Paddle Adventures on Folsom Lake

Chris wanted to paddle Folsom Lake and invited others to join his Pop-Up Paddle. The weather had been hot in the Sacramento Valley with big winds. Nevertheless, I joined Chris at Rattlesnake Bar and we launched at 10:30 from a grassy area near the boat ramp. Winds were calm… 85 and sunny.

The lake was high, like 6 ft. up over recent years. We paddled through flooded trees with great reflections, as there was little wind. We headed towards the North Fork of the American River to the inlet which had falls at end. At 4 miles from the launch, the GPS said one more mile to whitewater.

The current got very strong paddling in a shallow rocky area, and we needed to tuck into a protected rock area to get photos of the rapids.

Heading back, we found a protected grassy area to do lunch. Shared my sandwich with Chris.

The 4-mile return paddle was epic and not for many. Winds came up often gusting to more than 25 mph (?). The wind swirled, so sometimes at first a big head wind and sometimes later we were surfing downwind in waves. It was hard to steer without control of the kayak. We did okay as we were both experienced in such conditions. It was exciting but NO photos on paddle back.

What to say? The 9.5 mile paddle was one for the books!  🙂

Peter Johnson


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