Whitewater Rafting on Goodwin Canyon
Goodwin Canyon, also known as the Lower Stanislaus, is a Class IV- V (Intermediate-Advanced) river, depending on water flow. This river is located in the lower central valley about 60 minutes from Yosemite National Park.
The Lower Stanislaus flows through a narrow
volcanic gorge in the Sierra foothills. Goodwin Canyon was opened for commercial
whitewater rafting as mitigation for the loss of the late Camp 9 Section
of the Main Stanislaus to the New Melones Reservoir. This 4 mile whitewater
rafting run has a moderate gradient dropping at an average 30 feet per mile,
however the major rapids are long and steep.
Since the damming of the main Stanislaus, the US Army Corp of Engineers has developed a network of river parks along Goodwin Canyon. These parks enjoy river access, many historical attractions and many recreational opportunities.
- Put-In: Goodwin Dam (1/2 mile downstream)
- Length: 4 miles
- Difficulty: Class III - IV with portages.
- Gradient: 30 feet per mile overall
- Runnable Flows: 600 - 5000 cfs
- Season: Year round but dependent on reservoir releases.
- Take-out: Knights Ferry River Park
Photos courtesy of All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting