The Middle Fork of the American River is one of the best whitewater runs in the West. With world renown rapids like Tunnel Chute, Parallel Parking, and Bus Crash, this stretch of river is an instant classic. Available as a one or two day trip, this run is a step up from the South Fork of the American River but is also excellent for adventurous first time rafters.
1-Day Trip (17 Miles)
Meeting at 8:15 in Auburn, CA. From there a 45 minute van ride dead ends at Oxbow Reservoir. After a safety talk and gear distribution, Good Morning rapid hits you in the face within one minute of being on water. A warmup is needed immediately with the infamous class IV Tunnel Chute rapid just over a mile downstream.
After five miles of good class 3/4 whitewater, the river settles down and we float through the canyon until stopping for riverside lunch. Following lunch the river complies with our need to digest and remains calm for a few more miles until arriving at Chunder Pond.
To conclude the river changes drastically with rapids such as Chunder Falls, Parallel Parking, and Ski Jump that have your adrenaline running high again. Your trip concludes at the old Greenwood Bridge site and you typically arrive back to your vehicle around 4:30pm.
2-Day Trip (The Chill)
“This is the way to see the Middle Fork. You miss so many cool things when you’re rushing by on the one day trips. One day trips are great, but an overnight on the river? Even better.” - Danny O. (Senior Guide).
Wave goodbye as all the one day trips push off to hurry downstream. Unwind, disconnect and recharge your soul as you get to relax, hike, swim, fish and experience this beautiful canyon at a slower pace.
Wilderness means wilderness: no roads, no escape. All the necessities will be carried by a gear boat. That’s right, everything: your clothes, sleeping bag, food, drinks, kitchen and the H2O Yeah! fun.
A riverside beach camp means drinks, appetizers, games and camp fires (season permitting) may all be enjoyed before and during dinner. After dinner get a book, jam out on the guitar, enjoy cocktails, relax, or roast marshmallows. This is your vacation.
Day 2 is welcomed with breakfast and a short mellow float to Chunder Pond, where a scenic side hike up Canyon Creek allows for one last time to relax before taking on the last three miles of class 4 whitewater. Chunder Falls is immediately followed by a mandatory portage around Ruck-a-Chucky Falls. Once we’re back into the boat, rapids such as Cleavage, Parallel Parking and Texas Chainsaw await downstream. Depending on your guide and your adventure level, a few more surprises may be thrown in there as well.