The East Fork Carson River is the perfect run for those new to California rafting. It features the spectacular scenery of High Sierra snow-capped peaks, swift yet manageable rapids, and soothing hot springs about half-way through the 21-mile wilderness section.
The river flows from the Humbolt-Toiyabe National Forest into the high Nevada desert, and the first ten miles of the run, from Markleeville to the Nevada border, were added to the California Wild and Scenic Rivers System in 1988.
The Upper section is a good day ½ day trip, featuring fast moving Class III rapids flowing through a high alpine forest with Highway 89 close by. This section does not have the extra run-off from Markleeville Creek to add to its flow, so the season to run this river is short and unpredictable. Please contact the rafting companies above to find out the best time of year to plan your trip if you want to run this section.
The 21-mile wilderness run is another popular rafting trip that can be done in one day, but could be more enjoyable and relaxing if stretched over two days, with camping near the hot springs at mile 9. After the hot springs, vegetation along the river thins out as the river pours into the high desert of Nevada. The river then begins to meander in horseshoe shaped curves that pass a series of unique rock formations.