Cherry Creek Rafting is the ultimate!
Welcome to Class V Cherry Creek rafting, the ultimate white water challenge! Sierra Mac pioneered commercial Class V rafting trips on this stretch of river in the 70’s and 80’s, and we are excited to share these thrilling adventures with our guests. It is important to realize that Cherry Creek rafting trips are intense and demanding passenger participation experiences, particularly on the paddle boats. Successful Class V run depends on you and your boat team. Have a look at our Cherry Creek Rafting Video and Class V Safety and Fitness Guidelines to get an idea of what to expect.
Located near the northwest border of Yosemite National Park, our Cherry Creek white water trip begins 2 miles upstream from its confluence with the Main Tuolumne. The excitement continues unbridled for a total of 9 miles to our take-out just above Lumsden Falls. This intense and demanding stretch of river is comprised of long, nearly continuous whitewater and only short pools. Her rapids are legendary. Among “The Creek’s” unparalleled array of chutes, holes, ledges and gigantic boulders lie Jawbone, Mushroom, Miracle Mile, Lewis’ Leap and Flat Rock Falls. Names you won’t soon forget.
A training seminar and Class V paddler’s test are required for this thrill ride and are included at the beginning of the trip. With a phenomenally steep gradient averaging 110 feet per mile, the Cherry Creek/Upper Tuolumne run is one of the most challenging (and fun) rafting trips in the U.S. and the standard by which Class V runs are measured. Experience the ultimate.
CHERRY CREEK/UPPER TUOLUMNE RAFTING
DIRECTIONS & MEETING TIME
We meet in the parking lot of Sierra Mac River Trips Headquarters at 6AM (unless otherwise specified) at 27890 Highway 120, 13 miles east of the town of Groveland.
If coming from the west, after you pass Buck Meadows look for the Vista Point/Rim of the World overlook on your left, followed by Packard Canyon Road on your right. We are just beyond on the north (left) side of the road. If you are coming from the Yosemite area, we are about ½ mile beyond the Cherry Lake Road. Pay attention, our place comes up quickly! Driving time from the Bay Area is about 3 ½ hours; from Manteca, about 1 ½ hours; from Los Angeles, about 7 hours; and from Yosemite’s northwest entrance gate (Big Oak Flat), about 25 minutes. We can also arrange local pickups at the Pine Mountain Lake Airport for travelers arriving by private plane. Current local weather.
If you will NOT be available by phone before your trip, contact our office at 209-591-8027 within 48 hours of meeting time to reconfirm logistics.
Be on time or you may forfeit your trip! If you are late, call us ASAP at the above number. Cell phone coverage is spotty and unreliable along Highway 120. If you need to contact us you may have to stop and use a land line.
Internet mapping systems (Google, MapQuest, GPS) incorrectly locate our meeting place and often direct travelers to take much longer and circuitous routes. Reconfirm driving directions with a standard map from AAA or other source.
Please be on time! If you are delayed, please phone our office at (209) 591-8027.
Each Cherry Creek rafting trip begins with an energy breakfast, followed by wet suit, helmet and floatation vest fitting and an extensive white water seminar. This mandatory orientation includes training in swiftwater swimming, navigation and safety techniques. If, in our opinion, you are not ready for this rigorous experience following the training seminar, you will be asked to return to the shuttle van. (In this case you will receive a 50% refund.)
Sierra Mac provides helmets in addition to white water flotation vests for Class V passengers. Wet suits will be provided by Sierra Mac. High energy snacks and drinks are provided during the trip with a delicious dinner at trip’s end.
WHAT TO WEAR
Wet suit (mandatory) • Shorts and/or swimsuit under wet suit • T-shirt • Tennis shoes (sandals do not protect your feet) • Ball cap • Sunglasses (with tie-on)
Cool Weather River Attire
Wool, silk or synthetic layer under wet suit • Rubber splash jacket (provided by SMRT) Wool or neoprene socks • hat or ball cap
WHAT TO BRING
For overnight trips, pack light and compactly. Each person will receive a 3.8 cubic foot dry bag for storing his or her belongings, about the size of a 30-gallon plastic trash bag.
Camping Gear (rentals available)
Sleeping bag • Air or foam mattress • Tent or tube tent (optional) • Personal Gear • Comfortable clothing • Nylon shell jacket • Underwear • Extra tennis shoes or sandals • Socks • Sweater and/or jacket • Towel • Toiletries, Kleenex, etc. • Flashlight (one for each person) • Flashlight batteries (packed separately) • Extra plastic bags • Day bag (Ziploc plastic) • Camera & film • Sun block • Lip ointment • Plastic water bottle or canteen
Beer, wine, soft drinks or favorite evening libations (no glass except wine; we’ll pack these for you) • Fishing license and gear (hard shell case) • Snorkel & face mask • Reading material • Journal & pen • Cards or games • In April and May bring a rain jacket and pants.
For further information on Cherry Creek Rafting or any of our rafting trips, call Marty at 209.591.8027