Scott River Rafting Guidebook
The Scott River is a Wild & Scenic River that winds 60 miles through Northern California before joining with the Klamath River. It boasts several Class V rapids and has wonderful scenery throughout. There are numerous access points, and some of the tougher rapids can be scouted from the road. The Scott typically needs to be run during the spring melt, so the best season is April-June.
Scott River Comprehensive Guide
WARNING: Conditions change frequently and may make this guide useless. This guide is NOT a replacement for sound judgment, experience, or skill level.
Class III Rapid
Class III rapid or river feature.
Class IV Rapid
Class IV rapid or river feature.
Class V Rapid
Class V rapid or river feature.
Put-In / Take-Out
Access Point to the Scott River.
Point of Interest
These include creeks, side hikes and historical markers.
Indian Scotty Campground to Johnson Bar
We have mapped the river from Indian Scotty Campground to Johnson Bar. Many rafters elect to portage Boulder Creek Falls Rapid. If you want to do this, use the second put-in, which is just below Canyon Creek Rapid, and just above Canyon Creek Bridge. This is a fun section, with several Class V rapids, and pretty consistent action throughout.
Indian Scotty Campground to Johnson Bar is 15.59 miles.
Moderate to Expert.
Feet per Mile
Indian Scotty Campground to Johnson Bar is ~56 FPM
The shuttle from Indian Scotty Campground to Johnson Bar Take-Out is roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes round trip. Google Map directions.
Mile 0 – Indian Scotty Put-In: River Left. This is a higher put-in but will force you to run Boulder Creek Falls Rapid, which we strongly recommend as a portage. There is an additional Put-in below here if you want to avoid this portage.
Mile 0.26 – Peregrine Creek Confluence: River Left. A bit downstream of the Indian Scotty Put-In, Peregrine Creek joins the Scott River from the left-hand side.
Mile 1 – Boulder Creek Confluence: River Left. Boulder Creek Confluence is the second creek you’ll encounter. Just downstream is Boulder Creek Rapid – which is a Class V+ rapid you will want to scout.
Mile 1.03 – Boulder Creek Falls Rapid: Class V+. Recommended Portage. This is a long rapid, with tricky moves required throughout. Scout right to take a look, portage on the right as well. The most common line is to run far left and do some technical boulder dodging, but it is not commonly run in rafts.
Mile 1.19 – Canyon Creek Rapid: Class IV. Canyon Creek lies just downstream of Boulder Creek Rapids. Enter right-of-center, and stay in the center of the channel. Watch out for a few wrap rocks towards the bottom of this channel.
Mile 1.36 – Access Point – Put In: River Left. Put-in just above the Canyon Creek Bridge. This access puts you below Boulder Creek Falls Rapid, which we highly recommend against if you’re in a raft.
Mile 1.39 – Canyon Creek Bridge: Canyon Creek Bridge crosses over the Smith River just downstream of Canyon Creek Rapid.
Mile 2.49 – Kelsey Creek Confluence: River Left. Kelsey Creek enters from the left-hand side.
Mile 2.71 – Scott River Road Access Point: River Left. Just downstream of the Scott River Road bridge, you can put-in/take-out here.
Mile 3.53 – Sticky Ledge Rapid: Class III. At most flows, there is a large sticky ledge hole on the right-hand side of this river. This can be skirted to the left.
Mile 3.96 – Deep Creek Confluence: River Left. Deep Creek enters the Scott from the left-hand side.
Mile 4.18 – Unnamed Class IV-: Class IV. At high flows, the rocks in this rapid become huge holes. Run left or right at the entrance. Can be scouted from the road.
Mile 4.34 – Middle Creek Confluence: River Left. Middle Creek joins the Scott river from the left-hand side.
Mile 4.73 – Tombstone: Class IV. Big hole at top, with several large pourovers in the center of the channel at most flows.
Mile 5.25 – White House Rapid: Class V. Shallow entrance right-of-center. There are several large waves/holes at the bottom of this rapid. They are generally friendlier on the left-hand side if you are able to ferry across. Just below is Tompkins Creek Rapid – be sure to pick up swimmers if you have them here.
Mile 5.47 – Tompkins Creek Rapid: Class V. Enter right-of-center, and stay in the center of the current. The river makes a sharp left turn roughly halfway through the rapid. Work right to stay away from a large undercut boulder on the left side.
Mile 7.06 – McCarthy Creek Confluence: River Left. McCarthy Creek enters the Scott River from the left-hand side
Mile 9.12 – Schuler Gulch Rapid: Class V. At high flows, scout right, at low flows scout left. There are enormous boulders everywhere in Schuler’s Gulch. Enter left of center, and work left to avoid a large rock with water pillowing off of it. Halfway through the rapid is a passage through 2 large boulders. You can eddy out on the right-hand side just below these boulders. The exit of this rapid involves going through a tight slot on the far right side of the river, but not ramming into the right wall. It’s a tricky move.
Mile 10.62 – Little Ferry Creek: River RIght. Little Ferry Creek enters from the right side.
Mile 10.74 – McGuffy Creek Confluence: River Left. McGuffy Creek enters just downstream of Little Ferry Creek, before the confluence with Big Ferry Creek.
Mile 10.87 – Big Ferry Creek Confluence: River Right. Big Ferry Creek enters the Scott River from the right-hand side.
Mile 12.01 – The Sneaker Hole: Class IV. When the flow is medium/high, a large hole forms here on the right side. You won’t know until you see it…Stay left here to avoid unfortunate carnage
Mile 12.17 – Pat Ford Creek Confluence: River Right. Pat Ford Creek enters the Scott River from the right side.
Mile 12.31 – Boy Scout Camp Take Out: River Left. This the first take-out opportunity below the bigger rapids.
Mile 13.32 – Bill Berry Creek Confluence: River Left. Bill Berry Creek enters the Scott River from the left-hand side.
Mile 13.51 – Mill Creek Bridge: The Mill Creek Bridge passes over the Scott River, and is the last bridge you’ll see before Johnson Bar.
Mile 13.52 – Mill Creek Confluence: River right. Just below the Mill Creek Bridge, the aptly-named Mill Creek enters from the right side.
Mile 14.75 – China Doctor Creek Confluence: River Left. China Doctor Creek enters the Scott River from the left-hand side.
Mile 15.49 – Scott River Road Bridge: This is the last bridge, just before the Johnson Bar take-out on river right.
Mile 15.59 – Johnson Bar Take Out: River Right. Johnson Bar Take-Out lies just downstream of the Scott River Road Bridge. A little bit downstream, the Scott River joins the Klamath River on its way to the Pacific Ocean.
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