North Fork Stanislaus River

Area Status: Closed

The North Fork Stanislaus River provides outstanding opportunities for experienced whitewater enthusiasts. Boaters may paddle a five-mile, Class IV stretch of the river between Sourgrass, near Dorrington, and Calaveras Big Trees State Park, just east of Arnold. The run offers an exciting adventure through a spectacularly beautiful, heavily timbered, isolated canyon, with abundant wildlife and numerous Native American and Gold Rush era artifacts. Rafting trips may be taken with one of three commercial outfitters currently licensed to run this river (highly recommended, due to the demanding and technical nature of the river) or, you may organize a private trip. Whichever way you go, please be sure to "Leave No Trace" of your visit to the North Fork, so that future users will find it as beautiful and pristine as you did.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Calaveras Ranger District (HWY 4)
Rentals & Guides: The Stanislaus National Forest offers whitewater boating on the North Fork Stanislaus River in cooperation with three commercial outfitters. These outfitters operate within a permit system, under which the number of trips and passengers are limited. Outfitter-guided trips are available daily (water flows permitting) from May to October.
Permit Info: The Stanislaus National Forest does not regulate private non-commercial boaters on the North Fork Stanislaus River, and permits are not required. Private boaters are encouraged to stagger their launches with commercial trips, to prevent overcrowding on the river. Private boaters are responsible for ensuring that they have the proper equipment, skills and experience to safely navigate a Class IV river. Please contact the Ranger District for further information, including guidelines for put-in, take-out, and parking.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Boating - Non-Motorized

Whitewater boating put-in on north side of river.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Featured Events


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