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California whitewater, Eel River

Mendocino county, Van Arsdale Dam to Dos Rios section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS II-III     35 miles
  This section of Eel River in Mendocino County is 35 miles long and has been rated as a class II-III section by American Whitewater. The put-in location is a reasonable drive from Ukiah, as you can see on the road map further down. Getting some good exercise and a chance to spend some time outdoors have people coming from far and near. Now this is a pretty long section, so it looks like you will be camping out. There arenít any hotels right nearby
    but if you're willing to drive a short distance then no problem but do book a room before you come because it is a very popular destination. The beautiful scenery of Mendocino County and the beautiful way the water current
moves down the stream are in themselves reasons enough to come here to paddle. The beautiful Coast Ranges scenery is an added bonus. The rivers for whitewater rafting and kayaking in this state are often tougher than in other states, so if you're visiting here do keep in mind that a lot of the rivers here are not suitable for beginners. Some people prefer whitewater rafting and some kayaking, either way there are lots of good rivers for  
that around here. There are plenty of other sections in this river system that can be paddled as well. And of course, there are campgrounds nearby.

Briefly about the general area:
Near Eel River you discover Old Woman Canyon which is a wonderful place to go to; don't leave Eel River without first paying a visit to Buckhorn Spring. Having a delightful time in the Coast Ranges is trouble-free. If you're visiting Eel River from Willits, you won't be the only one. Eel River is a reasonably wet place frequently with a great deal of rain. The wettest month of the year is usually January, that's the one that rains the most while July is generally the driest month.

Eel River, Van Arsdale Dam to Dos Rios 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 Eel River.
 Whitewater Near Eel River:
Tomki Creek, Mendocino County, 5 miles away
      Class III - 9.3 miles long (Hearst Road to Eel River)
Outlet Creek, Mendocino County, 9 miles away
      Class II-III - 12.2 miles long (Highway 101 bridge to Highway 162)
Eel River, Mendocino County, 12 miles away
      Class II-III - 35 miles long (Van Arsdale Dam to Dos Rios)
Eel River, Mendocino/ Trinity/ Humboldt County, 12 miles away
      Class II-IV - 47 miles long (Dos Rios to Alderpoint)
Russian River, Mendocino County, 17 miles away
      Class II - 8.8 miles long (Calpella to Ukiah)
Eel River - Middle Fork, Mendocino County, 18 miles away
      Class II-V - 32 miles long (Black Butte River to Dos Rios)
Russian River - East Fork, Mendocino County, 18 miles away
      Class II+(III) - 2.6 miles long (Falls to Lake Mendocino)
Eel River, Lake County, 20 miles away
      Class III-IV - 5.7 miles long (Lake Pillsbury to Bucknell Creek)
Noyo River, Mendocino County, 23 miles away
      Class II-III - 20 miles long (Northspur to Fort Bragg)
Tenmile Creek, Mendocino County, 24 miles away
      Class III-IV - 6 miles long (Gauge on Highway 101 to South Fork Eel)
 Marinas Near Eel River:
Lake Mendocino Marina, Ukiah , 17 miles away
 Hotels Near Eel River:
Super 8 Willits, Willits , 11 miles away
Lark Motel, Willits , 11 miles away
Baechtel Creek Inn, An Ascend Hotel Collection Member, Willits , 12 miles away
Best Western Willits Inn, Willits , 12 miles away
Travelodge Ukiah, Ukiah , 20 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Eel River:
Creekside Cabins and RV Resort, Willits, 10 miles away
Quail Meadows RV Campground, Willits, 12 miles away
Golden Rule RV Park, Willits, 13 miles away
 Public Lands Near Eel River:
Montgomery Woods State Park, California , 20 miles away
Mendocino National Forest, California , 28 miles away
Hendy Woods State Park, California , 30 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Eel River:
Brooktrails Golf Course, Willits , 12 miles away
 Lakes Near Eel River
Lake Mendocino, Mendocino , 19 miles away

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