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Magic Mile of the Kings River

The Kings River’s Magic Mile section is one of those whitewater runs boaters dream about getting to run. It requires the right water level, right crew of paddlers, and warm enough temperatures to hold onto your paddle. October of 2018, the warmest and driest fall on record, presented just such an opportunity, so Mike Records, Scott Patterson and I headed out one Sunday.
 The access to Magic Mile is fairly simple: Drive out the Glenn Highway to the Permanente Road, a very well-used dirt road that turns into an ATV trail as it heads up the Kings River valley. The turnoff is a few miles past the Glenn Highway bridge over the Kings River--while it is possible to work your way up the valley from the Kings/Matanuska confluence, that would be significantly more time consuming.
 Most 4WD/AWD vehicles can drive in a few miles on the Permanente Road, and park on top of a forested ridgeline before the trail gets rutted and muddy. From here, it is an eight mile or so hike in to the put-in, whic…

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