White Water Rafting River Conditions on the Kaweah River
The Kaweah River is one of the few California white water rafting rivers to have no upstream dams. Consequently, the Kaweah River relies solely on snowmelt for its flows. This means it is navigable only in the spring months. Flows typically peak on the Kaweah in mid-May. After mid-June, the river is usually unrunnable due to negligible flows. Raftable flows range from 500-3000 cfs.
500-1000 cfs: More rocks are visible. Some channels may not be navigable due to the lack of water. Though the current isn't as swift as it is at higher flows, rafting the Kaweah at this level requires technical expertise.
1000-1600 cfs: This is the optimal level for rafting the Kaweah. The river still requires technical manuevering skills but now large holes and drops are the obstacles.
1600-3000cfs: At this water level the river is moving very fast, requiring quick manuevering from rafters. Large holes must be averted.
3000 cfs and above: At this level, rafting with a California white water rafting outfitter is advised.
Images courtesy of All-Outdoors California White Water Rafting.