|Stretch:||Just below the dam|
|Difficulty:||Class IV to IV+ (IV to IV- at our flow)|
|Flows:||120 cfs? Low Flow|
|Gradient:||160 fpm average|
|Put-in:||At the base of the dam
+36° 41' 42.47", +138° 46' 47.10"
|Take-out:||At the base of the final falls
+36° 41' 18.24", +138° 46' 32.25"
|Shuttle:||~0.3 miles (5 minutes to hike)|
|Season:||Spring off of Snowmelt|
|Featured in A Wet State #68 and in A Wet State's contribution to World Kayak's Video Guide|
Japan 2012 Day 8 Evening and Day 9 Morning:
There is not a whole lot to say about this run. Not because it isn’t beautiful and fun… but because without eddies it takes less than 2 minutes to run. It consists of 3 main drops with a few small in between slides. The first drop is maybe 4-5 feet, same with the second. The third is somewhere near 12 to 15 feet. Despite being a 2 minute run, if you stop to take pictures and scout the falls, it could easily take closer to an hour. Regardless, the run is worth doing though. Even though the road is never far, the canyon feels committed and the forest thick. Furthermore, the water quality is top quality. Crystal clear water with a slight blue hue shimmers when the light reflects off of it leaving our group giggling about its beauty.
Another positive aspect of this run, you don’t need a shuttle car. If you take out immediately below the largest falls, you can walk back to put-in on the road. Because of this, we ran a few laps in the evening when we arrived and another in the morning before we moved on again. Apparently, with more water you can continue down the river further. We drove down the river when we went to a hot-springs (one of our favorites) that night and found the river to be fairly mellow and in need of more water to make it worthwhile. Still, this is a stunning canyon and worth the trip. And I highly recommend the hot-springs there as well as they were among the most well-kept and peaceful we enjoyed!
The last point… there is some great camping in the park at the put-in, with warm toilets and everything. Just an FYI.
That afternoon, we drove on to find another river to boat, checking out "The White Sands" which was too low followed by a trip up and over the highest point on Honshu Island to get back to the Zakogawa via the back roads...
Also, check out Darin McQuoid's photos on his website, www.darinmcquoid.com
Last: Day 7 (Kiyotsugawa - Canyon)
Next: Day 9 Afternoon (Nakatsugawa - Below the Red Bridge)
- First (IV-). The first drop had two lines, a sliding down down the far left or a boof on the far right.
Second (III+). A few in between drops of class II-III nature lead to a slide that then goes into a rock fence, either go right or middle. One in our group got surfed here.
Third (III). A simple ledge. Go far right or far left.
Final Falls (IV). As straight forward as 12-15 footers can get. Of course, it isn’t vertical. It is actually just a very steep slide. At low flows the left was the only line. As flows go up you can go down the right channel and boof the drop.
Directions: Use the GPS locations to get yourself to put-in and take-out… I wasn’t driving most days and do not know enough of the directions to be useful.
Put-in: At the base of the dam there is a parking lot. We walked down to the end of the park (downriver) and scrambled down the hillside next to a culvert. This was much easier than using the path and rope to down climb the horribly slippery slope just out of the parking lot.
Take-out: Just below the Final Falls, there is a trail climbing up steeply the 100 feet to the road. We hiked the shuttle for our laps… it only takes 5 minutes. And we blitzed the run in 2.5 minutes.
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