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GORGE SCRAMBLE TRIP DESCRIPTIONS

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Trip 14: Blue Wing, North Fork of the American Wild and Scenic River Canyon, Level 3-Day Trip. To see more Trip 14 photographs by Paul Plathe click here.

Bring your air mattress. This is a floating and rock scramble in a 4.1-mile section of the canyon. If you have done a Level 2 Cape Horn trip this is the next more difficult outing. We take the Blue Wing trail down into the canyon; it is very difficult to pick up and follow the trail at the top and is lightly used. Poison oak is prevalent along the trail.

BLUE WING

The trail comes out at the river at a very nice pool below an active mining area. The most significant feature on this trip is the big pools to float thru and large rock bars. Just up canyon from Secret Ravine is an unnamed gorge with a river wide drop that requires some unique rock scrambling to get thru and it offers rock wall lined pools.

BLUE WING

Down canyon from here we pick up the Stevens Trail, which will take us up to Iowa Hill. The trail is wide and offers an easy grade, however it is also lined with poison oak. The gently sloping uphill grade ends at the Iowa Hill store where you can belly up to the rustic old bar and pull your last dollar, pinned to the ceiling and buy your last beer. The only electricity here is what they generate for their own use. We undo our short shuttle and get back to Colfax or Auburn for dinner and celebrate our outing in the Mother Lode.

BLUE WING