The action on Burnt Ranch Gorge is swift and intense, with the Trinity River dropping 200 feet a mile in parts and there are five Class 4-4+ rapids in the first 2.5 miles. Rapids like China Slide, Pearly Gates, Tight Squeeze have 8′-10′ drops and narrow chutes just barely wide enough for the raft to slip through!
Now things get really tough. Then two Class 5 rapids (Upper Burnt Ranch AKA Jaws and Middle Burnt Ranch Falls) must be negotiated before any escape is possible. Just after Middle Burnt Ranch Falls, a steep trail heads up the canyon leading to Burnt Ranch Campground and the highway. The most difficult rapids in the canyon are yet to come with the Class 5 rapids of Lower Burnt Ranch Falls, Hennessy Falls, Origami, Table Rock and Gray’s Fall in a 3 mile stretch.
Following all this action, you get a welcome break, can swim the rapids, celebrate what you have just survived and relax before the take-out at Hawkins Bar.