Although long ago explored, this section of Deer Creek escaped recorded
beta due to the amount of portaging involved. Even though it has a big
portage, in California, how many twenty foot waterfalls are there that
aren't locked into the middle of a V+ multi day trip?
few outside the South
which itself is a class above Deer Creek. In that light Deer Creek from
Bitney Springs Road to Lake Wildwood deserves a brief mention. The run
starts off at the intersection of Bitney Springs Road and Deer Creek.
There is an old bridge just downstream, and it even has a gauge. Cody Howard
the run at 3.5' and said it was the "minimum level for fun" and we ran
it at 4.5' and thought flows were perfect, but we wouldn't have wanted
it much higher.
Initially the river is just what you'd expect for
incredibly low elevation foothills run. Class II and II+ rapids turned
into III-IV by lots of willows. A quick mile or two of this fast but
annoying character lead to the lip of a massive horizon. Get out early
because brush obstructs views of just how large the cascade is.
through the portage.
looks back upstream at the cascade.
long and steep but not terribly technical. We didn't have to use ropes
or even pass boats, but at the same time it's a far cry from a granite
Amazingly the whole steep section kind of goes.
it's chunky rock and quite dubious, but it does probably go. Probably.
The largest hazard is the bottom drop, a fifty foot falls that appears
to have a narrow landing zone, if it has one at all. This would best be
scouted at summer low flows.
downstream at the fifty footer.
right below the fifty footer gives the next boulder garden a nice
backdrop. Thomas Moore.
One of the highlights of Deer Creek is a
dubbed "Deer in the Headlights" which looked a bit more spicy with
another foot of water in it. Well the slide still looked good, but the
hole at the bottom was rather questionable.
into the meat of it.
hole and eddy line...Rok Sribar splats his way through.
With a group of eight, someone was bound to get
it, but thankfully those people proved that you can just
out. We scouted a large boulder garden just below Deer in the
Headlights. At low flows it was reported to be rather sketchy, but with
more water it cleaned up quite nicely and was one of the better drops
of the run. Only a short ways downstream we got out for another scout,
the cleanest of the waterfalls.
a nice boof.
not exactly easy. The hole at the lip is large enough to serve up some
is the second waterfall. It's neither as clean off the lip or in the
landing. Thomas Moore heads left but will finish pointing right.
enters, and as you can see at the bottom the river left side is
Sribar on the
second of the nicely stacked waterfalls.
Both waterfalls can be easily portaged, but if they were the
would a bit of a waste of time, as the largest hazard is the amount of
brush in the riverbed. The next several miles were longer
expected, and full of brush but thankfully few blackberries were
dangling into the stream bed. There are a few more fun III-IV slides
mixed in before it turns to a full annoying paddle out with one log
spanning the river. It was ducked at 3.5' and paddled over at 4.5'. In
between it could be very dubious. Later than expected we emerged on Lake
Wildwood, a private, exclusive
lake for the rich. Paddling across
the lake I was sure we'd have an encounter with security at the
spillway take-out. Thankfully we didn't, but if people continue to
kayak Deer Creek I am sure a confrontation will be inevitable. But hey,
the sign just says that launching water craft isn't allowed, and we
were taking water craft out!
There is no gauge for Deer Creek, but when 3.5'
on the South
Fork Yuba, and 4.5' was 2,000cfs
on the same.