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California whitewater, Black Butte River

Glenn Mendocino county, Headwaters at Basin to Middle Fork Eel section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS IV+     24 miles
  If you're coming from Clearlake it's not a long drive at all to the starting location, please print out a copy of the road map further down the page so you wonít get lost. The natural beauty of Glenn / Mendocino County and the cool fresh water have people coming here. The average California whitewater rafting or kayaking river tends to be harder to run than those in other states, so if you're visiting here do keep in mind that rivers
    here are not as easy as elsewhere. The Headwaters at Basin to Middle Fork Eel stretch is one of a few paddling stretches in this river system. There's camping available near Black Butte River. When you're paddling down a
Klamath Mountains river like this one you always get great scenery along the way too. This stretch of Black Butte River in Glenn / Mendocino County is 24 miles long and has been rated as a class IV+ section by American Whitewater. The nearby hotels are a bit away from the river, but if you donít have reservations you might end up sleeping in your car. Whether you're whitewater rafting or kayaking in this general area you'll find lots of paddling spots.  
You can enjoy this stretch more if you take your time, so why not pack your camp stove too. Getting your paddling muscles activated and a chance to spend some time outdoors will have you coming back for more.

Briefly about the general area:
Mendocino National Forest is a great location to visit on a lovely day, and a short tour to Chief Spring is always worthwhile. You'll beyond doubt wish for more hours in a day to enjoy all the amusing things in the Klamath Mountains. Hiking along the Smoke Howe Trail is good fun, and Black Butte River is right by the Buttermilk Trail.

Black Butte River, Headwaters at Basin to Middle Fork Eel road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.


Detailed Map

Stats for this river stretch

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near Black Butte River.
 Whitewater Near Black Butte River:
Black Butte River, Glenn / Mendocino County, 10 miles away
      Class IV+ - 24 miles long (Headwaters at Basin to Middle Fork Eel)
Eel River - Middle Fork, Mendocino County, 10 miles away
      Class II-V - 32 miles long (Black Butte River to Dos Rios)
Eel River, Lake County, 13 miles away
      Class IV-V - 18 miles long (Horse Creek to Lake Pillsbury)
Thomes Creek, Tehama County, 13 miles away
      Class IV-V+ - 22 miles long (Above Paskenta)
Eel River, Lake County, 16 miles away
      Class III-IV - 5.7 miles long (Lake Pillsbury to Bucknell Creek)
Grindstone Creek, Glenn County, 18 miles away
      Class III-IV - 12 miles long (Grindstone Road to Road 306)
Eel River, Mendocino County, 20 miles away
      Class II-III - 35 miles long (Van Arsdale Dam to Dos Rios)
Tomki Creek, Mendocino County, 23 miles away
      Class III - 9.3 miles long (Hearst Road to Eel River)
Eel River - North Fork, Trinity/ Mendocino County, 26 miles away
      Class III - 8 miles long (Hulls Creek to Mina Road)
Eel River, Mendocino/ Trinity/ Humboldt County, 26 miles away
      Class II-IV - 47 miles long (Dos Rios to Alderpoint)
 Hotels Near Black Butte River:
Tallman Hotel, Upper Lake , 29 miles away
Super 8 Upper Lake, Upper Lake , 29 miles away
Super 8 Willits, Willits , 31 miles away
Lark Motel, Willits , 31 miles away
Best Western Willits Inn, Willits , 31 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Black Butte River:
Grizzly Flat Dispersed, Covelo, 2 miles away
Atchison Campground, Glenn County, 4 miles away
Simpson Camp, Covelo, 6 miles away
 Trails Near Black Butte River:
Buttermilk Trail, Tehama , 9 miles away, 1.2 hiking miles, 1097 feet elevation difference
Smoke Howe Trail, Trinity , 14 miles away,  7.8 hiking miles, 1983 feet elevation difference
French Trail, Mendocino , 16 miles away,  6 hiking miles, 1080 feet elevation difference
Soldier Trail, Trinity , 17 miles away,  10 hiking miles, 1853 feet elevation difference
Ides Cove National Recreation Trail, Tehama , 18 miles away, 12 hiking miles, 1863 feet elevation difference
Wrights Ridge Trail, Trinity , 19 miles away,  17.8 hiking miles, 2820 feet elevation difference
Wrights Valley Trail, Trinity , 19 miles away,  9.4 hiking miles, 1472 feet elevation difference
 Public Lands Near Black Butte River:
Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Whiskeytown - CA , 59 miles away
Mendocino National Forest, California , 9 miles away
Montgomery Woods State Park, California , 38 miles away
Clear Lake State Park, California , 39 miles away
 Lakes Near Black Butte River
Hammerhorn Lake, Mendocino , 13 miles away
Lake Pillsbury, Lake , 16 miles away

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Some content, including Reach Name, Class, Coordinates, and Length, comes from American Whitewater with permission.