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Paddlesports Schools:

Otter Bar Lodge Kayak School
Located in:
Forks of Salmon, CA

More Details
Our Website
Otter Bar offers all skill levels of whitewater kayak instruction based out of our wilderness lodge on California's pristine Salmo (more...)
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Kayaking & Canoeing Carson River California

Upper East Fork Carson
Put-in:  Cave Rock
Take-out:  Hangman's Bridge, Markleeville
Difficulty:  Class III
Length:  7.3 miles
East Fork Carson (Wilderness Run)
Put-in:  Hangman's Bridge, Markleeville
Take-out:  BLM Boat Ramp
Difficulty:  Class II
Length:  20 miles


The East Fork Carson River drains from the steep eastern side of the Sierra Nevada and lies in the partial rain shadow of the Sierra crest. The river systems in this area carry smaller volumes of water and have shorter seasons then their sisters to the west.

Kayakers and rafters will have their choice of two different runs. The upper section is seven miles of continuous class III in a high alpine forest, with the safety of Highway 89 close by. This section does not have the extra run-off from Markleeville Creek to add to its flow, so the season to run this river is short and unpredictable.

The lower section runs through 21 miles of spectacular wilderness, with the snow-capped peaks of the Sierras towering in the distance, and a natural hot spring halfway through the trip to look forward to. Although the gradient is 27 feet per mile, rapids remain a manageable Class II for most of the journey.