We did have an above average year for snow in the mountains. Below is the snow survey for several sites in the Marble Mountains (which drain into the Klamath).
May 1st 2017 Snow Survey Results
Snow CourseHeight of SnowSnow Water Equivalent
MeasuredHistoric Average% of Historic AverageMeasuredHistoric Average% of Historic Average
Middle Boulder 1
(Elevation 6600’) height of snow 76.0" percent of historic average 146%
Middle Boulder 3
(Elevation 6200’) height of snow 61.0" percent of historic average 154%
(Elevation 5900’) height of snow 45.0" percent of historic average 111%
This snow will melt and release water into the river for most of the summer allowing for generally higher water. On the Klamath this means rapids such as Ferry Point and Rattlesnake are MUCH more fun and it also means less paddling through the flat stretches! A few rapids such as dragons tooth and rock garden get slightly easier with more water (but still fun). The tributaries of the Klamath are already flowing better than they have in years. Our guides that have only been with us for three to four years are now training on Clear Creek and the Salmon)
In addition to better whitewater, the wet winter is really healthy for the river. Salmon need the cooler water, cleaned out gravel and access to streams higher up in the mountains. There will be fewer algae blooms and farmers in the upper part of the river will have more water. Beaches will be bigger and cleaned off throughout the river and there should be a lower risk of wildfire.
We are all smiles on the Klamath and hope to see you soon.