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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...)
site home  :: self guided home  :: U.S. river guide  :: California River Trips  :: Middle Fork Feather River California

Kayaking & Canoeing Middle Fork Feather River California

Middle Fork Gorge
 photos of Middle Fork Gorge
Put-in:  Nelson Point
Take-out:  Milsap Bar
Difficulty:  Class V+ (P)
Length:  32 miles


The Middle Fork of the Feather River is a place of extremes: a seductive combination of stunning scenery, expert rapids, and true isolation. This river should only be attempted by a team of true whitewater experts, as there are few roads into the canyon, and helicopter rescue is impossible in some places. Boaters should also pay close attention to river levels, particularly the gauge at Milsap Bar. An ideal flow is between 1000 and 1500 and no higher. There is an alternative intermediate section, the English Bar run, an eight-mile stretch of Class III above Nelson Point.

The 32-mile, three-day wilderness “gorge” run has numerous Class V and Class V+ rapids and a number of portages, the most obvious of which is at Granit Dome Falls, mile 29. This can be very difficult with a lot of overnight gear. The majority of the river runs through a remote, steep walled canyon, with scenery similar to the granitic Forks of the Kern.

Only this section of the Feather runs undammed, and it was one of the original rivers protected as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System in 1968. If you do assemble the right team to navigate this river, and catch it at the right flow, this journey is sure to be one of the more challenging and satisfying adventures of a lifetime.