The Hell Hole Dam to Ellicotts Bridge stretch of the North Fork of the American River in California is a popular whitewater run for experienced kayakers and rafters. This segment covers 18 miles and is rated as class IV-V, with some of the most challenging rapids being the Staircase and the infamous Chamberlain Falls.
The ideal streamflow range for this run is between 800-1,500 cubic feet per second (cfs), although it can be run at higher flows with caution. It is not recommended to run this section at flows below 600 cfs, as it can become too rocky and difficult to navigate.
The area is regulated by the Bureau of Land Management and there are specific regulations in place to protect the environment and ensure public safety. These regulations include a permit requirement for commercial outfitters, a ban on alcohol and drugs, and limitations on group size.
Overall, the Hell Hole Dam to Ellicotts Bridge run is a thrilling and challenging whitewater experience that should only be attempted by experienced paddlers with the appropriate equipment and safety gear. It is important to check the current streamflow, weather conditions, and local regulations before embarking on this adventure.
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