New River near Burnt Ranch


Stretch: East Fork or near Denny to Trinity river
Difficulty: Class IV+ with stretches of II-III, 1 portage, then class V
Distance: 4.5 miles to Denny, 4.1 to Panther Creek, 6 to Byoff, 1.5 to Trinity
Flows: kayaks 400 - 1500 cfs, IK minimum 300
Gauge: judge flow near the town of Denny
Gradient: 67 fpm above Denny, 59 fpm to Panther Creek, 36 fpm, then 250 fpm
Put-in: somewhere below East Fork confluence, 1650'
Take-out: above or below Trinity river confluence, 550'
Shuttle: 20 miles (30 minutes) one-way
Maps: USFS Trinity NF, AAA North California
Season: spring, from snowmelt or recent rain
Agency: USFS, private
Notes: Photos © 2008 James Mitchell, Edits CreeksYahoo

Reader input can help CAcreeks improve! Sam Raskin at Hotmail provided this description of the upper section of the New:

On Saturday I ran the New above Denny with some Arcata Paddlers. We had 500 cfs, plenty of water for hardshells after the first couple hundred bony yards. The first mile or so is class III warm up. At about mile 1 is a technical class IV. A boulder divides the flow with clean but narrow 4' drops on either side. Below this rapid is a pool, followed by the portage. On the portage, most of the current flowed into a sieve on river right. Supposedly at higher flows it can be run. It is easy to walk on the right. The next two miles are great pool drop class IV. At about mile 3 is a virtually unportageable rapid that verges on class V. There is a big drop on the left, followed by a hole that stretches across most of the river. After that boulders divide the river into three different drops-- left, middle and center-- that are all clean. A little down from this rapid is “The Hand of God” also virtually unportageable. It is another big drop followed by a right hand turn into a river wide seam. There is a trail down from the road to this rapid, good to scout in advance because the vertical gorge prohibits a simple portage. After The Hand of God the river mellows out and you take out at the Denny dump. Everybody thought it was an excellent and challenging run.

Here are pictures of the upper run. For more photos like this, see Trinity Alps Photo.

New River near Denny CA New River near Denny CA

Class II-II warm up rapids in the first mile
Devils Creek drops in across from put-in  
New River near Denny CA New River near Denny CA
The canyon walls close in Number 1 and Number 2, class IV+
New River near Denny CA

Easier to scout this canyon from the road
New River near Denny CA
  Long class V rapid named Hand of God
New River near Denny CA New River near Denny CA
You can scout the crux by descending a trail The last big rapid follows almost immediately

Holbek describes the section from the East Fork to Denny as being class III-IV from 300-800 cfs with one portage, scratchy at first, with multiple gorges (one overhanging) that might require scouting. The most difficult portion is the middle 2 miles, but Holbek gives no information on the portage.

Holbek describes the section from Denny to Panther Creek (formerly a campground, now private land) as being mostly class II with some class III in a scenic canyon, with a bunch of IIIs at the end that stack up to a class IV rating.

Holbek describes the section from Panther Creek to a private road as being relatively easy. Then comes a serious box canyon in the final 1.5 mile where the New drops steeply (250 fpm) into the Trinity. That section Holbek calls class V with one portage, although rafters who have run it call it class VI in their usual overblown fashion. The video California Whitewater contains footage of rafters negotiating this box canyon. If you undertake this gorge run, you will have to negotiate Gray's Falls on the Trinity at relatively high water.


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