A fun portage with the occasional rapid, Upper
would be an absolute classic
That's a big if.
The joke at the end of the day was
that on most rivers you count your portages. On Upper Brush you count
the rapids you actually get to run between portages. Believe it or not
that description is not inaccurate.
you are early in the season the
road will be gated, necessitating an extra mile of hiking. Will
parks by the gate.
At least it's scenic hiking. Daniel
Kevin Smith and Diane Gaydos drop in.
Upon reaching the river we
quickly portaged a few logjams to seal launch in at the first rapid. I
quickly ran the rapid and found myself scrambling for shore to portage
a log immediately downstream. Little did I know this was to be the
story of the day.
bush to run a fun rapid. Downstream you can see the team portaging the
Will Pruett charging in a Corsica, bold move!
Daniel Brasuell in nearly a hundred and fifty feet of log free river,
only a bush or two to duck.
Upper Brush has some nice drops but they are hard to photograph,
because there is brush everywhere blocking the shots. Mr Pruett charges
off a nice ten footer before his Corsica nearly carries him into the
next log jam that's visible at the bottom of the pool.
A few portages later and
we had a nice waterfall. Well mostly nice. It required seal launching
through brush, scrambling to get a stroke at the lip and then making
sure to get right to portage a new tree with lots of branches in the
Daniel trying not to stress about the tree just out of sight.
A few portages later and Steve Schmitt gets a good drop in.
Two larger drops mark the start of the crux of the actual rapids. The
first is a slide to eight foot drop to reconnect occasionally piton.
Tired of portaging Austin and I fired away.
"At least this bunny suit breathes"
The second large series looked a little dubious, but Kevin Smith showed
us the way.
Kevin charges left, this one goes better than it looks.
Diane Gaydos in the same.
We were in the ultimate section of Upper Brush Creek. We'd just run two
great rapids in a row, portaged two and now got to run two more in a
Kevin Smith enjoying the goods.
The goods led into the longest single portage of the run. It takes
about twenty minutes higher on river right, but finishes with style.
Will Stubblefield getting a good one in before (surprise!)
Diane runs one last good boof.
Below the drop shown above
is perhaps the most sketchy eddy of the run, for yet one more log
portage. We tried to stay in the river for a while below here, but the
locals beta is quite correct. Once you've had enough of it, just walk
the last mile or so to your car. It would take longer and be a lot more
effort at river level. Ahh, hike in, portage over twenty times and hike
Daniel really captures the feeling of what a good time the hike out is.
Seriously we're just glad to be at the car after hiking about 2x what
The day of, I thought I'd never
do Upper Brush Creek again with the portage and hiking ratio. But
memory is a tricky thing. I know in a few years I might just be lured
back. Then again I might not. It really is a scenic portage with a few
rapids..every good one is documented here.
"This is an amazing run and I would classify it as a must do
you are in the area." The only way you're going to say something like
that is if you are from
. People that actually
live and kayak in California know
Logistics: Go to the normal Brush
and continue down the dirt road on the right. Retrace your steps to the
paved road and drive upstream until you see the road to Big Meadow. If
it's gated, hike about a mile until it looks like the river too far
away. if it's open, you should probably hike anyways just to get a feel
for the run.