Hazards on wilderness run of cache creek?


Anyone been on the 19 mile wilderness run of Cache Creek this year?
Have big winter rains changed any rapids or created new ones?
Any hazardous strainers?
Flows may be minimal but it might be possible this weekend.



Going down this coming July 7th, 2017. Did you ever go? any info?


Reviving this thread with some new questions. Anyone been down this section since the fires? Also, I have a 13 foot raft. is that too big for this section or could I make it work with good enough flows?


We ran it twice this past summer. Flows on north fork were HIGHER than i’ve ever seen.
So first two miles were quick. No major obstructions but some quick maneuvering needed. People do take rafts down WR but kayaks are better. With raft some of the narrow sections are tight but doable. I don’t know winter runs, not my expertise. Have fun


This used to be a favorite rainy-season run for class II-III rafters, largely for bird watching and pleasant scenery. After Indian Valley reservoir (upstream on the north fork) was enlarged and started making water deliveries to farmers in the Capay valley, boaters realized that upper Cache is runnable into mid summer. This stretch is now beloved by many, although seldom crowded, especially compared to the section just downstream.

Raft and kayak minimum flows are given for the confluence, where after 2 miles the north fork meets the main. Flow ratio varies from year to year, but usually totals > 450 cfs during irrigation season. You need > 85 cfs on the north fork to avoid boat dragging, but runs have been made with less. At 650 cfs combined, current moves around 3 MPH. Good campsites (and blackberries in season) are available, though many camps were affected by 2015 Rocky wildfire.

This section contains many rapids, most of them not difficult, however brush hazards are considerable at high water, and a concern even at low flows. At flows above 1000 on the north fork, watch out for a bridge about one mile down, near a residence on the left. Pull over to either shore as soon as you see the bridge, and make sure you have adequate clearance under the bridge. If not, you will have to line your boat under the bridge, or portage.

The pictures below were taken pre wildfire on a mostly north fork release with combined flow around 450 cfs. When flows at Rumsey exceed 3500 cfs, this run takes about 3.5 hours, so you can combine it with the lower run (during shuttle you should scout the low-water bridge at mile 2.7 of the lower run). At low flows, this 18.7 mile run requires a full day in itself. Carry emergency gear such as lighter and rescue blanket – hiking out is nearly impossible.


You and responders are speaking of the NORTH Fork of Cache Creek…as “the wilderness run of Cache Creek”.

Cache Creek below Clear Lake Dam is a “wildcat” run…is fenced…prohibited signs…to gain access one must disregard all that and climb the fence. Immediately below is a riverwide ledge & reversal worth-a-look. Something like two miles downstream there is a bigish eddy with the river turning right. Catch the eddy left, and scout the cataract. Do not run it by accident.