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“natural beauty and fun”
Review of Navarro River

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Reviewed 5 April 2013

Took a walk with the doggie under the bridge. Families playing in the water and boys with fishing poles. How much more Americana can it get?
Sandy beach easy to get to. Water clean and shallow.
We told had we gone to the other side of the bridge we would have seen a large school steelhead trout swimming in circles waiting for rain so they could swim downstream.

1  Thank NewportBeach1952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 September 2012

Like most coastal rivers, the Navarro changes character with the seasons, In the winter, when the rains keep pouring down, it can turn big brown and muddy, sweeping huge trees down and overflowing its banks, flooding hwy 128 and piling timber up against the hwy 1 bridge and on the beach. That's the time when idiot kayakers and rafters (like myself, once upon a time) like to blast down the feeder creeks and get swept down (hopefully) to some haul-out.

Then as the river recedes and clears, the steelhead fishers and canoes come out, hoping to catch one of the sadly diminished run of great steelhead or enjoy one of the great sweet downstream canoe runs in coastal CA from Hendy Woods SP to Paul Dimmick county park. Unbelievably beautiful and serene.

Then as the flow drops (more quickly & farther because of all the wells & pumps from new vineyards & homes--dang them!) the water warms and so many of the little steelhead cook and never make it back to sea. Green slime blooms. A sandbar forms across the mouth and the water backs up about 4 miles, making a beautiful lake that is a canoe or kayaker's dream--launch at the beach or along hwy 128 near the bridge. Throughout much of the summer there are numbers of good swimming holes that persist much of the summer--under and below the the Greenwood Road bridge near Hendy Woods, at Paul Dimmick and Iron Bridge Hole.

My favorite time is when the first really good rains create enough runoff to open up the mouth of the river and it becomes a living thing once again. If you are lucky, you can watch schools of steelhead swim & flop their way over the sandbar into the river on their spawning run. Right behind them are the sea lions, hoping to trap them in the tidewater. It's best to witness this during a pouring rain, when you can get soaking wet and cold. Then dry off by a fire and sip some brandy and think about what you've seen. Kind of connects you with the fish and the river and pretty much everything in a way, doesn't it?

(By the way, locals call the river Nuh vare (like in fare) oh--not Nuh var (like in far) oh.)

2  Thank billyabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2012

Every time I see the Navarro River, crossing over it on the way to Mendocino, something inside me is deeply touched. The river is always calm, but it's a strong powerful river that is always changing color depending on the day's light. I've never seen anyone kayaking on the river but always think that it would be a perfect river to paddle down to the sea. There is a rustic campground at the river's mouth. It's really a magnificent thing to see this exquisite river.

1  Thank Patty04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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