The North Fork of the Kaweah is an absolute gem of California paddling. This was my first trip down, and I love, love, loved it. 6.5 miles of classic class IV-V whitewater. We took our time, only Geno had done the run before, so we looked at a lot of rapids. There are a lot of rapids. We did a fair bit of read and run too.

Bill Pooley has rapid by rapid description of the run on his site,
but take my word for it, it’s just awesome. Absolutely a favorite of mine.

I like Bill’s description of Cherry falls.

“RM 7.5 CHERRY FALLS (Class 5+)

PORTAGE on the left. Identify the approaching falls by steep cliffs coming down to the river on the right. Do not boat beyond the take out eddy. Miss the eddy and you’ll have to run the 25 foot falls (NOT RECOMMENDED). The portage is on very slippery granite. Be careful. The falls is being run more often now but it remains a serious drop. The river wide hydraulic 20 feet from the lip makes choosing a clean line off the lip very difficult. “

3 of our group ran it. Geno had a good line, but got pushed against the wall at the bottom. Travis got worked in the hole above the drop, then ended up going over the falls upside down. Scared the crap out of me, and I was watching. My line was good, but it’s still violent landing. My skirt imploded, and I struggled to roll, but managed to….

I just read that my friend Scott Maguire did the second descent of this drop, back in 1997. Cool to learn.

Many miles of awesome paddling. If you’ve got the paddling skills, and a good crew, highly recommend this run….

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