CHOOSE AN ADVENTURE BY:
Difficulty: Class IV, V
Length: 1, 2 or 3 day
Before Aug 1st = 16
Trip Details - Tuolumne River
All trip members will meet at 8:30 am on the morning of the trip starting date at La Casa Loma Espresso Deli, 7½ miles east of Groveland on Highway 120. Stay on Highway 120 through Groveland and go 7½ miles to Ferretti Road. Turn left on Ferretti and immediately left again to the Deli. (If you will be late, please call 209-962-7873). Park in the designated area on the frontage road in front of the Deli. Vehicles may be left here during the trip. ARTA will provide transportation to the river and back; arrival time back at La Casa Loma should be around 5:00 pm.
ARTA provides the following:
You are responsible for:
Where to Stay:
The elegant Groveland Hotel, 209-962-4000, is in "downtown" Groveland, (near the historic Iron Door Saloon). Evergreen Lodge, 800-935-6343, a unique collection of cabins on Yosemite's doorstep, is 30 minutes east and is a great option for extending your stay in the area before or after your trip. Red Tail Ranch, 209-962-0863, a tiny Bed and Breakfast on 50 acres just up the road from us, is a relaxing place to stay if you have time before or after your trip and want to unwind. Additional accommodations are available in Yosemite National Park, one hour away. Rustic camping is available at the Forest Service campground "The Pines" 1 mile east of La Casa Loma; reserved camping is available 10 minutes away at Pine Mountain Lake Campground, 209-962-8625 or at Yosemite Pines RV Park, 209-962-7690 and one hour away in Yosemite National Park, 209-372-0200. Red Tail Ranch (www.red-tail-ranch.com)
How to Get There:
No public transportation is available to Groveland. United Express serves Modesto and Stockton from both San Francisco and Los Angeles. Airport rental cars are available with prior arrangement. Groveland is about 2 hours from Stockton, and 1½ hours from Modesto. Driving time from the Bay Area is about 3-4 hours, (through Livermore, Tracy, Manteca, and Oakdale); from Los Angeles it is about 6-7 hours,(through Merced, Snelling, La Grange, Coulterville, and Greeley Hill - you will bypass Groveland and join Highway 120, 1 mile west of La Casa Loma). A good map helps.
When you arrive at La Casa Loma, your lead guide will distribute waterproof dunnage bags into which you will pack your gear (2 and 3 day trips). The bags are 17" in diameter and about 22" long - ample space if you pack wisely. You will need to transfer all of your belongings, including your sleeping bag, into the bag. Because of the difficult nature of the Tuolumne, we ask you to limit the weight of your belongings to 25 pounds. The gear that you pack in the dunnage bags will not be accessible during the day. For small items that you wish to use during the day, we recommend a small day pack, (for items that can get wet such as sun screen, rainshell, etc.) or a small dry-pack (Seal-Line), a Pelican Box or a surplus ammunition box, (for items you wish to keep dry such as cameras).
Remember, comfort on a river trip is not determined by how much you bring, but rather by what types of things you bring. One polypropylene pile or fleece sweater that will keep you warm when wet is much better than five cotton sweatshirts which become worthless when wet. ARTA will provide a cup, plate and silverware for each guest; (we do not provide chairs on Tuolumne trips). PLEASE DO NOT BRING radios, cellular phones, expensive jewelry, guns, pets, or any irreplaceable items.
Personal Equipment List
|CAMP ITEMS: - These will be packed in your dry bag and will not be available during the day. Think light, and compact; you do not need a lot of gear.
Sleeping bag, compact, down or synthetic
|RIVER ITEMS - These will be worn or packed in a community dry-bag or in your personal day-pack or dry-sack.
Swimsuit or shorts and T-shirt
ARTA has a limited supply of tents and sleep kits available to rent. Please reserve well in advance using your Guest Information Sheet or by calling our office:
Sleep Kits - (300 sleeping bag, liner, self-inflating pad, and tarp): $20 or $25 per kit.
Tents - (Sierra Designs Comet two-person tents): $20 or $25 per tent.
DURING THE SUMMER, YOU WILL NEED:
Sandals (Chaco, Teva, Keen) with heel strap
|DURING THE SPRING HIGH WATER PERIOD (APRIL, MAY and EARLY JUNE) YOU WILL ALSO NEED:
Thick fleece top, (polartec or polarfleece
ARTA will provide wetsuits and paddling jackets if they are required during the highwater period. Our wetsuits are 3mm "farmer-john" style suits and our paddling jackets are waterproof pullovers with neck and wrist gaskets; a great combination for paddling. If you have your own wetsuit or paddling jacket, you are welcome to bring it. You will still need to bring your own synthetic fleece insulation layer. A non-bulky swimsuit should be worn underneath your wetsuit; another pair of shorts over the top will add a little friction between you and the raft and help keep you on board.
The Tuolumne River is born high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Yosemite National Park. From 13,000 foot Mount Lyell Glacier to its confluence with the San Joaquin, the river flows through some of the most primitive and scenic country in California. The Miwok Indians inhabited the canyon for nearly 1,500 years and the river derives its name from a tribe who lived in the region. In the mid 1800’s, the California Gold Rush brought a flood of miners into the canyon. As gold fever subsided, these rugged inhabitants moved on, leaving behind a decaying legacy of their short visit. A stone powerhouse, a stamp mill, abandoned cabins, and mine shafts still remain in the canyon as reminders of this period.
