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East Fork Carson River - Cave Rock to Diversion Dam

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East Fork Carson River
Class II to III
River Length
27 miles
2-3 Days
May to June


The East Fork of the Carson River is considered one of the best beginner-intermediate whitewater runs in the state of California. The East Fork drains the drier eastern side of the majestic Sierra Range, making for a shorter boating season through unique, high desert scenery not typical of most California rivers.

Two distinct sections exist on the East Fork, though they are typically run together as a multi-day trip. At the start of the run the river plummets through continuous intermediate Class III waters through high alpine forest and then spills into the high desert plateau Wilderness Stretch and eases to beginner level Class I-II+.

The scenery of the East Fork is unsurpassed with clutches of snowcapped peaks rising abruptly from the river valley and bubbling hot springs along the way, an understandably popular diversion. The East Fork only runs in mid-spring, offering a fleeting opportunity to experience this great rafting river; 2-3 day trips are standard.

Class II to III
River Length
27 miles
2-3 Days
May to June
Nearest Town
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El Dorado County El Dorado County El Dorado County
This is gold country — where the Gold Rush was born! Whether planning a vacation or just a day trip, El Dorado County welcomes you to enjoy the very best of California's gold country. Visit the many historic mining towns, pioneer cemeteries, historic country inns, and museums.
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