The Lower Yellow is a generic bottom-land paddle with many logjams. But the upper stretch is quite nice with many rapids and boulder gardens. Timing though can be pretty tricky as often this river is either too high or too low.
Hwy 80 to Hwy N
Date Paddled: June 11th, 2016
Distance: 3.4 Miles
Time: 2 hours 48 minutes
This segment of the Yellow starts with a whimper and ends with a bang. Highlights include fun rapids, boulder gardens, massive river boulders and a lack of development.Read More...
North Wood County Park to Little Bull Falls
Date Paddled: September 13th, 2020
Distance: 4.2 miles
Time: Expect 2 hours
Yet another underrated Central Wisconsin paddle that is super scenic and has a lot of fun rapids. This is a tough river to time though as it is often too low or too high.Read More...
Little Bull Falls to Dexter County Park
Date Paddled: November 6th, 2016
Distance: 7.5 miles
Time: 5 hours 8 minutes (3.5 hours would be more typical)
An unexplored section on the Upper Yellow River with some really nice surprises.Read More...
Necedah Dam to Yellow River Bay
Date Paddled: October 6th, 2015
Distance: 10 Miles
Time: 5 hours 8 minutes
An obscure central Wisconsin prospect that is pleasant with great sandbars, but has some snags to contend with.Read More...
- Eagle Road to Hwy 80: 12.4 miles. WisconsinRiverTrips.com contributor Daniel Akin has frequented several of these subsections with his favorite being Yellow River Road to Hwy 10.
- Eagle Road to Hwy HH: 2.2 miles. This is a dangerous section with Class 3 and 4 rapids. There’s also a wire fence across the river to deal with.
- Hwy HH to Yellow River Road: 2.1 miles. A more wooded stretch that I don’t know much about. Nice street view image.
- Yellow River Road to Bb: 1.3 miles. A wooded section with possible logjams.
- Bb to Robin Road: 0.8 miles. Good prospect with some minor rapids by the put-in. Nice street view image.
- Robin Road to Hwy 10: 2.1 miles. Neat prospect that looks somewhat unobstructed and has several scenic boulder gardens.
- Hwy 10 to Lincoln Ave: 2.2 miles. Very narrow and wooded. There may be some logjam issues.
- Lincoln Ave to Hwy 80: 1.7 miles. Maybe some logjams, boulder gardens and outcrops.
- Hwy 80 to Hwy N: 3.4 miles. Starts slow, but ends with nice boulder gardens and rapids.
- Hwy N to North Wood County Park (2nd Dam): 2.9 miles. A rocky stretch with some rough whitewater including a Class 3 near the put-in by the “Dells”.
- North Wood County Park (2nd Dam) to Little Bull Falls Grill: 4.2 miles.
- North Wood County Park (2nd Dam) to Hwy C: 2.8 miles. Scenic stretch with many boulder gardens and rapids. The most serious rapids are near Hwy C and include Jenny Falls which is a Class 3.
- Hwy C to Little Bull Falls: 1.2 miles. More rapids and boulder gardens. There is a logjam shortly after Hwy C. Little Bull Falls is a Class 4 and is preceded by a Class 3.
- Little Bull Falls to Dexter Park: 7.5 miles.
- Little Bull Falls to Hwy 73: 1.6 miles. Many rapids on this stretch with some nice rock outcrops. Launch below the falls and at a private access.
- Hwy 73 to Riverside Park: 1.7 miles. More rapids and the biggest and best outcrops. Hwy 73 is a weedy but doable access option.
- Riverside Park to Dexter Park: 4.2 miles. Far fewer outcrops and rapids, but a nice wooded section. Two miles in the flowage kicks in which is less interesting.
- Hwy 54 (Dexter Park) to Hwy 80 (Babcock): 9.7 miles. While you could launch by the park, your best bet will be to launch SW of the dam off Hwy 54. Paddling author Frank liked this section and said it had no logjams, but he did it during high water and there are many downed trees. Can be pushy when high and only for adventurers. Not too many sandbars.
- Hwy 80 to Hwy F: 10.6 miles. Good sandbars. Am not sure about jams.
- Hwy F to 9th Street: 8.3 miles. Really nice sandbars in low water. Not sure about jams, but portages ‘should not’ be too bad given the shallow sandy banks.
- 9th Street to the dam (Necedah): 16 miles. A lot less sandy and many oxbows. Jams are a question mark. I suspect this is a weak section.
- Necedah to Yellow River Bay: A longer sandy section that is mediocre. Note this section may now be clogged with logjams.
- Castle Rock Lake: Blah. Big, open and dangerous flowage (3rd largest in the state).
- Buckhorn State Park: You can explore the back channels and they seem nice, with interpretive signs…but with no current and only 1.5 miles. Here is a map of the official water trail in the park.
Thanks to Frank Piraino, author of “Small River Canoe Adventures of Wisconsin,” and American Whitewater for a lot of this information!