Saturday, February 24, 2007

Mears Creek

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Shon Bollock - Self Portrait

Heading for Mt. Shasta to meet up with Shon Bollock we had high hopes of a great weekend of creeking. However, the temps were low and most drainages were completely locked up. I checked out Slate Creek on the way to Shasta and found it to be at 0’ on the gauge…not exactly the ideal flow, so I continued north. Fortunately, Mears Creek was there for us to get our paddling fix.
Arriving at the take-out for Mears shortly after, we geared up under the bridge to avoid the gently falling snow.
Warning: Drive slowly on the way to put-in, Shon has stories of kayakers who rally this road being threatened by locals with weapons.

We put-in at the gate near the end of Fat Bear Road and were ready for a low water trip down Mears.

Picking up a creek boat in Mt. Shasta...Thanks Darin. Photo: Paul Gamache

Shon Bollock fired up for Mears. Photo: Paul Gamache

Shon barreling down one of the first drops. Photo: Paul Gamache

Paul Gamache running the largest drop on Mears. Photo: Shon Bollock

Shon Bolluck sticking the low water line. Photo: Paul Gamache

Shon seal launching in after the main wood portage. Photo: Paul Gamache

Below this portage there are some small rapid which eventually lead into the "Tunnel of Love". Beware: There are logs blocking the entrance to the tunnel. At low water there is a sneak line under the logs on river right. At higher water it is possible to go over the logs however be weary a pin is highly possible.

After dealing with the logs prepare for one hell of a fun ride. You'll catch some noticable speed as you fly through the tunnel which ends in an auto launch at the exit.

Shon getting some after the Tunnel of Love. Photo: Paul Gamache

Shon paddling down the rapid below the tunnel. Photo: Paul Gamache

Paul in the same rapid. Photo: Shon Bollock

Shon Boofing it out on one of the final drops before the confluence. Photo: Photo Paul Gamache

At the flow we had the confluence rapid was a little junky but still fun. The takeout is the Sims Bridge shortly below.

Snow, Paddling, and Burittos. Day Complete.


Take-out: Drive I-5 North from Redding until you reach Sims road exit. Drive towards the river and park just on the otherside of the railroad tracks on river right of the Sacramento River.

Put-in: Turn around and drive back towards the I-5 on ramps. Drive past and continue on till you see Fat Bear Rd / Mears Creek Rd (signage says both). Drive up Fat Bear until you reach a gate or continue on upriver if you are so inclined.

Google Earth Shot:

Check out Darin Mcquoid's write up on Mears at:

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