The Goodwin Canyon section is a class 4 section of river located upstream of Knights Ferry and the Lower Stan is a class 2 section downstream of Knights Ferry. The rapids of the Stanislaus are classic as well, from the steep and challenging class 4 rapids in Goodwin Canyon. to the fun and gentle riffles of the Lower Stanislaus. The Stanislaus River has a long history with California whitewater enthusiasts and it is only a 2 hour drive from most points in the San Francisco Bay Area. Come check it out!
Goodwin - Stanislaus Canyon - Class 4 trip. The closest class 4 rafting to the San Francisco Bay Area! You'll be amazed that such a classic river is located so close to home. Goodwin Canyon has some of the most thrilling class 4+ rapids that are regularly rafted in California. The scenery is outstanding as well. This rugged volcanic gorge is just off the beaten path but it feels like you're in a different world. The trip starts off with a short warm-up through several rapids including "Surf City". We'll hone our paddling skills quickly since "Mr Toad's " is right around the bend.
This 18' drop is one of the biggest on the river. It is an intimidating rapid but luckily there is a nice long pool below to catch our breaths. The next rapid is "Jungle Run" which is follwed by an unrunnable cataract called "Matterhorn". We'll walk around this one and hopefully watch some expert kayakers attempt it while we're there. We'll then drift through a beautiful section of river which has towering basalt walls, fig trees and deep clear pools teaming with trout. After this scenic float it is time to wake up because the action is about to start again.
We'll head into a few warm up rapids before taking on the three "Pinball Rapids". Upper Pinball is a technical rapid with a few crux moves required to get through. Middle Pinball has a tight squeeze. Lower Pinball has a surpising hole at the bottom that tries to grab the raft and bring it back for more! You'll then see a horizon line with mist arising from below. This is the famous "Haunted House" rapid. A big class 4 drop is followed by a few obstacles that the guides like to call "penalty points". A clean run through "haunted house" seems like nothing the opposite of a clean run will be a little more exciting. Don't worry though, our photographer will be there to capture the moments for you!
The end of the run has lots of fun rapids to surf and pools to swim in. "Small World" and "Last Rapid" have very unique features and are a good way to end our journey through this incredible whitewater resource. You'll see why this river is a favorite run for many local guides who run it year round when the water is available.
Lower Stanislaus Raft Rentals - Class 2 trip. This trip is perfect for groups of 12 or more persons. The trip is self-guided and floats the class 2 section of the Stanislaus River from Knights Ferry to Orange Blossom park. The trip takes about 5 hours. Please feel free to bring your own lunch and refreshments in unbreakable and waterproof containers. A free shuttle back to your car is provided for all participants. Saturdays are the busiest days of the week. If possible, consider rafting the Stanislaus midweek (Monday to Friday) for a less crowded river experience.
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