Rafters Looking Forward to High Water in California
California's enormous snowpack has rafters excited about high water trips this spring in the Sierra. This looks to be the best water year since 1998 when California had extremely high flows through July on most rivers.
The best high water trips in California are the Tuolumne, Merced, and Kings Rivers. This is because they have wide canyons that can safely hold a large amount of water. The high water makes for big waves and strong hydraulics or "holes."
"Spring trips on the Tuolumne River will be amazing due to the high water and spectacular wildflowers," said raft company owner Joe Daly. He continued, "This will be an outstanding season because of above average runoff. The higher water will be exciting and will extend the river running season."
The Tuolumne is a Class IV river about 3 hours from the San Francisco Bay Area. Some one day trips are available, but most people choose to run the Tuolumne in two days. The Merced and Kings Rivers are one day Class III trips.
When running high water rivers, be sure to pick a reputable outfitter who has experienced guides. The web site California River Rafting Info has a list of outfitters for each rafting river in California. You can learn more about the safety of the outfitters by calling them and asking about the qualifications and experience of their high water rafting crews. One such company is ECHO River Trips which has a strong record for safety for over 30 years.