Trinity River below Hoopa


Stretch: Hoopa to Weitchpec
Difficulty: Class II (one III)
Distance: 9 miles, 1 day
Flows: rafts 800 - 8000, kayaks 500 - 8000
Gauge: flow measured just upstream at Hoopa (HPA)
Gradient: 9 fpm average, slow at times
Put-in: mouth of Mill Creek below Hoopa, 280'
Take-out: Klamath confluence at Weitchpec, 200'
Shuttle: 11 miles (15 minutes) one-way
Maps: USFS Lassen NF, AAA North California, Topo
Season: year round, might be too high after rainstorms
Agency: Hoopa Indian, private
Notes: © 1997 Bill Tuthill, CreeksYahoo

This is a good run thru a dramatic canyon with some class II rapids, plus a bigger rapid that you might need to portage. The rapids are not as consistent as on the upstream Salyer run, but scenery makes the trip worthwhile.

Here is the latest Flow Schedule for Lewiston Dam releases.

There are two good USFS campgrounds nearby: Tish Tang between Willow Creek and Hoopa, and Gray's Falls just east of Hawkins Bar. There are nice motels and Indian casinos in the town of Hoopa.

Put in along the gravel bar on either side of Mill Creek. The gorge deepens ahead, creating some tricky hydraulics.
Entrance to Weitchpec Gorge.
Aside from the class III downstream, there is only one rapid that might require scouting, shown below.
Trinity River from Hoopa to Weitchpec CA Trinity River from Hoopa to Weitchpec CA
River right chute might be best The canyon deepens
Power poles along highway 196 are occasionally visible high on the right bank. The left bank is total wilderness.
Bull Creek enters on the right. Class II rapid just below.
Smoker's (or Weitchpec) Falls, class III. Scout or portage right.
This rapid can change during flood years, but in the mid 1990s it was best run by starting on the left and working right of a big hole and boulder fence on the bottom left. The hole is not a keeper, but can easily tip kayaks over. The principal hazard is the boulder fence, which might trap swimmers. There is an easy portage on the right, at river level. Named after a local family.
Trinity River from Hoopa to Weitchpec CA Trinity River from Hoopa to Weitchpec CA
Entering on left Ferrying to the right
Trinity River from Hoopa to Weitchpec CA Trinity River from Hoopa to Weitchpec CA
Buried in the hole Washing clear at bottom
Alternate take-out if you decide the Klamath is too high. This take-out involves a long climb up the right bank to Pearson's Grocery, the Weitchpec general store.
Confluence with the Klamath. Potentially big eddy fence as the water becomes brown and the flow increases dramatically. You need to work across to river right. It might be easiest to cross the eddy fence at the top, or it might be better to continue downstream to where the flows merge.
Gravel bar on right, with trail leading up to parking area.

To reach put-in, follow highway 299 until the town of Willow Creek, and turn north onto highway 96. Past the town of Hoopa, there is a rusty old sawmill near Mill Creek, just before the highway starts climbing out the the valley.

To reach take-out, continue on highway 96 to the town of Weitchpec. Turn left onto highway 169. Shortly after crossing the Klamath river, turn left and drive down a dirt road towards the river. You'll need to carry boats uphill from the Klamath to the parking area.

While you're in the area, consider combining this run with other ones on the Trinity. If you're short on time, try the run from Riverdale Park to Tish Tang campground, which is mostly class I-II with one good class II+ rapid. If you haven't done it already, try the run near Salyer, which offers more rapids. If you found this run too easy, go upstream and try the run from White's Bar to Cedar Flat, which offers several good class III- rapids.


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