Whitewater Kayaking

kayak-john-lillis

© photo by John Lillis

Although the whitewater season around Nevada City is brief, usually ending by late spring or early summer, the high mountain scenery makes that short window extremely sweet. The runs described here, all within an hour of town, are somewhat to very advanced.

Yuba Gap, Upper South Fork Yuba River – A wild, gripping, full-day run that begins with a 15’ boof onto a pillow, followed by 7 miles of gorges, big drops, steep boulder gardens, 10’-30’ slides, slots, and several portages (two mandatory). Consistent Class V for 5 miles. Flows around 300 are ideal (600 is too high, 200 is too low). The take-out is the Golden Quartz picnic area on Maybert Road, 2.7 miles east of the town of Washington. The put-in is Langs Crossing on Bowman Lake Road, where a marginal trail drops down to the river. As you drive east from Nevada City, Washington Road (to Washington) and Bowman Lake Road are both well-marked left-hand turns off Highway 20.

Washington to Edwards Crossing, South Fork Yuba – This scenic, 14-mile stretch is easy by South Yuba standards, but several tricky Class IV sections add danger – especially as it gets harder with flows above 1,000 cfs. The run starts with Class II-III rapids and powerful ledge drops. Just before mile 11, portage left around a 20-foot waterfall to a Class IV-V rapid with a consequential, re-circulating eddy. To reach take-out, follow 49 North in Nevada City where it splits from Highway 20, go .3 mile to a right turn onto N. Bloomfield road, and then right again after .6 mile at a T intersection. Drive downhill to Edwards Crossing. Reach the put-in by returning to Nevada City, turning east (toward Truckee) on Highway 20, and going 13 miles to a left at the sign for Washington, a quirky little town right on the river. The put-in is at a campground, with a parking fee, just before the historic district.

North Fork Yuba River – The popular Goodyear’s Bar run drops 8.5 miles through a forested canyon, beginning with 5 miles of Class II and III. The first Class IV rapid, Ramshorn, has two distinct channels to scout, and the next Class IV, Two Pair, also deserves careful scouting. Below those are Maytag and Son of Maytag, Class V- and IV, respectively. Good flows for kayaks are 700-2500 cfs. The Highway 49 Bridge take-out is about 29 miles north of Nevada City on Highway 49, passing the South Fork and Middle Fork Yuba along the way. The put-in is another 9 miles up the river, at a sign for Goodyear’s Bar and a road on the right.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival Jan 10-13, 2013


SYRCL’s 11th Annual Wild & Scenic® Film Festival
Festival Dates: Thursday, January 10 through Sunday, January 13, 2013

2013 theme -“A Climate of Change”. The Festival will be featuring films, art and workshops on climate change, as well as highlighting the change makers who are helping rethink how we inhabit our planet.

Festival Locations: Downtown Nevada City, CA: Headquarters TBA. Film Screenings at the Miners Foundry, Nevada Theatre, (Haven) Nevada City Elementary and Veteran’s Building. In Grass Valley: Del Oro Theater and The Center for the Arts.

Tickets: Online at  www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org beginning Dec. 1st. In person at SYRCL office, 216 Main St., beginning Dec. 1; Monday-Thursday, from 12-5pm until January 10th.

Short Synopsis: Change makers are rethinking how we inhabit our planet, and so can you, at the 11th annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival. Now the largest film festival of its kind, this year’s films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate storytelling with the theme of “A Climate of Change”. Wild and Scenic Film Festival informs, inspires and ignites solutions, and creates positive probabilities to restore the earth and human communities. Each year, the Wild & Scenic® Film Festival draws top filmmakers, celebrities, leading activists, social innovators and well-known world adventurers to the historic downtown of Nevada City, California. Now known as “the next Sundance” the Wild and Scenic experience proves the power of film and passion.

