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Paddlesports Schools:

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

More Details
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Otter Bar offers all skill levels of whitewater kayak instruction based out of our wilderness lodge on California's pristine Salmo (more...)
site home  :: self guided home  :: U.S. river guide  :: California River Trips  :: Kings River California

Kayaking & Canoeing Kings River California

Middle Fork Kings River
Put-in:  Dusy Branch
Take-out:  Yucca Point Trail
Difficulty:  Class V to VI
Length:  29 miles
South Fork Kings River - Park Boundary Run
Put-in:  Kings Canyon National Park Boundary
Take-out:  Boyden Cave
Difficulty:  Class IV+ to VI @ 500 - 1,000 cfs, V to VI > 1,000 cfs
Length:  7.8 miles
South Fork Kings River - Horseshoe Bend
Put-in:  Boyden Caves
Take-out:  Yucca Point
Difficulty:  Class V+
Length:  4.4 miles
Upper Kings
Put-in:  Confluence of the Middle and South Forks
Take-out:  Garnet Dike Campground
Difficulty:  Class V+ (P)
Length:  10 miles
Banzai Run
 photos of Banzai Run
Put-in:  Garnet Dike Campground
Take-out:  Kirch Flat Campground
Difficulty:  Class III
Length:  9.5 miles
North Fork Kings River - Upper
Put-in:  Below Balch Afterbay Dam
Take-out:  Balch Camp
Difficulty:  Class V
Length:  1.5 miles
North Fork Kings River - Balch Camp Run
Put-in:  Balch Camp
Take-out:  Main Kings Confluence
Difficulty:  Class V- @ 400 - 800 cfs, V > 800 cfs
Length:  3 miles
Tributary - Dinkey Creek - Upper
Put-in:  Dinkey Creek Campground
Take-out:  Spur Road 3.5 miles south of Ross Crossing Road
Difficulty:  Class V
Length:  5.2 miles
Tributary - Dinkey Creek - Waterfalls Run
Put-in:  Ross/Turtle Creek
Take-out:  Balch Camp
Difficulty:  Class V+
Length:  6.3 miles


The Kings River is a classic California boating trip located in the center of the state near Fresno. This exciting Class III run is perfect for both intermediate and advanced boaters: there are many exciting rapids, but because this is a “big water” river, none of them are that technically difficult. Later in the season, the river level falls and the river slows, making this a good time of year to bring the kiddies. Those looking for more excitement should plan their Kings River rafting trip in the spring and early summer when there is much higher water with faster currents and huge wave trains.

The Kings River drains the western slopes of a long range of summits from Junction Peak to Palisades Glacier in the Sierras. It is one of California’s biggest rivers and also has the longest boating season of any un-dammed river in the state. It is one of the steepest navigable rivers in California, second only to the Kaweah.  The Kings River watershed is well protected through parks and wilderness designations. The National Wild and Scenic River Act has also protected some sections.