Sacramento River (Sims Flat to Pollard's Bar)
|Stretch:||Sims Flat Campground to Pollards Flat Use Area|
|Distance:||7 miles, 1 day|
|Flows:||800 - ?000 cfs. Current Dreamflows (est) upriver gauge downriver gauge|
|Gradient:||40 fpm average|
|Put-in:||Sims Flat Campground|
|Take-out:||Pollards Flat Use Area|
|Shuttle:||7 miles (10 minutes) one-way|
|Season:||spring, from snowmelt and dam release|
Due to breaking my brand new boat on the first day of an Upper Sacramento trip, I was left unable to return to Box Canyon on the final day of the trip, so as my friends leave to go paddle Box again, I was left having to find a deeper section of river, and since I had run from Dunsmuir to Sims the day before, it seemed the natural progression to continue on down the river, making it a weekend long trip carrying me some 30 miles down from Lake Siskiyou. As far as runs go on the Upper Sacramento, I would rate this one right below Box. Not on difficulty of course, but on worthiness of doing. I would deem this run a great class III boater run. The rapids are all a little easier in my mind than those that you will see on Chili Bar or Pigeon Point, but are still fun for this level. All in all, it was a run that was worth doing, the rapids were less continuous than those upriver which allowed for rapids with more individual gradient, plus there was some play to be had, good day. The mile marking are totally approximate on this one, as I can't fully remember their locations.
- Ledge (III-). A mid-river rock forces a choice, left, more left, or right. Right is
the easiest way and is a simple wave train, left is a bad choice as there are
multiple rocks then a ledge, far left is boofable but also had a sticky hole, so don't
boof it unless you have a boof.
- Eddy One (III-). On a sharp left turn, this rapid drops over a few large waves and a
few large holes. The problem is that half way down a peninsula sticks out which
creates a massive eddy line on the left side. It would be very easy to trip on this
- S-Turn (III-). The river makes a very sharp S-Turn. On the bottom leg of the S, the
river drops off a narrow rapid. There are a few holes and rocks to dodge. I entered
center left, cut right and then ran out the last half.
- Narrower (III). This rapid seemed to be the hardest on the run. The river got
narrower, and at the entrance had a pour over. I ran to the left of the pour over,
then centered out to run the holes at the bottom.
- Second Bridge (III-). Just under the second I-5 bridge comes a rapid with a massive
hole right of center at the bottom. It was easiest to scoot left of the hole, however
the hole tended to pull you in to it a little unless you gave it plenty of room.
At the Turn (III-). At the end of the straightaway comes a sharp turn. There is a river wide hole. Left of center there was a window which allowed passing, and to the right it was sneakable. The whole thing looked good to go, but flips would be possible. Just try not to be far left as it was more of a pour over there.
Eddy Two (III). Of all the rapids on the run, I think more people would flip here. There are some large waves and curlers which lead into a narrow slot maybe fifty feet long. In this chute, rock out croppings make massive boiling eddies to trip on. None of the eddies look dangerous, just flipping aids.
Take out: To get to the take out, take I-5 north from Redding. Take the Pollards Flat exit and follow down to the river half a mile.
Put in: From Redding, take I-5. Take the Sims Road exit and turn left onto it. Follow down to the river, you can put in on the right under the bridge or on the left a little downriver from the bridge at the campground.
View Sacramento River (Sims Flat to Pollard's Bar) in a larger map
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