Southern California Creeking

El Niño Madness,
La Niña Blues

A Chronicle of Southern California
Kayaking Adventures

© 1996-2021 by Gary Valle' and Gary Gunder


1997-98 Southern California Creeking

Avg. Gradient

Dec 6, 1997

Big storm that focused on the Santa Barbara/Ventura mountains and Orange County Mountains with 7-10” of rain. San Gabriel Mountains only saw about 3-4”. Went up to Switzers to check out Arroyo Seco. Not enough water. Scouted Upper Tujunga. The Upper Narrows was a little high but probably OK. Looked like too much water for the Lower Narrows. Lower Tujunga below the dam was low. Mill Creek looked a little lower than when we did it.

Dec 7, 1997

Sespe Creek, Beaver Camp to Lion Campground

6.2 47

Dec 13, 1997

This is a tributary of Manzana Creek in Santa Barbara County. We carried our boats down to the 600 fpm second mile on the off chance it would be runnable at a low flow. It wasn't...

Jan 10, 1998

Upper N.F. Matilija Creek, Confluence with East Fork to Matilija Creek

2.75 139

Jan 31, 1998

Santa Paula Creek, Confluence of East Fork to St. Thomas Aquinus property

2.0 244

Feb 3, 1998

Arroyo Seco, Switzer Picnic Area to Switzer Camp

1.0 360

Feb 15, 1998

Arroyo Seco, Switzer Falls to confluence with Bear Creek

2.0 285

Feb 19, 1998

Aborted hike to do the Sisquoc River. Hiked last three miles to pass in 4-6” of snow in running shoes. Cold and snow with blizzard threatening at pass. Bad weather was forecast. On Monday’s (Feb 23) a big low pulled in much more warm air than expected. Heavy rain melted ALL the snow and resulted in very high water on the Sisquoc and Cuyama Rivers. Flood debris indicated a slightly lower flow than the most recent historical peak flow. The flood washed out Hwy. 166 (photo NWS) 12 miles east of 101, which resulted in the deaths of two CHP officers


Feb 27 Friday-Mar 1 Sunday

Sisquoc River, Heath Camp to Tepusquet Rd.

47 64

May 6, Wednesday

Arroyo Seco, Bear Creek Trail crossing to JPL

9.5 170

May 9, Saturday

Piru Creek from Gold Hill Road (3846’) to Pyramid Lake (2643’) with Keith Beck.

The gorges on this run are astounding. Best be on your toes negotiating the intricate rapids and (typically) muddy water! For details on this run, see Charles Foster's description of Upper Piru Creek

11.5 + 3 on lake 105

Southern California Creeking
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