Ice House & Slab Creek Shuttles
The Slab Creek and Ice House runs are recommended for boaters with a strong class IV+ boating skills. When running these sections you should always boat with other class IV+ boaters. Remember safety first and boat within your skill set.
Slab Creek – Class IV+
Limited release dates for 2017: April 29-30, May 6-7, May 13-14.
The Coloma Shuttle will be offering shuttle service from the take out at Rock Creek going to Slab Creek put in at 8:30 & 10:30 am. Advanced reservations are highly recommended.
The Slab Creek reach begins with several class IV+ rapids that are within sight of the put-in. The river has a very continuous nature for the next four miles. Many of the rapids are long and require good class IV skills. Mosquito Road Bridge at river mile 3.6 provides alternate access options. The most significant rapid on the run, Class V Motherlode Falls, occurs shortly after the bridge.
The gradient eases after this point and the run becomes class II/III in nature. There also is more vegetation, primarily Alders, in the river channel in the lower section. Rock Creek enters on river right at river mile 6.5. The Rock Creek Power House could provide a potential put-in providing access to the class II/III section when SMUD completes a future downstream take-out.
Put in: Limited Parking From Highway 50 in Placerville, take the Schnell School road exit and go north to Carson Rd. till N. Canyon road. Follow N. Canyon Road to Slab Creek Reservoir road and follow that to the Slab Creek dam. Dirt roads lead to the river a short ways below the dam.
Take out: Limited Parking In the interim of a new Slab Creek Take-Out to be constructed by SMUD, the Rock Creek Powerhouse located on the north side of the river at mile 6.5 will be the public take-out. From Highway 193 in Placerville go east 6 miles on Rock Creek Road. The entrance to the powerhouse will be the second road on the right after you cross over Rock Creek – the big white bridge. The gate will be open during scheduled recreational releases by SMUD and limited parking is available by the powerhouse. The gate will be closed all other times but public access to the river is still allowed. BLM has made special arrangements for parking during recreational releases and we ask all boaters to respect the resource or it can be closed to our parking use. Please DO NOT BLOCK THE GATE.
For more information visit the Boof forums.
Ice House – Class III-IV
Limited release dates for 2017: TBD
Trip report from 5/21/2016 Please Read! https://boof.com/t/ice-house-flow-lwd-warning/11924
The Coloma Shuttle will be offering shuttle service on June 18-19 and again on June 25-26. We will be shuttling from the take out to the put in durning the afternoon hours. Shuttle times are 3:00 & 4:30 with your pick up at the bridge on river right taking you back to the the dam. Due to the limited parking available at the take out the shuttle service is suggested. The shuttle service will not be able to pick up folks who paddle past the bridge. Advanced reservations are recommended. Due to the length of the shuttle we will need to have a minimum of 4 riders for the shuttle to head up to Ice House.
This section of the South Fork of Silver Creek is significantly different in character than most other runs in the Sierra. Its 75 feet per mile gradient is surprisingly low for a run at 5000. The river channel is much more accessible in this section than in the steep canyons below Junction Reservoir. The reach is also unique in that the nine-mile shuttle is actually shorter than the 11.2-mile river reach. Most of the reach is in the area burned by the 1992 Cleveland Fire, which diminishes the natural beauty of the run and has created wood hazards in the river. As the trees grow back, the aesthetics of this reach will continue to improve.
If you choose to put-in at the dam (Google map) the first rapid, named Pea Shooter during the flow study, starts the run off with a bang. The water released from the base of Ice House Dam, projects a forceful stream about 150 feet downstream of the release outlet. This makes entering the first rapid rather exciting. Several boaters during the flow study chose to portage this rapid. Below Pea Shooter, this first section was one of the only rapids on the run that seemed very rocky or bony at 400cfs. Shortly below the stream flow gauge, the boaters encountered several class IV rapids the last of which is clean on the far right.
The next mile of the run is class II/III until a short class IV section just above the beginning of the Cleveland Fire burn area at river-mile 2.1. In this section there are two class IV rapids and one class IV+ that has several ledges that lead into substantial hole. The next eight miles are very continuous class III with very few distinct rapids but an amazing number of surf waves.
The run changes character again at river-mile 6, just above Chicken Hawk Springs. Here the run enters a mini gorge and there are several large logs spanning the river. The amount of wood in the river increased throughout this section during the flow study, particularly in the area below Chicken Hawk Springs. While it is possible to maneuver around numerous other logs, many of these logs are quite mobile and will continue to move from year to year.
The last mile of the run contains several class IV rapids, including a river wide ledge that is generally run on the right. Just below this final rapid is the Bryant Springs Road Bridge. You can either take out on the right below the bridge or finished the run by padding approximately 10 minutes across Junction Reservoir to the boat ramp area. Once again the shuttle will only be picking up at the bridge in the afternoon and taking you back to your cars at the dam.
Make Shuttle Reservation Cost for this shuttle is $15.00 per person.