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Trinity River California - River Trips for Kayaking & Canoeing Trinity River
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site home  :: self guided home  :: U.S. river guide  :: California River Trips  :: Trinity River California

Kayaking & Canoeing Trinity River California

Pigeon Point
 photos of Pigeon Point
Put-in:  Pigeon Point Campground
Take-out:  Big Flat Campground
Difficulty:  Class III+
Length:  5.2 miles
Burnt Ranch Gorge
 videos of Burnt Ranch Gorge
Put-in:  China Slide
Take-out:  Hawkins Bar
Difficulty:  Class V
Length:  8.5 miles
East Fork Trinity River
Put-in:  Mumbo Creek
Take-out:  Whipple Ranch
Difficulty:  Class IV, V
Length:  8.2 miles
Tributary - Coffee Creek
Put-in:  N.F. Coffee Creek Union
Take-out:  Anywhere along the road
Difficulty:  Class IV
Length:  6 miles
Tributary - Canyon Creek
Put-in:  Bridge 8.5 miles upriver from Junction
Take-out:  Junction City
Difficulty:  Class III -IV @ 400-1,000 cfs, III-IV+ @1,000-2,000 cfs
Length:  8.5 miles
North Fork Trinity River
Put-in:  Hobo Gulch
Take-out:  Bridge on Hobo Gulch Road
Difficulty:  Class IV, V
Length:  14 miles
Tributary - New River - Upper Run
Put-in:  East Fork Confluence
Take-out:  Denny
Difficulty:  Class III to IV @ 300 - 800 cfs, IV to V- @ 800 - 2,000 cfs
Length:  4.5 miles
Tributary - New River - Denny Run
Put-in:  Denny
Take-out:  Panther Creek
Difficulty:  Class III, IV
Length:  4.1 miles
Tributary - New River - Gorge Run
Put-in:  Panther Creek
Take-out:  Hawkins Bar Bridge
Difficulty:  Class IV, V
Length:  11.2 miles
Tributary - Hayfork Creek - Upper Gorge
Put-in:  Gemmill Gulch Picnic Ground
Take-out:  East Fork Hayfork Creek
Difficulty:  Class III to IV+ @ 500 - 1,000 cfs, IV to V @ 800 - 1,000 cfs
Length:  5.7 miles
Tributary - Hayfork Creek - Lower Gorge
Put-in:  Hyampom Road
Take-out:  Hyapom
Difficulty:  Class IV, V
Length:  15.5 miles
South Fork Trinity River - Klondike Mine Run
Put-in:  Route 36 Bridge
Take-out:  Klondike Mine
Difficulty:  Class IV, V-
Length:  4.5 miles
South Fork Trinity River - Lower Run
Put-in:  Big Slide Campground
Take-out:  Low Water Bridge
Difficulty:  Class III to IV+ @ 700 - 1,200 cfs, IV to V @ 1,200 - 2,000 cfs
Length:  17 miles
Tributary - Willow Creek
Put-in:  Three Creeks
Take-out:  Willow Creek
Difficulty:  Class V+
Length:  5.4 miles


The Trinity River rises 20 miles west of Mount Shasta near the headwaters of the Sacramento, Shasta and Scott Rivers. The Trinity and its forks offer a wide array of paddling experiences for everyone from the novice open canoer, to the expert Class V kayaker. There are good campsites along the river for overnight rafting adventures, as well as many opportunities for challenging day-runs farther down river. Of all the rivers in California’s coastal range, the Trinity has been most altered by mining and damming operations, however, today it is protected by the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and provides a fascinating peak into California’s mining history.

It is called the Trinity because the man who named it, Pierson B. Reading, mistakenly thought it flowed into Trinidad Bay. He discovered gold in the river and by 1851, there were 10,000 miners digging in this region. Later, mining operations including hydraulic blasting and dredging, and finally the river was dammed in several places in the 50s and 60s, and it continues to be used for energy and irrigation to this day.

The Pigeon Point section of the Trinity River the perfect whitewater adventure for families and beginning boaters. This run features gorgeous side creeks, big sandy beaches and some exciting Class III rapids, with opportunities for both salmon and steelhead fishing. Paddlers can expect to see an array of wildlife including eagles, deer, hawks, osprey, herons, and kingfishers, along with otter, mink and even bears.

Many claim the Trinity River is best downstream as it leaves behind most of the remnants of the mining era and flows through a lush, steep-walled canyon. The Burnt Ranch Gorge is considered one of the best expert (Class V) runs in the country and gushes through a huge granite intrusion that is accessible only by boat.

The South Fork of the Trinity at Big Slide is an exotic stretch of the river known for its remote local that promises a true wilderness experience through a wild, rugged canyon.

Finally, the Lower Trinity offers lush mountain scenery similar to that of the Lower Klamath with some sections of wilderness. It also passes by the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation, (93,000 acres!) which is the largest in the State of California. This is a great stretch for canoers and kayakers who are looking for a mellow river experience. This run is known to have strong upstream winds, making it a more challenging option for rafters.

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Trinity River California - River Trips for Kayaking & Canoeing Trinity River
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