Many people underestimate the power of the Sacramento River in the Redding area. We walk across the Sundial Bridge gazing at the beauty of what we have in our backyard, not understanding the force of the water flowing beneath our feet. Kayaking the Sacramento River requires skills that are not very easily obtained. Many hours of training and practice are required to learn how to read and navigate down this pristine waterway.
Just under the Sundial Bridge you can see one of the first rapids that you will encounter. Veer too far to the right side of the river and you will beach your boat; venture too far to the left and you will get sucked into trees and other obstacles. Being able to read eddy lines and which route is best to take are skills that new paddlers who are gung ho to start their journey of river running will need to acquire. Training, such as that offered by Headwaters Adventure Company in Redding, will help you prepare.
There are many different rapids that you will encounter on your journey down the Redding section of the Sacramento River. Wyndham Rapid just below the Cypress bridge is another one to be careful around. If you come into this rapid too far to the right you will find yourself trying to paddle away from boulders and the concrete walls from houses lining the river. The biggest part of all this is SAFETY. Always wear a PFD (personal flotation device), and know what you’re getting yourself into. Check flows and do your research before jumping onto this scenic waterway, and then HAVE FUN!