Updated: March 24, 2006

California Whitewater Rafting with WET


iVillage: The Women's Netword

North Fork of the Yuba River

Difficulty: Class IV (one V-)
Length: 8.5 miles
Flows: 1000 cfs - 3000 cfs
Gradient: 49 ft/mi
Put-in: Goodyear's Bar
Take-out: Highway 49 Bridge
Season: Spring Runoff

The North Fork of the Yuba River is full of whitewater rafting runs including the Wild Plum Run, Moss Canyon, and Rosasco's Ravine. The most commonly done run is the Goodyear's Bar including the Class V- Maytag Rapid. This is great Class IV rafting in a beautiful forested canyon, with plentiful camping, and proximity to the charming town of Downieville.

The first five miles of this run consists of Class II and III warm up rapids. The first Class IV rapid is Ramshorn which has two distinct channels and is definitely worth scouting. This is followed by a dangerous Class IV rapid called Two Pair which also deserves a careful scout.

Below these is the Class V Maytag, the highlight (or lowlight) of a trip on this section of whitewater. Maytag is a steep drop that ends in a fearsome hole backed up by a rock. It is closely followed by Son of Maytag, a respectable Class IV rapid. The remainder of the run is Class II and III to the Highway 49 bridge.

If you're interested in pictures and the perspective of an inflatable kayaker, check out cacreeks's North Fork Yuba description.


To Highway 49 Bridge (take-out): From Sacramento take Interstate 80 East to the foothill town of Auburn. Then head North on Highway 49 through Grass Valley. You'll cross the South Fork of the Yuba and the Middle Fork of the Yuba before crossing the North Fork. You can take out at the Highway 49 bridge or one of the many campgrounds along the river past the bridge.

To Goodyear's Bar (put-in): Continue nine miles up the river on Highway 49 where you will see a sign for Goodyear's Bar.You'll take a road on the right that takes you to put-in at a bridge across the river.


Beyond Limits

Tributary Whitewater Tours

Whitewater Voyages

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Disclaimer: River descriptions and classifications may change due to natural events that may create new hazards or flows. C-W-R advises that any paddler that uses this site be additionally informed by seeking out local news and updates for changes on this river.

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