Clavey Falls Rapid
About Clavey Falls Rapid
Clavey Falls Rapid occurs at the confluence of the Clavey and Tuolumne Rivers. We recommend scouting this rapid. At low flows, scout from the right side, which allows the entire rapid to be scouted. At higher water, the Clavey River may be running too high to be safely crossed, so scout on the left side. Unfortunately, this doesn’t give the same access as the right-side. Clavey Falls is considered to be Class IV+ at low to medium flows, and becomes more difficult at higher flows (it flirts with Class V).
How to run Clavey Falls Rapid
The typical entrance to this rapid is on the far right chute, which at low flows will involve a tight squeeze, and most flows, you will be blasting through a hole. After this entrance, there is a cluster of boulders in the center of the channel. Work left of these boulders, then thread the needle between the left wall and another group of boulders on the left. These can form a wave/hole at higher flows, and can be a wrap hazard at lower flows. On the right-side of the river is a large undercut rock known as the Dinosaur Rock which unfortunately has been the site of several fatalities over the years – be careful here, and tell swimmers to work left if possible.
Video showing Clavey Falls at high water (3,900 CFS)
Clavey Falls gets a little bonier at 1,300 CFS.