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California whitewater, Eel River

Humboldt county, South Fork Eel to Rio Dell section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS II     22.1 miles
  If you're coming from Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna it's not a long drive at all to the put-in location, if you're not familiar with the area there's a road map further down the page. The South Fork Eel to Rio Dell stretch of Eel River in Humboldt County is 22.1 miles long and it is classified as a class II section by American Whitewater. No matter if you're whitewater rafting or kayaking in this general area you won't find many other paddling rivers.
    You can pitch a tent or park your RV at a nearby campground. The South Fork Eel to Rio Dell stretch is one of a few paddling stretches in this river system. Getting a good workout and just being out on the river for a while
are great reasons to come. The average whitewater rafting or kayaking river tends to be a bit harder to master in this state than those in other states, so don't forget that quite a few of the sections here are not easy. The nature scenery of Humboldt County and the cool fresh water will make you feel great. Not too many hotels nearby, you'll have to drive a bit to get to one, but you'd better reserve in advance because these hotels fill  
up quick. If you have the time you can make this a two day trip, so pack your sleeping bag. The wild scenery of the Coast Ranges is great.

Briefly about the general area:
You'll meet a lot of folks from Scotia here, and there's delightful hiking along the Lightning Trail. But wait, there's more cool things to do in the Coast Ranges. Humboldt Redwoods State Park is a magnificent spot to go if you're at Eel River, and don't leave without stopping by Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park. If you come to this river you will have a good time for sure. Eel River gets a common amount of annual precipitation.

Eel River, South Fork Eel to Rio Dell 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:
Eel River, Humboldt County, 7 miles away
      Class II - 22.1 miles long (South Fork Eel to Rio Dell)
Van Duzen River, Humboldt County, 8 miles away
      Class II-III - 5.2 miles long (Grizzly Creek to Highway 36 bridge)
Mattole River, Humboldt County, 16 miles away
      Class II-III - 27.2 miles long (Shelter Cove Road to Honeydew)
Mad River, Humboldt County, 17 miles away
      Class III-V - 10 miles long (Jackshaw Road to Butler Valley-Maple Creek Road)
Redwood Creek, Humboldt County, 29 miles away
      Class II - 5.4 miles long (Highway 299 to Bair Road)
 Hotels Near Eel River:
Best Western Country Inn, Fortuna , 13 miles away
The Redwood Fortuna Riverwalk Hotel, Fortuna , 13 miles away
Super 8 Fortuna, Fortuna , 13 miles away
Comfort Inn & Suites Redwood Country, Fortuna , 13 miles away
The Gingerbread Mansion Inn, Ferndale , 19 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Eel River:
Stafford RV Park, Scotia, 3 miles away
Albee Creek Campground, Humboldt County, 4 miles away
Humboldt Redwoods State Park - Albee Creek, Scotia, 4 miles away
 Trails Near Eel River:
Lightning Trail, Humboldt , 15 miles away,  2.2 hiking miles, 1399 feet elevation difference
King Crest Trail, Humboldt , 16 miles away, 7.4 hiking miles, 1099 feet elevation difference
 Public Lands Near Eel River:
Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California , 5 miles away
Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, California , 8 miles away
Benbow Lake State Park, California , 24 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Eel River:
Redwood Empire Golf & Country, Fortuna , 10 miles away

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