The area surrounding the North Fork of the Yuba is whitewater paradise. There are four distinct sections of river to raft from Class IV to Class V nestled around the beautiful town of Downieville. Nearby Pauley and Lavezolla Creeks are tributaries to the North Fork of the Yuba and are fun for kayakers and highly trained teams of rafters.
The most commonly run section is the Goodyear's Bar run because it has fun whitewater that leads up to the exciting Maytag Rapid.
Wild Plum - Class V
7 miles, 100+ fpm, spring run
The Wild Plum section begins at the Wild Plum Campground and runs to one of several take-outs. This run is characterized by continuous Class IV water with very few eddies along it's length.
There are few places for rafts to eddy out so you should be excellent at reading water if you take on this run. Please keep a close eye out for logs.
Moss Canyon - Class IV+
6 miles, spring run
The Moss Canyon section of the North Yuba is sometimes considered as part of the Wild Plum run, although they are rarely done together. This section of river has several distinct drops with little recovery time in between. Most rafters will take out in the town of Downieville or continue down through Rosasco's Ravine.
Rosasco's Ravine - Class IV+ to V
3.2 miles, spring run
This is a quick, challenging run that is fun to do if you're in the area. The put-in is right in Downieville just below the confluence of the North Fork of the Yuba and the Downie River.
This "ravine" consists of a number of distinct, technical drops in quick succession. Some of them can be seen from a turnout on Highway 49. Each of the rapids should be scouted and you should be prepared to portage once or twice. This run is commonly combined with the Goodyear's bar run below it.
Goodyears Bar - Class IV+ to V-
9.5 miles, spring run
This is mainly a Class IV run with the one Class V- rapid, Maytag, towards the end. If Maytag is portaged, this is a great Class IV run with a nice warm up.
You'll put in just below the Goodyears Bar bridge on river left. The rapids are Class II and II for the first six miles except for the Class IV rapids Ramshorn and Two Pair which should be taken seriously.
Around mile seven you'll hit the famous Class V Maytag Rapid which is followed closely by Son of Maytag. Below here the river has interesting Class II and III rapids and there are several good take-outs all the way to the Highway 49 bridge.