Mill Creek - Lower Mill Creek

California-US  

Description

Mill Creek is either a continuation of the Upper Mill Creek run or a slightly mellower run in its own right.  It could be done in a long day or as an overnighter.  The whitewater mellows out the lower down you go, but it takes you through some very unique lava channels.  We started on the upper run and on our 2nd day camped partway through Lower Mill.  It rained steadily overnight and we woke up to a river that had almost tripled in flow.  That was a great thing except for the fact it made the prospect of running into a hazard in the lava channels and not being able to stop that more stressful.  

There's no way to scout all the blind corners in this section so in some ways you just have to go for it and control your advance as best as possible.  Scary prospect #2 was a gorge with a deceptive entrance that we were told was unrunnable.  The attached photo shows the portage spot.  At our higher flows, it actually looked runnable, though none of us were interested in testing the theory.

If you're as lucky as we were, after the portage you get to take the Miller Creek express all the way to the takeout.  If your flows are lower, expect lots of paddling through some class II and III.

Statistics

KSC
Class IV- to IV
Current Flow 137.0 CFS
10-23-2017 19:45
Recommended Flow Minimum: 350.0
Average: 550.0
Maximum: 2000.0
Typical Season Begins: January
Ends: July
Recommended Use Kayaking: Yes
Rafting: No
Canoeing: No
SUP: No
Packrafting: No
Fishing: No
Primary Gauge MILL C NR LOS MOLINOS CA
Length 30.0 Mile(s)
Gradient FPM
Bahbb1shogzmssjgmjaxny8wns8wms8xm180mf80nv8yndjfndyzmduzxzewmtuxmti5odk1ntmznjc3xze4nty3ody0nzvfby5qcgcgogzfvfsiogzwogp0ahvtykkiddqwmhg0mdagowzu

Entrance to "unrunnable" gorge

04-26-2012 - Portage here.