Lemon Creek!

Anyone paddling here? Juneau my friends. Lemon is quality low right now. One river wide sweeper with easy portage. Canyon seems to have blow out its wood from last season but have yet to run it due to unreliable partners.

Expect ClassII with a ClassIII pleasure nossle.

I would say this is my favorite after work run. Low water class II-III, high water III-V.

Access is tricky for this one. Either do the do good and walk in on trail behind home-depot (river right), or call ahead to the blasting office and make sure you can walk in on their haul road(river left). I can foresee access issues arise with this river if it becomes more popular. This happened years ago when there was a small and healthy kayaker population here. Lets do a little self preservation and community activism and play by the rules.

I typically run from end of haul road back to car parked around O’Reilys. This is a southeast creek expect wood and other mining/blasting debris to block river. Go through several Class I-III rapids. Currently there is one river wide sweeper, with a tricky eddy. Depending on flow you can scoot under it, but watch for branches. Shortly after sweeper there is a straight section of river and you will see a serious constriction and horizon line. Get out of boat on river left and check this mini canyon out. I have never seen wood in this constriction, but if there is a log jam here it would likely be game over for you. Push through wave train center and ride the tongue, or scoot along on river left side to avoid bigger rapids. This is a commitment point. Once through waves and in Canyon take out immediately on river right. You should notice a daunting horizon line in front of you. Rocks have shifted around in here and will continue to in the future. The next rapid (pleasure nozzle III-V) is only runnable at certain water levels. You can portage this rapid by walking a few feet down river and putting in where you want. (Caution on this section of water. At super high flows there is no eddy before entering rapid, but at this flow it is pretty washed out and runnable. Wood in here would be very bad. Know what you are getting into and be prepared for it.)
Continue down river until you see a bridge. Pull out here and walk road to next bridge…or with extreme caution run Canyon. It looks like most of the wood has flushed out from last year and canyon may be runnable again. Practice safe boating here, scout rapids in advance, use throw ropes. Eddies are limited in this steep straight section of river. If you run it, post it here so we can all learn.
Walk down steep slope by second bridge. Either put in here, or walk back up river to get the fun rapids. Short float from here back to road. Take out where you can. Avoid walking through private property if possible.

This is a local gem of a river. Enjoy it but use caution. Lets preserve out access and practice safe boating. A misshape by one boater may reduce access for all of us.

Quick question for hippotour (or anyone else who might have the answer):

Using the National Weather Service’s hydrograph (http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=pajk&gage=lmca2) as a reference point, how would you classify the river at different gauge readings?

I understand this creek has a bit more consequences and varies quite a bit with flow level than some of the others near Juneau and I’m trying to determine when it might be appropriate–or when it is definitely NOT appropriate. Just don’t want to bite off more than I can chew…

Also, do you happen to know the contact at SeaCon who can give the thumbs up or down on accessing the creek through their property?

Thanks for any insight!

Ran this afternoon with Lee P. Big river wide log thing right after constriction before Pleasure Nozzle. 9 Feet on gauge, you can sneak by it on right. At any lower flow it would be a wall and you would be swept under it and into Pleasure Nozzle. Not advisable. Actually really sketchy. If you run this now portage.

Lee and I will try to clean this out, but it is going to be a project. I’ll post back when its done.

Also it would be advisable to check in with Secon before using haul road. Their number is on signs on the road, also here ((907) 780-5145)

As for flow. At 9ft tonight river was mostly Class II with some III sections with Class IV consequences. Sharp turns make for weird eddy lines, Most banks are chocked with wood which can act like a sluice, lots of mining trash, wood, and other random shit. The river is pretty easy for the most part, but you need to be confident in reading water and your limits, otherwise you could easy get snagged. There are hydraulics in this river that surprise me from time to time.

Lee ran a hard shell through lower Canyon and said it was IV, I scouted and agree. It was too pushy, sucky, and continuous for me to want to run in a packraft. When water drops I will run it.

River is sitting around 8.2ft. Ran lower Canyon. Class III+ with class IV consequences. I took the sneaker path on the right side of first major rapid. Lee opted for normal line in his Hard shell.

Scout rapids from road. Be careful of wood. Things shift in here and flow is a major contributor. An extra foot of water makes this a class IV or V run. Wood would make it an end game.

Happy paddling

It’s good right now. Low water levels. No wood in the canyon…wait what?

Thats right no wood in the canyon.

Also check out this guide video I just made.

Good stuff, thanks for posting.