|Stretch:||Helipad to highway 155|
|Difficulty:||Class IV to V|
|Flows:||Just enough water to scrape to 250 or so|
|Put-in:||Trail descending from the Helipad|
|Take-out:||Just after the 155 bridge|
|Shuttle:||2 miles driving, ¼ mile hiking|
|Season:||Winter, Spring, early Summer from snow melt|
So I have just gotten down on Brush Creek at the bare minimum of flows. We had less than 1 foot on the gauge. I have talked to locals who say they wont run it under 2 feet. My impression at this low level is that it was well worth doing if in the area, but not worth making a trip for. The main drops we still all completely clean, it was the stuff in between that was really shallow, requiring the use of your hands to push your way through some of the flatter parts. The flow actually made for a great level for the paddler who may be unsure of running the creek. This is because every eddy was calm and easy to catch, making each drop break up nicely, allowing you to boat scout, or even exit your boat above every drop. Very low stress at this flow. For reference the Kern was at ~580 the days we ran the creek.
As far as the highlights are concerned, the super clean 15’ falls, a few completely clean 15 foot slides, and the pinnacle in my mind is the nice triple slide which can be viewed from the put in road. Great run even at this low flow, for sure looking forward to going back at a bit higher flow.
One last thing, As the flow goes up, this run does become harder. So even though a class IV boater can handle it at lower flows, when the gauge is reading 4 or 5 you may want to hike it to check it all out before committing to it.
- Drive Right. At the first horizon line below put in, drive right as the water gets
pushed against the wall, keep elbows in.
5’. Boof the simple 5 foot falls after a short ramp.
Pinch. A pinch drop run down the center.
Slides. Read and run low angle slides.
15’. You come around a narrow brushy corner, drop over two small slides and you are at the biggest drop on the run. At our flow there was an eddy on the right just above the final drop. The line is 3-4 feet off the right wall off the ramp. The landing on the left is a mere two feet deep. On the right it is deep enough to take a 45 degree pencil.
Little Slide. A little slide can be taken anywhere.
Double Drop. A nice double drop. Boof the left side of the first drop. It lands in a tea cup, if you boof right, or with too much right angle you will most likely piton the tea cup wall.
Steep Slide. A nice steep slide than be taken anywhere. The right is a ramp the entire way to the water, the left ends in a 4-5 foot vertical.
Piton rock. A small triple drop, whose first drop has a piton rock in the center. We ran on the left wall down a ridge to avoid the piton rock. The final two drops are best run on the left.
Side slide. A small slide lands in a 90 degree turn then slides on.
Tree. Scoot to the left side of a down tree. (March 2007)
Triple drop. First drop is small and run on the right wall. Second drop is a long slide run on the left. And the third drop is the biggest which can be run on the left wall or the right wall. The left wall is a curling slide while the right wall is a vertical drop. At our low flow the right side was a no go for lack of water. The middle is rocky and looks like it wouldn’t be friendly to run, but probably not the end of the world.
Small Slide. A two tiered small slide than can be run anywhere.
Long Slide. A long low angled slide, left side is less bouncy.
S-Turn Drop. A S-turn which is run with the flow of water ends in a nice 4’ drop which can be run anywhere.
Piton Rock. After you duck a tree, the river drops over a slide and runs straight into a rock. Drive as far right as possible to avoid. At our low flow you actually had to get onto dry ground to miss the rock.
Right Hand Boof. Boof right into crack.
Portage Mank. It can be run by some, but most choose to portage on the left once it gets brushy which then leads into this manky drop.
Boof Crack. At the end of a narrow straight away, boof right to avoid the crack, then run the narrow chute, driving right at the bottom to avoid the rock at the exit.
Portage Crack. Portage the crack on the right, sliding down the granite and into the water. This drop can be run if the water is right. Wood. In March of 2007, there was one more mandatory portage after the granite opens up. This one was blind and dangerous. The second one was not blind and could be scouted to the right.
End. The final set of slides are best run on the left and can be scouted from the 155 bridge at take out.
Take out: To get to the take out drive 20 miles past Kernville. Just after 155 crosses Brush Creek there is a large turn gravel parking lot on the left, park here.
Put in: Drive about 100 yard further up 155 and turn on Sherman Pass Road. Drive up a little over a mile, you can scout the triple drop section from a turn out on the road. Continue on the road until it loops around a mountain, park right at the top just off of the helipad. Carry your boat down the dirt road from the helipad about 50 feet. Then follow the trail down to the river.
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