Rating: Class IV
GPS: 35°32’19.04″N, 118°37’58.04″W
Description: As you exit Hari Kari, you will encounter another long pool. This rapid is at the end of this pool and has no good scout.
Above 3000 CFS: Enter on river right down the middle of a small tongue located right next to the trees. There is a large guard hole left of this tongue so make sure you are far right enough otherwise you could be swimming the entire rapid. After the tongue, there are some fun waves but be wary of a decent sized lateral along with exposed rocks in front of the large boulder 70 feet downstream on river left. As the river straightens out, horseshoe hole is looming 100 feet straight downstream. Aim to go either left or right of the hole. The left seems to be a cleaner line as the right can push you into trees. Either way, work your way back to the center for the final tongue. Don’t celebrate yet as you want to make sure you get left of the granite wall that can flip a boat or put you into the strong eddy on river right.
3000 to 2000 CFS: You gain more time to make moves and Horseshoe hole becomes more of a standing wave as the water drops. Enter the tongue far river right and be aware of the keeper hole that remains just left of the tongue. Stay in the center of the river as you make the bend and charge the wave if you feel up to it.
Below 2000 CFS: At lower flows, the drops become a lot more channelized. Drop in far right and make a banked turn off of some pillows back towards the center of the river. Take your time dodging rocks through the bend and use the current to your advantage. Follow the green tongues through horseshoe falls and the final drop before the wall. There are many guard rocks at the entrance and through the initial bend.
History: On higher water years, there is an unofficial event called Horseshoe Daze in which people charge the hole in all types of crafts imaginable.
This video shows an almost perfect line through Horseshoe Falls at 3,400 CFS. Note the far right entrance and move to get left of the hole.
Low flows around 950 CFS. While there is considerably more rock dodging, the entrance makes for a fun pillow move and the final two drops are perfect chutes.
This raft styles the entrance but gets humbled by Horseshoe hole. ~3,700 CFS
A prime example of the various craft featured during Horseshoe Daze.