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Pauley Creek - IV with one V

    Pauley Creek is a well known classic introduction to small waterfalls in a friendly setting. At medium to low water levels, the run is quick and fun with a few larger drops, the largest of which resides and take-out and can be easily walked. Although few in numbers, the drops are fun enough it's a great place to mix class IV and V kayakers and have everyone entertained.

     This tributary to the North Fork Yuba River is just a small stream, and at class IV water levels the in between boulder bars can be a little bit annoying. There are already good write ups for Pauley Creek out there, so this will be a brief run down. There isn't too much from the put-in to Federal Falls except one blind class IV mini gorge that goes down the middle. Federal Falls can be hard to eddy out above, but thankfully there is a large old growth log across the river in the lead in to Federal Falls. The log is not in play at all as it sits about ten feet above the river. Eddy out on the right above the log for an easy scout, or if you want to be more aggressive, go past the log and catch a last chance eddy on the left.

Shannamar Dewey drops into Federal Falls.
Mitch Sitnick charges into the same.
There is no easy access to the bank immediately below Federal Falls, so it's best to setup safety for swimmers. The falls lands in a mini gorge, which has a slightly sticky hole at the exit where it's best to drive right and boof. The creek continues on with great read and run until another potential scout, a ledge that likes to push paddlers into the right wall. Scott Yoder runs the drop that's a good ways below Federal Falls.

 Joe Vengley runs the aforementioned ledge.

Slip and slide is the next rapid of note and is an easy scout on the left, and as straightforward as it looks.

Shannamar Dewey charges into the Slip n Slide.

The most dangerous thing about Pauley Creek is the constantly changing state of wood. Every year trees move, and sometimes during the season too.  The dreamflows board is a good place to check for recent hazards.

 In 2010 there were no wood portages on Pauley Creek, but a few tight spots.

Towards the end of the run a few ledges above a large horizon line. Stay on your toes and stay right of center in these, as the main flow is left of center and quickly carries over the largest drop of the run, Pauley Creek flows. This twenty to twenty five foot falls has been run in the center and on the left. Scout and decide for yourself, more water makes it optimal.

It's not as steep as it looks, the camera is a liar. Jon Vengley

I highly recommend Daniel Brasuells write up of Pauley Creek, it's well detailed with the shuttle and flow information. Check the Dreamflows hazard postings to make sure there is no new wood too. For class IV boaters look for flows between 175-300 on the gauge.

Take out: Take Highway 49 to Downieville, follow main street out of town. Main street parallels Downie Creek out of town, follow signs towards “Second Divide Trail.” On the right, there will be parking as Pauley turns away from the road, right after a bridge. A short trail leads to Pauley Falls and is accessible easily from above or below the falls.

Put in: Continue driving up the road to the Second Divide. At the crest of the road, (before crossing Lavazolla Creek) park and follow the Road down to the house (be respectful and quite of the house please) and down to the river.

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