Kaweah River Log-Ash Mtn. Section
KAWEAH RIVER LOG, Confluence with Marble Fork to Park Boundary
by Bill Pooley
Elevation at the Put-in: 2040 ft.
Elevation at the Park Boundary Take-Out: 1345 ft.
Elevation Loss: 695ft
Length of run (miles): 4.4 miles to the East Fork confluence, 3.9 miles to the Park Boundary
Length of run (hours): Allow 7 hours for first time descents. There is a lot of scouting.
Average Gradient: 178 ft/mile
Gauge: located under the SCE access bridge to Kaweah Plant #3. Runnable when the
Dinely gauge is Minus 0.3ft to Plus 1.0ft. Higher water runs will be extreme kayaking. When the Regular Kaweah
runs are getting low, this run will still have plenty of water.
Legal Mumbo Jumbo: Yes, it IS legal to paddle in the National Park as previously mentioned in the
description of the Hospital Rock Section.
Special Hazards: YES, Undercut Boulders!
Overall rating: Low water: Class 5, Medium water: Class 5+/6, High water; Not Recommended This is a
difficult and dangerous section of river, just as is the Hospital Rock Section above it.
Detailed map of the run
This run is longer than the one above, slightly less difficult and contains two very high gradient sections as
well as a very long and difficult possible portage around the difficult waterfall and gorge below the Park
Headquarters at Ash Mountain. Between the major major drops there is a surprising amount of the river that can be
run by boat scouting or easy scouting from the bank. Everything is easily portable with the exception of the Gorge.
High above on the right the road is never far away but the bank is steep and there is mega poison oak. This section
is also sometimes refered to as The Hospital Rock Section by those who don't descriminate between the two sections.
Very seldom is this run attempted in combination with the real Hospital Rock Section due to the high overhead and
long day that results.
is 100yards down an easy trail that takes off from the RV dump station opposite Potwisha Campground
RM 4.2 Confluence with the Marble Fork
Numerous Class 5 drops in the next 0.3 miles.
Scouting is possible on the way to the put-in from a trail off a highway turnout.
The Giant Sluice, is one of the bigger drops in this section.
RM 3.0 Gradient picks upAnother big drop is located in this section
RM 2.2 Gradient picks up A couple more big drops are located in this section,
A Boulder Squeeze and
A High Speed Slide into a surging whirlpool on the right wall
The river drops at 240 ft/mile for the next 0.6 miles as it winds around the Ash
Mountain Park Headquarters. There are Numerous Class 5 Drops
in this section. There is a trail to the river from the Park Headquarters. If the last quarter mile seemed a
bit much, then the trail might be the best option. This is also a possible take out point, avoiding the portage
RM 1.1 POSSIBLE PORTAGE, Class 5+ Entrance Rapid into a
Shear Gorge followed in 25 yards by a 10 foot waterfall into the heart of the gorge.
The best portage is to take out 300 yards upstream at the trail to Ash Mtn. Park Headquarters, hike to the
road and portage down the highway 300 yards then take the easy swimmers trail back to the river at a turnout
50 yards downstream of the Southern Sequoia Research Center driveway. The Strenuous
Portage up the cliffs just before the gorge is not recommended. Be careful in the section before the gorge.
Boat too far and your only exit may be up the cliffs if you elect not to run the Class 5+ into the gorge. It
is reported that you will go deep in the Falls. The river looses 30 feet in the entrance rapid and the falls in
a 75yard stretch. Most of the drop is in the entrance rapid going into the gorge. Scout the waterfall into
the gorge from the swimmers trail before your run if you are unfamiliar with the gorge. You can see the left
half of the falls easily and the entrance rapid with a bit more work.
More difficult drops continue below the still and deep waters of the gorge.
RM 0.5 Take out above the Diversion Dam or boat the next rapid or two of the Park Boundary run. If
you run the Diversion Dam, do so at a point 40% to 50% of the way across from the left bank. There is rebar
stubs protruding vertically from the concreate in the first ledge closer to the left bank. Further right is an
130 cfs leaves the river at the Diversion Dam
RM 0 Confluence with the East Fork This used to be a takeout/putin but it is now closed. You can
continue down the Middle Fork to a more legal takeout
Look upstream Hospital Rock to Confuence with Marble Fork
Continue downstream Park Boundary to Confluence with the East Fork
Copyright © 1996, 1997, 2000 by Bill Pooley. All rights reserved.
This page is http://www.c2.com/kaweah/log_ashmountain.html
Last modified: 07.02.00 following a run of this section 6-25-00 at 300cfs (4.60ft on the SCE Middle Fork Gauge)