3-D Film Sessions at Del Oro Theater on Thursday, January 10th featuring films The Last Reef , Wild Oceans and Meerkats. Only on Thursday evening at 7pm.
Special Guests: Anders Halverson, Tim Palmer, Daniel McCool, Bill McKibben via Skype.
School program: Del Oro Theater in Grass Valley will host two morning sessions for children, on Wednesday December 9 and Thursday December 10. (The National Geographic film Meerkats will be shown).
Late Night Music: Brothers Comatose performing Saturday night at the Haven
Pre-events: David Abram in November and Terry Tempest Williams in December
Partnerships: 350.org, Conversations with the Earth, Peaceful Uprising and the Natural History Network
More Information: For a complete schedule, ticket information, and more go to www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org

SYRCL (pronounced “circle”) is the largest grassroots watershed organization in the country. Founded in 1983 to defend the South Yuba River from proposed hydropower dams, SYRCL has developed into a vibrant community movement by restoring creeks & rivers, regenerating wild salmon populations, and inspiring & organizing people with over 3,500 members and volunteers based in Nevada City, CA. For more information contact syrcl.org.

Event Highlights:
Activist Center – SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic® Film Festival is a call to action. As a community of activists who produces the event, we strive to not only entertain with the film festival, but also educate and inspire our audience to create positive change on the planet. Each year, Wild & Scenic hosts some of the world’s leading activists and social innovators in our Activist Center. Here you can learn more about the issues presented in the films and how you can get involved. Budding filmmakers also have the opportunity to meet and learn about filmmaking from guest filmmakers. At Nevada City City Hall, Broad Street.

Gala Event – Rub elbows with festival’s special guests and meet other film enthusiasts all the while enjoying wine and gourmet hors d’oeuvres in the beautiful Nevada City Winery, 321 Spring Street.
Awards Ceremony – Be the first to learn of the award-winning films, Sunday, time TBA, in the Stone Hall of the Foundry. Sunday Ticket or Weekend Pass required. Limited seating. First come, first served. Cake and champagne included.
Block Party on Commercial Street: Commercial Street in downtown Nevada City will be closed to traffic and hosting performers and actions
Late Night Music and Dancing – Shimmy and groove after the films, Gala and workshops with a fabulous band. Separate admission.

Kid Films on Saturday Morning, with Kid’s Salmon Parade

The Christmas Card Movie Locations

contributed by Erin Thiem, of Outside Inn

Have you seen the Hallmark movie The Christmas Card?  The movie stars Ed Asner, John Newtown and Alice Evans and takes place in Nevada City during the holidays.  The Outside Inn has hosted a number of movie fans from near and far over the last 5 years, so I decided it was time to make a locations map and help those who are looking for some of the picturesque spots from the film.  To help with the photo mission I brought along Carla Bonetti, of Nevada County Escapes.

The Hallmark Movie The Christmas Card Veterans Memorial location

Our first stop was 49 Crossing of the South Yuba River.  In the film there’s a Veteran’s Memorial at this location, please note that the memorial doesn’t exist in real life, but you can still see the spot where the couple kissed down by the river.

The Christmas Card mill location

Our next stop was the lumber mill in the film, which is Kubich Lumber Company in Grass Valley.  An intriguing site to see, the out of the way mill is an active working mill, please contact them direclty if you’re interested in visiting.

Nevada City Methodist Church, The Christmas Card movie

We then returned to downtown Nevada City, picking up our handy locations list from the Outside Inn and walked downtown.  Our first stop was the Methodist Church at the top of Broad Street.

The Christmas Card movie Nevada City locations

Next up we walked down the street and visited the National Hotel and the Nevada City Classic Cafe (known as Curly Fries in the film).

Downtown Nevada City location from The Christmas Card

And our last stop was the location of the Christmas Tree lot in the movie, which doesn’t really exist in downtown Nevada City, but you can visit Commercial Street and see the spot (just to the right of this corner).  If you’re not familiar with the area please feel free to stop by the Outside Inn for our new map of all of these locations.


Erin Thiem is the owner of Outside Inn, a small hotel in a quiet neighborhood in downtown Nevada City.  Erin is a passionate supporter of everything Nevada City.  She publishes articles on many local sites in town, including her own blog Innside Nevada City.