East Branch of the North Fork

This is the best Class 3 creek around. Full of fun bedrock and long boulder bars this creek has every thing a Class 3+ boater could ask for. Fun challenging rapids and very little flat water. The tragedy however is the flow, it never goes! You need rain... a lot of rain, for just a few days of good boating. However, spring showers on a good snow pack can bring this creek to life for a few weeks.

To get to the take out, follow the NF Trinity past the historical town of Helena to the first bridge, crossing the North Fork of the Trinity River. After crossing the bridge, turn left and go down to the confluence of the North Fork and the East Branch of the NF. To get to the put in continue up East Branch Road to the next bridge. If there is enough water Class 3 boaters may want to start at a campground about a mile past the bridge. This includes a few good +3 drops including the two shown below.

Above the campground is a great Class 4 run. Just drive to the end of the road. You can also access the Upper Upper (+4 I'm told) by taking Hobo Gulch Road. About a mile before the pass leading into to North Fork you'll see a road leading down to the East Branch at China Springs (get your map out).
After the bridge comes the first Class 3 rapid, Pinch Me. The lead in has a few 2'-3' ledges followed by this fast turn. This is followed by a few more easy ledges.

Fun rapids continue through out the entire run.
Things start to pick up as you approach, The Corner. The lead in involves dodging boulders as you go over a fun group of 2'-4' ledge drops in quick succession. There is a nice chill spot in the eddy at the bottom of the rapid pictured below.
With good flows a surprisingly large diagonal forms.
After the bend, fun rapids continue for another bend or two before things mellow out for a bit.

One of the last rapids on the run is Annie's Slide. This is probably the most difficult rapid on the run at all flows. After a long section of fun drops, you have to paddle hard right to avoid a pin rock near the bottom. I was standing over the pin when I took this photo. You can see some of it on the bottom left.

You can see this nasty rock formation on the bottom left of the rapid.
At good flows there are some sweet boofs,
and some big holes.

1 comment:

Pomona Noltes said...

This is a great site. I'm from Weaverville. Makes me so home sick to look at these photos. Thank you.