Southern California Creeking

El Niño Madness,
La Niña Blues

A Chronicle of Southern California
Kayaking Adventures

© 1996-2022 by Gary Valle' and Gary Gunder


Southern California Kayaking Journal

(Unless otherwise noted, this is a log of runs done by Gary Valle' and Gary Gunder.)

1994-2005 Alphabetical List of all the Creeks.

Another moderate El Nino, but some epic storms. Rainfall totals for the period October 16-20 ranged from about 3.0 to 4.0 inches in the lowlands to over 10.0 inches in the mountains. OPIDS Camp near Mt. Wilson recorded more than 17.0 inches for the period. Sespe Creek near Fillmore peaked near 20,000 cfs. From Jan 7 to Jan 11 Southern California was hammered by a series of storms. OPIDS Camp recorded 31.61 inches of rain. Sespe peaked somewhere over 70,000 cfs. See January 2005 Southern California Storms for more info.

Did Upper EF San Gabriel River, Agua Blanca Creek (Piru Creek), Upper Matilija Creek, Middle Piru Creek, Santa Cruz Creek, Upper NF Matilija Creek.

2003-2004 ENSO neutral Winter. Wet period in late February resulted in a brief window of increased flows.

A moderate El Nino develops. Los Angeles rainfall returns to normal, with some strong storms. Did the West Fork San Gabriel River from near Angeles Crest Highway to the Highway 39 Bridge. The following weekend Gary Gunder did the E.F. San Gabriel from its confluence with the Iron Fork to East Fork Station.


The 4th consecutive dry season and the driest water year in Los Angeles since record keeping began in 1877. Only 4.42 inches of rain was recorded from July 1, 2001 to June 30, 2002.


La Niña continued for 3rd season. No significant rain in Los Angeles from October 30, 2000 to January 7, 2001. Very wet February into March. Many creeks and rivers were up as a result of storms February 12-13 and March 5.

Did Manzana Creek from Manzana Camp to NIRA Campground.

1999-2000 La Niña continues.

A strong La Niña. This NWS rainfall comparison vividly illustrates the reduction in rainfall compared to the previous year.

No creeking. During one period it appeared there may have been enough precipitation for the Sisquoc River and some other Santa Barabara - Santa Maria area streams to be runnable.


One of the strongest El Niño's on record with over 250% of normal rainfall.

Did Sespe Creek, Upper N.F. Matilija Creek, Santa Paula Creek, Arroyo Seco, Sisquoc River, Piru Creek.


A transitional year with below average rainfall in Los Angeles.

Did Bear Creek (San Gabriel River), Santa Paula Creek, N.F. Matilija Creek, Mill Creek (Big Tujunga), Manzana Creek, Santa Ana River, Yucca Creek

1995-96 Creeks

A modest La Niña with about 80% of the normal rainfall for Los Angeles.

Did no creeks in Southern California except Brush Creek on the Kern. Gary Gunder did the first descent of Dry Meadow Creek with Brandon Prince.


An El Niño year with heavy rainfall in February and March.

Did Big Tujunga Creek, Malibu Creek, East and West Forks San Gabriel River, Piru Creek, Big Rock Creek, Deep Creek, and Little Rock Creek.

1994-2005 Alphabetical List of all the Creeks.

SierraPhotography Menubar Main Page Order SierraPhotography Prints Request More Information Search All Web Sites Topic Index Southern California Creeking - El Niņo Madness, La Niņa Blues Nature Notes, Queries and Commentary Southern California Weathernotes Tahquitz Rock Climbing Notes More Outdoor Stories, Adventures and Notes Off the Wall Gallery - Adventure Sports Photography Split Rock Gallery - Black and White Images Teneiya Gallery - Images of the Sierra and the West

Copyright © 1996-2022 Gary Valle'. All Rights Reserved.

Purchase a Print