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South Fork Feather
Below Little Grass Valley Reservoir - The Lower 3
Class III

2023 Update;
The South Feather burned during the 2021 Dixie Fire, and as a result there is a lot of wood on the side of the river in this section. While there are no portages (October 2023) there is a lot of wood in play and I would not recommend this section for class III paddlers, it has solid class IV hazards all over.

For thirteen years I've been thinking, "The South Feather paddle out would be California's best class III run in the fall, if it had access." This year it was on my mind more than ever, and the recent purchase of a dual sport motorcycle opened up my ability to explore. Come to find out, it has access! While it may not be the longest run, it is jam packed with class II and III rapids over the entire three miles, it has reliable flow for weeks in the fall; typically late September into early October.  Access is decent but not perfect; it requires a 1 1/2 mile hike in down a gated road. The good news is that it's all downhill, well graded and good for dragging kayaks down. The shuttle is possible in a modern Subaru, anything lower to the ground will have to go slow through one rough spot.

The Put-In rapid.

Shannamar Dewey in everyone's favorite scenic spot, the river here is more beautiful than any image can capture.

Sage Donnelly enjoy a nice moment of sunlight.

I consider the South Feather to be the greenest Sierra Nevada run I've been on. Large trees remind me of the McCloud River, also in California but in the Coast/Cascade mountains. Rok Sribar.

Early in the season it's all green, but colors change day to day, Shannamar Dewey.

Some may call it a paddle out for the run above, but it still tends to elicit grins as it's never too flat and the place is beautiful. Masa Oto, Gavin Rieser, Team Nate.

Team Nate approaches takeout.

Wilderness scenery, consistent II-III rapids, wood free as of 2018, free camping all around, not much more one can ask for.

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