The North Fork of the Stanislaus is a quick and steep run that will turn rafters into expert paddlers in no time. The action begins as soon as you leave the put-in, with the hardest rapid right at the beginning of the run. The rest of the journey is characterized by aggressive twists and turns, big pool drops, and tight chutes. The narrow waterways give this river the feel of a cascading mountain stream. The river’s elevation at 4,000 ft. makes for unique alpine canyon scenery, with towering pines and fir trees, along with Dogwood and wild azalea that dot the riverbanks. Rafters on this trip will also see the largest living tree on earth, the Giant Sequoia Redwoods.
The “Stan” as it is known to boaters, drains the central peaks of Sierra Nevada and flows southwest to its confluence with the San Joaquin River in California’s Central Valley. It is just two and half hours from Sacramento and three and a half hours from San Francisco, making it an easily accessible day or weekend trip for those who live in nearby metropolitan areas.
There are very few commercial rafting companies that have permits to run this river, assuring that rafters will have a true wilderness experience, and often have the river all to themselves. The season to run the North Fork of the Stan is also short, from mid-April through May, making this an even more unique experience. Contact the outfitter above if you are interested in a North Fork Stanislaus rafting trip.