Whitewater at Mormon Ravine
There’s nothing so soothing and irresistible to me as a rushing, roaring creek — especially one found along an otherwise quiet and tree-shaded trail. I’ve probably said before that I could happily spend hours just sitting, gazing at the tumbling waters and listening to the natural white noise, interrupted only by the calls of nearby birds. So I was happy to see, on our hike out past Avery’s Pond (which is distressingly low at the moment) the other day, that the stream at Mormon Ravine was much more lively than at my last visit; and while the Big Guy was busy fishing further downstream, closer to the main body of Folsom Lake, I wandered off to find the footbridge crossing the creek.
At certain times of a normal water year, the lower part of the ravine has a much higher water level, making it an inlet of Folsom Lake rather than a whitewater feeder. We were curious as to where this stream originated, so I did a bit of online research. From what I can tell, the current source is the PG&E South (Placer) Canal and a water collection site a few miles away in Newcastle. But since Mormon Creek has flowed into the American River long before the construction of Folsom Lake and the newer communities further up the canyon, I’m still unsure of the historical water source.