4/12 update: With few spring showers, wildflower season appears to be wilting quickly at lower elevations in Northern California. A paddle today from Rattlesnake Bar on the North Fork of the American today barely caught the end of the lupine bloom. If you've missed this spot, check out the photo album from today's trip -- which also reminded us to watch our step in the wild. This local resident slithered across the boat launch ramp as we returned to the parking lot.
|A pre-bloom day on the North Fork of the American|
|A preview of things to come (photo from last season)|
The only way to know for sure is to make some calls or just go -- see tips below.
A paddle up the North Fork of the American River at Rattlesnake Bar last week found none of the lush fields of lupine that carpeted the area last season. But the water level has been rising nicely, so it was a good time to do some reconnaissance. Plus, spring-like temps and sunny skies made for a pleasant paddle and a chance to work off that "spare tire" around the cockpit. But unless you want a real workout getting to the Rattlesnake Bar launch, bring a kayak cart. Details in the NorCalYak post linked above.)
|Early season paddle helps remove that "spare tire"|
And if the trip is going to involve a long drive to a state park, you may want to do a bit of research and call ahead. Or check reports by nonprofit groups such as Park Watch. That helpful site also noted recent mountain lion sightings not far from Rattlesnake Bar.