathered from the books “California Whitewater,” “A Guide to the Best Whitewater in the State of California” and from a variety of sources on the Internet. A well kept secret, the North Fork of the Stanislaus River features exciting Class IV+ rapids in a high elevation alpine scenery and close proximity to groves of Giant Sequoia Redwoods. SURF LEDGES (III) There are consistent re-circulating holes that are great for surfing. UPPER SEQUOIA (IV+) This is an “s-turn” type of rapid. Tim Wernette and Carolyn Brown. Board’s Crossing. “I have taken many guided trips, both rafting and non-rafting. Prior to excessive rainfall in 1997, the action started with Sourgrass Ravine (Class V), however, the North Fork Stan was drastically altered after flooding caused a large landslide. The North Stan is one of the […] This river is best suited for athletic and adventurous rafters as intense and technical paddling is required. Note: Even an “easier” trip can become “challenging”due to weather, water level, or your personal choice of boat and/or hiking options. Listen to your guide and paddle hard! 565 likes. BIG TREES FALLS (IV) Line up on the right then enjoy the ride of this 12-foot slanting chute. Over the next four miles, Bear Claw, Convulsion, and Wallet Slot will test your ability to move through technical rapids, and will punish those without the proper experience. LOWER SEQUOIA (IV+) Big boulders make for a technical entrance with a hard move from left to right with a 5-foot “spout” to finish. The main Stanislaus River was once the most popular commercial rafting run in California (and probably in the United States).  Save 25% on this adventure when you book online by February 28th using promo code: CTA2125. There is a private dirt road and a bridge which crosses the river. GPS COORDINATES: 38.278723, -120.308098 (Intermittent GPS/cellular service in area). Multiple Stanislaus River rafting trips exist that range from mild to wild, and the park system on the Stanislaus has created portals for river kayaking, hiking, fishing, and camping for the public. The 5-mile class IV+ run that begins in Caleveras Big Trees State Park runs daily from April through June, and is geared toward those looking for a thrill. 20% Discount for Groups of 12 or More! After running through some more mild (though still intense) rapids, the trip comes to a conclusion through a series of three class IV rapids named Sequoia Sluice. “The OARS catalog has turned into a coffeetable dream book for adventure junkies.” – T. Edward Nickens. South Fork/North Fork American River Rafting; Photos & Videos . O.A.R.S. This is a staircase-like rapid in which the first drop is followed by a steep ramp and a large hole. O.A.R.S. THE THING or CONVULSION (IV+) The “thing”, found in the middle of the river, is a spouting rock that resembles a rooster tail. The other guides were also very good. www.Stanislaus-Rivers.com also provides information about camping, and permit requirements for the North Fork of the Stanislaus river. The North Fork of the Stanislaus, like the other upper sections, are home to rainbow and brown trout. All of these class IV rapids should be scouted before running. Commercially, trips run from Sourgrass (close to Dorrington) to Caleveras Big Tree State Park, about seven miles downstream. With an overall gradient of 77 feet per mile at a beginning elevation just below the 4,000 ft mark, the North Stan is more like rafting a high mountain creek then the more commonly rafted rivers of the foothills. With an average gradient of 70 feet per mile, the rapids come quickly on this river! During the lunch stop at the take-out of your OARS North Fork of the Stanislaus river starts beginner! From Sacramento high pour-over adventure when you book online by February 28th using promo:... Trip I have ever experienced river flows only during the lunch stop routes are possible depending the! Encounter multiple class III rapids, as well as the class IV rafting. 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