Nork Fork of the Yuba River (Goodyear Bar)
|Stretch:||Goodyear Bar to Rock? Camp|
|Distance:||6.5 miles, short day|
|Flows:||600-?. Current Dreamflows gauge|
|Put-in:||Town of Goodyear Bar|
|Shuttle:||13 miles, paved 15 minutes 1 way|
|Season:||Winter and Spring, natural|
|Featured in Video One.|
There are only 4 or 5 rapids on this run that are difficult, but with that said this run was still very pleasant. Highway 49 which follows the run almost in its entirety provides excellent river access in case of emergency (glass is half full) but does take away from the scenery at times (half empty). The run does pull away for small sections of the run, when which the river is beautiful with towers cliffs and clear green water. The road does provide excellent pre game scouting. All but one of the harder rapids (The Island) can be scouted from the road ahead of time. This run would not be difficult to do a double day on once you are familiar with the lines. The overall difficulty is more than Pigeon Point or Chili Bar but isn’t too much greater (with one portage around Maytag). The lines are not difficult at all, but some holes can be sticky which requires you stay in the vicinity of the line, as well as upright.
Pin deaths have occurred in Two Pair, both the sneak left route (not really a sneak) and the left of the main channel have killed, so I recommend scouting this rapid.
- Class one for the first mile or so.
- A ledge provides the first thrill. Clean lines exist on either side of a pour over
ledge. Boat scoutable.
The Island (IV-). The river splits into three channels, the left takes off first, then a few dozen feet later it splits again. The middle channel provides a fun route. In 2006 it was clear of all wood. The line is simply read and run, start kind of left and avoid rocks, ending up to the right of a large rock, class II- continues as the channels remerge.
- A boulder garden, clean on the center channel. Class III-.
- Gauge Rapid (III+). A series of laterals end in a large hole on the right side of the
river. Sneak high into the first lateral (heading left from center) and ride the
current out, this line will require virtually no paddling once through the first lateral.
The current will take you through a few more laterals and to the left of the hole.
- Two Pair (IV). This rapid is technically the most challenging on the run. A small hole
guards the top on the right. The current pushes hard to the left into a pour over which
can pin. Just to the right or the pour over is a large and kind of sticky hole. I ran
starting left and moving right just through the edge of the top hole, and down the tongue
into the hole. The second tier of the rapid is easy, shoot the small drop left to right.
Somewhere in here is a chute rapid that has a large hole in it. Fun.
Maytag (V). Very intimidating. The rapid starts in a very steep chute, into a series of holes. The main current then goes over a rock and creates a hole, current also piles against a wall directly behind said rock. This creates a cushion that is the line to run in order to get around the rock. It can also be the thing of nightmares as it circulates the water back into the hole.
- Son of Maytag (IV). Just a few hundred feet downriver is Son of. The rapid comes on a
right left S turn. There is a large hole on the right that is sticky. Far left is a
sneak boof. The seem is in the middle. This involves launching off a sizable rooster
Somewhere (I think in this portion) is another hole which comes on a left turn against a rock. Runnable, but also narrowly avoided getting recirculated.
Take out: At a campground called Rock something, not exactly sure. It is on the right when driving on 49 from Nevada City.
Put in: At the town of Goodyear’s Bar. Take 49 from Nevada City, just a 4 or 5 miles short of Downieville, there is a bridge crossing the river to Goodyear’s Bar. Turn left after the bridge and drive up the road till you can see a nice place to put on.
View North Yuba, Goodyears Bar in a larger map
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