Kaweah River Log: North Fork, Paradise Beach to Bailey Bridge

NORTH FORK KAWEAH RIVER LOG: Paradise Beach to Bailey Bridge

by Bill Pooley

  • Elevation at the Put-in: 1200 ft. Elevation at the Take-out: 960 ft.
  • Total Elevation Loss: 240 ft
  • Length of run: 2.1 miles
  • Average Gradient: 114 ft/mile
  • Overall rating: Low water: Class 3+Technical, High water: Class 4
  • Gauge: Bailey Bridge, downstream left bridge footing
  • Runnable range: 1.6 ft to 2.5 ft
  • Portages: None
  • Hazards: Trees, Logs and Brush
  • Rafts?: No Way!

    To get to the put-in cross the North Fork Bridge in the town of Three Rivers and drive 3.5 miles up North Fork Drive until the road crosses the river a quarter mile past the historic Kaweah Post Office. There is a new gauge on the left downstream side of the bridge footing (installed May 1997). A reading of 1.4 feet is a low water run at aprroximately 400 cfs. Above 2.5 feet this run gets difficult because of a log across the river and some narrow slots through trees.

    RM 5.7 Put-In

    Put in at Paradise Beach or at Advance site on mile higher for a taste of the good stuff if the water is too high for your tastes on the normal North Fork run.

    This seldom run section of the North Fork Kaweah is generally Class 3 to 3+ in nature. There are several larger drops in this section that are Class 4 at higher flows. This section is much less congested with brush than the section below Bailey Bridge but brush, trees, rockfalls and one known log across the river are known hazards. What you can't see can hurt you and a swim in one of the strained out channels would not be pretty. Boating skills above the class of the river are required to stay out of trouble. Trying to describe any individual section would be futile. I remember several times descending off through a side slot to regain the main current that had misteriously got away from us somewhere along the way. Flip a coin to pick the correct channel when the river splits. A wrong guess is unacceptable. I remember one crutial move in the summer of 1998. Come around a corner, limbo under a log, make a despirite turn to the right to avoid the root ball, and descend off through a narrow slotted boulder pile. I took a blackberry vine across the face in another fast and narrow slot. Scouting is nearly impossible due to the thick brush along the banks.

    RM 2.6 Bailey Bridge Take out

    Take out on river right below the bridge

    Look upstream Yucca Creek to Paradise (Class 4/5)

    Continue downstream Bailey Bridge to Confluence with Main Kaweah (Class 3+T/4)

    Copyright © 1998 by Bill Pooley. All rights reserved.

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

    Last modified: 07.25.98