Trip 1: June 30th-July 2nd
Trip 2: July 6th-7th
Darcy running Cherry Bomb falls
Upper Cherry Creek was definitely one of the highlights of our summer California trip. We ended up doing 2 trips into UCC, one at somewhat high water and one at somewhat low water, but both were amazing experiences!
After the 10 mile hike in the "warm up slides" are both a welcome and an intimidating sight.
Don Beveridge in the 1st of the 5 "canyons" on Upper Cherry Creek.
This is the "Class IV Canyon," followed by "Cherry Bomb Gorge," then the "Waterfall Canyon," the 4th and 5th canyons I'm not sure of the names... The canyon just a little ways below the confluence with West Cherry we called "Kiwi in a Crack," but I believe some people call it "Red Rock Canyon," and then there is the "Last Canyon" that drops you into the giant log jam at Cherry Lake.
Bill Beveride dropping Cherry Bomb Falls.
Since it was my and Don's 2nd trip down UCC, we decided to just drop into Cherry Bomb Gorge without doing the long hike around to scout. We assured Bill that we remembered everything well enough to give him verbal beta for the canyon. So after a quick scout at the lip of the falls, Bill committed dropping the falls into Cherry Bomb Gorge.
Don running the Perfect 20 Footer.
In my opinion, it's a little higher than 20 feet!
Me (Darcy) on the same dropDon in dropping into the "Waterfall Canyon" Me in the Waterfall CanyonDon on the same drop on our first trip--a little more water! Bill B. Double Pothole
Don below Dead Bear, but still above the confluence with West Cherry
Darcy dropping into the last canyon
Upper Cherry Creek Logistics:
The Take Out: 2 options:
#1 the boat ramp at the far end of Cherry Lake. The paddle across the lake isn't too bad, it only takes 1 hour.
#2 you can park on the northeast end of the lake. Drive across the dam and take a left. Drive 2 or so miles and look for another left turn before the road you are on heads uphill. Follow this "unimproved" road down to its end. Park here. It's about a 20 minute hike from the lake to where you park. If it's your first time there, it's a good idea to hike down to the lake to scout the take out.
Put In: Cross the Cherry Lake dam, hang a left and drive up that road until it dead ends at your trailhead. Hike 10 miles over Styx pass and down to the river. There is really only 1 place you can take a wrong turn and it's signed so you should be alright if you pay attention. It's less than an hour into the hike you will come to a Y--you go left towards Styx Pass.
You need a wilderness permit for this one too, which you can either get at the Groveland Ranger Station or the Sonora Station. It's important to get one because the rangers have become more diligent in checking since this is becoming a more popular run each year. More people means more impact, so be sure you follow good wilderness principles. This year someone dragged their blue kayak in and left plastic over about 3/4 of the trail--not cool. If you can't carry your kayak 10 miles don't go. We also picked up tons of trash on our 2nd run down the river at the 2 campsites we used on the river. I ended up with 2 extra gatorade bottles and 4 powerbar wrappers. Let's try to keep our rivers clean and not give kayakers a bad name! Thanks.