Kaweah River Access Problems

The Kaweah is difficut to access because all the land adjoining the river is privately owned. The traditional put-in at the Pumpkin Hollow Bridge, upstream of the bridge on the left bank, was blocked off by the land owner, Bill Stroh, in the spring of 1994 in cooperation with Cal Trans, (The California State Highway Authority). Allegedly, Mr. Stroh was advised by his lawyer as to potential liability from the use of his land at the put-in. Mr. Stroh was further pressured by Cal Trans to do something about the public nuicance that was being created from commercial rafting companies blocking Hwy 198 while they lowered rafts off the bridge with a crane mounted to their truck. The small parking area at the put-in was posted "No Stopping or Parking". It is unfortunate that this traditional access point has been lost to the private boating community. It was used for many years by local boaters without incident or controversy. The issue is further complicated by the fact that it was possible, before the fence, to access the river without stepping on private land. The bridge easement includes the bridge footing and it is possible to climb down to the river while walking within 1 foot of the bridge footing. Rafts can be lowered over the bridge footing without accessing private land.

Under California Law, and contrary to common belief, landowners are protected from liability through the "incidental use" of their land. Landowners along the Kaweah River may not be liable for consequences arising from river users crossing private land.

The next further access point upstream of Pumpkin Hollow Bridge is at the Sequoia Park boundary and involves navigating some very difficult and dangerous (at higher flows) water.

The next further access point is .3 miles downstream of Pumpkin Hollow Bridge below Headwall rapid where the highway comes immediately adjacent to the river. There is some parking downstream along the road.

Dinely Bridge crosses private land but has not been contested as an access point on the upstream right bank. Parking is available 100 yards south, across Hwy 198, in the Veterans Memorial Building parking lot.

In the town of Three Rivers access is limited. Parking in Three Rivers is available at the Grade School on the south side of Hwy 198 across from the Standard gas station. Do not park in front of businesses in Three Rivers!

At the Lake, there is parking at the trailhead immediately west of Holiday Lodge and at the head of the lake recreation area.

More Pictures of the Pumpkin Hollow Bridge Put In

  • The fence at Pumpkin Hollow Bridge, Photo 2
  • The fence at Pumpkin Hollow Bridge, Photo 3
  • The fence at Pumpkin Hollow Bridge, Photo 4

    Copyright © 1998 by Bill Pooley. All rights reserved.

    This page is http://www.c2.com/kaweah/kaweah_access.html

    Last modified: 08.19.98