Tuesday, March 15, 2016

San Joaquin River Gorge

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge
 Seasonal Stream Along Auberry Road 24mm

 Dave Using Monopod As Trekking Pole

 Above The San Joaquin River From The Bridge
 Kerckhoff Powerhouse Upstream

 Suspension Footbridge
Dave's 55mm Shot
Dave's Shot Of Me
 Mountain Lion
Close Up Of Waterfall Along the Hike 300mm

From Fresno CA. take Highway 168 (or Auberry Rd. they merge in Prather) east to the turnoff to Auberry. Drive through Auberry and make a left on Powerhouse Road by the elementary school. Drive till you see a sign that says San Joaquin River Gorge and make a left on Smalley Rd. Take it to the trailhead. There is a five-dollar use fee registration as the trailhead. It is about a 40-minute drive. There are potties, potable water and campsites.

My friend Dave and I headed out for photographs yesterday and hopeful we would have an opportunity to see the San Joaquin River full and fast once again following a four year drought. We stopped along the way to take photographs of a seasonal creek along Auberry Road, which has been dry for four years and then continued to the trailhead.

It is about a one mile 400’ drop to the suspension bridge from the trailhead. If you are so inclined, there is a 6-mile loop trail beginning on the other side of the bridge. It is popular with hikers and mountain bikers. Lately, I have seen a few ultra runners that have also discovered the loop.

This section of the San Joaquin spanned by the footbridge, is below Kerckhoff Reservoir and above Temperance Flat. It then flows into the final reservoir, Millerton Lake before continuing to the ocean. There has been preliminary work done in hopes that a 1 million acre foot reservoir could be added between Millerton Lake and Kerckhoff Reservoir at Temperance Flat.

I am personally in favor of the idea for additional water storage during years when there is average to above average snowpack. It is dispiriting to watch the huge volumes of San Joaquin River water flow through Woodward Park in Fresno headed out to the ocean because there is not adequate storage. Since the existing system of reservoirs was built, California has seen a huge increase in population making additional demands on an overburdened infrastructure. 

The photographs and video were taken with a Sony A7R2 Camera and Sony Zeiss 16-35 f4, Zeiss Batis 85mm f1.8 and an Adapted Sony A-Mount 70-300mm G lens. 

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