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The American River is the best place for whitewater rafting in the Sierra Nevada. The South Fork has classic Class I-III-plus rapids throughout -- an adventure for all groups and families wanting to add a splash of fun to their lives. The Middle Fork of the American has 18 miles of beautiful wilderness scenery, and the more challenging Class IV-plus rapids All runs have the thrill ride sections like Tunnel Chute and Kanaka Falls as well as some of the nice float and catch-your-breath scenery that Class II rapids provide. Perfect for those with a little experience wanting a wild day in the wilderness and an adrenaline rush. Must be 12 and over.
The South Fork of the American: This is the most popular rafting trip in California because it has lots of Class III+ rapids, a long rafting season, and is completely safe. Spring, Summer and Fall.
The reliable water releases from Chili Bar Dam make it possible to raft the American River from March through September. The entire run from Chili Bar to Folsom Lake is 21 miles and can be done in one long day, but most people will take two days to enjoy the scenery and wonderful rapids. The two runs on the South Fork are referred to as Chili Bar (Upper) and "The Gorge" (Lower).
Tunnel Chute One Day
Lower One Day
The famous and exhilarating Tunnel Chute rapid brings rafters back year after year, although there are many other rapids just as thrilling. Immediately downstream from put-in is a class III rapid known as "Alarm Clock," or "Good Morning Coffee." Last Chance, Kanaka, Cleavage, Parallel Parking, and Catapult, plus numerous class III rapids make the upper Middle Fork an ideal intermediate to advanced whitewater rafting trip.
It is also close to Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area and beautiful Lake Tahoe.
Click on the "Paddle" above and take a planned tour down the American River rapids. Also includes Rendezvous points and general location information
Upper Middle Fork, -- put in at Oxbow, take out a Ruck-A-Chucky,Class III, IV and IV. Helmets required and experience recommended.
Lower Middle Fork -- put in at Ruck-A-Chucky, take out at Mammoth Bar, Class I and II rapids. Perfect for a mild, leisurely wilderness trip.
The "American River"Rapids
Upper Chili BarOne Day Lower (Gorge) One Day
SOUTH FORK American River
MIDDLE FORK American River
"Add a Splash of Fun to Your Life"