Our 1, 2 and 3 day trips begin at Meral’s Pool, a quiet spot in the river about 23 miles downstream from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, and end at Ward’s Ferry Bridge 18 miles later. For the first six miles, from Rock Garden to Clavey Falls, the rapids come almost non-stop as the river winds and drops through numerous granite boulderfields. Clavey Falls, at mile 6, is a whitewater event which you will never forget. Below Clavey, the rapids continue but are separated by short pools which allow us a welcome opportunity to enjoy the scenery and solitude of the canyon. Camping is along the river at pristine, wilderness sites, often near a beautiful sidestream.
High water conditions prevail from one to seven weeks each year, peaking in late May or early June. At high water levels, each guest should be physically and mentally ready for a demanding trip. Later in the summer, and in low water years, the flows are regulated and we raft on daily hydroelectric releases from upstream reservoirs. These flows are exciting and fun, but do not require the same physical qualifications. Due to the distance from the dams and the timing of the releases, the water levels often do not rise at our downstream campsites until after noon. There is a lot to do near camp, some great side creeks to explore, and our guides are wonderful entertainers, but a good book, snorkel and mask, fishing rod, camera, or other toy can be helpful in passing the time.
Because of the difficulty of the Tuolumne, ARTA uses self-bailing rafts configured as either paddle rafts or oar-paddle combination rafts, depending on the flow, paddler experience and interest.
PADDLE RAFTS are 14 feet long and carry 6 paddlers who actively paddle through the rapids and down the river. Everyone has a paddle, sits on the outer tube of the raft and follows the commands of the paddle guide who sits in the rear. This is an exciting and active way to enjoy the Tuolumne; everyone should be ready to participate.
OAR-PADDLE COMBINATION RAFTS are 14 feet long and are steered by a guide using two oars and assisted by paddlers, (2 or 4), riding in the front. This configuration allows for slightly more control by the guide and slightly less demands on the paddlers, but everyone should still be ready to participate.
Springtime temperatures can range from the 60's to the 80's, with a chance of rain and clouds. If your trip is before June 15, come prepared for cool temperatures and cold water. Summer temperatures often reach the 90's, cooling off into the 60's at night. Fall trips normally have clear days in the 80's and cool crisp nights. It rarely rains in the summer and fall, but a waterproof rainshell and a small tent are advisable, just in case.
Life is full of surprises! We suggest you purchase supplemental travel insurance for your trip. Trip cancellation, evacuation, baggage loss and other coverages are available for between 4% and 11% of your trip cost. You can get more information at www.travelinsure.com; please enter ARTA's Participating Organization Number (32033) at the top of the enrollment form if it isn’t automatically entered.
We want you to feel like a guest in our home and tipping is never expected. It is certainly appreciated, however, and is accepted as recognition of an outstanding trip or exemplary service. Whether and how much you tip should depend on your satisfaction with the guide service, your financial means, and your feelings about tipping in general. Normal tips range from 5% to 10% of the trip cost and are usually given to the Lead Guide who splits them equally among the entire crew. And thank you very much.
Welcome to Groveland! This is our hometown and we are very proud of it. Things here are rustic, remote and beautiful and even through Groveland is a tourist town (in the summer), we don't have the facilities of Lake Tahoe or Napa Wine Country. Things here are pretty simple; one grocery store, four or five restaurants, half a dozen places to spend the night. Here are the don't miss attractions (local knowledge):
Yosemite National Park. A no-brainer. If you've never been, plan at least one day before or after your Tuolumne trip to check out the Park; to not do that would be like going to Hawaii and not going in the ocean. The popular Valley attractions are the Mist Trail (anytime but particularly in the spring), Yosemite Falls and strolling along the Merced River while gawking at climbers. A quick drive out to Glacier Point is stunning. If you have more time and are in good shape: hike up the back of Half Dome and at least look at the cables (you need a permit to actually go up on the cables, worth it if you aren't afraid of heights). A visit to Tuolumne Meadows will give you a new perspective on the Park (flat meadows versus giant cliffs).
Stanislaus National Forest. Almost everything around Groveland that isn't National Park is National Forest. There are numerous campgrounds, lots of dirt backroads, a few swimming holes. Just a few miles east of La Casa Loma on Highway 120 is Rainbow Pool, a cool waterfall and swimming hole; too popular amongst the locals on weekends, but worth checking out on a weekday. Further east, off of Evergreen Road, is the less visited Carlon Falls which has a nice shady trail.
Evergreen Lodge. A collection of renovated cabins, a rustic restaurant and a beautiful setting. If you want to extend your visit and can't find accommodations in the Park, this is a great option.
Camp Mather, Berkeley Tuolumne Camp, San Jose Family Camp, Camp Towonga: A collection of family-oriented campgrounds with tent cabins, campsites, and formal activities all situated along the Tuolumne. Very popular vacation destinations. There's a reason.
Cocina Michoacana. THE place to eat in Groveland. Small, rinky-dink and deceiving, but authentic, friendly, and tasty (and we've never gotten sick). If you're unsure of what to get, just say "Number 20. Chicken. Flour." and you'll be happy. Trust us.
The Iron Door Saloon. Groveland's most famous landmark ("the oldest saloon in California"). Full of history, mystery and locals. Live music and dancing on most weekends in the summer. We recommend this for AFTER your trip, if you know what we mean.
If there are any questions we haven't answered, please feel free to contact us by e-mail(email@example.com) or phone (800-323-2782). We love to talk about our trips, so don't be shy!
ARTA RIVER TRIPS - 800/323-2782 or 209/962-7873 - firstname.lastname@example.org