Cache Creek Wilderness Run - Kayak trip

The Float

This is known as the Wilderness Run. It is called this because unlike lower sections of Cache Creek, this section is completely roadless, and is uninhabited. be aware that once you go in, you have to go all the way to the Bear Creek confluence before you see civilization again. For most of us, this is the appeal of the float. You will see gorgeous scenery, maybe spot a few bald eagles, see some bear tracks on sandbars, waterfalls, and some fun rapids. If you are watchful, you can find some good spots to pick blackberries along the way.

The run is Class 2, with the only Class 3 being the Mad-Mike rapid near the Bear Creek confluence. Be on the lookout for strainers and sweepers, and the odd rock formations that can force you into the banks. This is not a terribly hard float, but is definitely not for people who think they can do it in an inner tube. Have either and inflatable or hardshell kayak, and know what you are doing with it. People do have to be rescued from this area occasionally. Of course, it is because they go unprepared. One group of hunters tried to go down in a flat-bottomed aluminum boat and it capsized, losing all their gear, and forcing them to be pulled out. I don't want to scare you away, but be aware it is a wild area. It takes about 6 to 9 hours to float from Highway 20 to the Bear Creek confluence, including stops at the waterfalls, and a stop for lunch.

The total river distance is 19 miles. Optimum flows during summer water releases are 550cfs and above. Yolo Flood provides the realtime reservoir releases below:


How to get there: 

From Yolo county, Woodland and Davis, take Highway 16 through the Capay Valley.  As you drive up the Capay valley, be sure to look to your left and try to pick out Berryessa Peak.  It is the one with the transmitting towers on the top.

Drive up Highway 16 through the Capay valley. At the Bear Creek confluence, be on the lookout for a pullout on the south side of the road, on the side closest to Bear Creek. This is one good place to pull-out. If you have the time and want to make it a longer float, you can pull out at any one of the three county parks you passed on the way up. The upper park site is the best, as it is less used, and your car is not off the side of the highway.

The put-in is on the North Fork of Cache Creek off Highway 20. Take Highway 16 up the Capay valley until you get to the highway 16, Highway 20 intersection. Take Highway 20 until you cross the north fork of Cache Creek.  Make a left at the BLM trailhead sign, and park at the parking area. You put in on the north fork of Cache Creek right next to the parking area.

  floating the north fork   cliffs on the creek
  Wilson Valley   waterfall on Petrified Creek
  waterfall on Petrified Canyon   kayking
  view of the creek   swimming in cache creek at wilson valley
  waterfall on Trout Creek   jumping into creek
  bald eagle along the creek   resting in the creek
  the 'jumping rock'   running the Mad Mike rapid
Map (.pdf file)
.pdf map

GPS track (.gpx format)

What is .gpx?

gpx file