Lower North Fork American River rafting provides a great semi-wilderness spring run, with mostly easier Class 2-2+ rapids. There are some rapids that are more like Class 3 when flows are up, so not just an easy float. This trip is a great alternative to the Class 3 South Fork American River when a big snow pack results in higher water flows, making that river unsuitable for many youths.
It is also a wonderful run for secluded rafting. With the addition of inflatable kayaks, it can be more exciting too. Flowing freely from the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the snow melt, this trip on the lower section of the North Fork American River twists and turns thru an intimate canyon. The banks are lined with oaks, alders and pines and at times, colorful wildflowers like the California poppy and lupine are breathtaking. After the first 4 miles, the only things that otherwise that might be seen are deer, or the occasional gold miner. There are possible side hikes including a hike to the impressive 40′ Codfish Creek Falls. The rafting trip ends at Lake Clementine for a quick drive back to Auburn.
Lower North Fork American River rafting may be also added to the Chamberlain Falls class 4 run for those wanting a longer trip, or even a wilderness camp overnight trip.
The North Fork American River starts its journey west from the headwaters in the Granite Chief Wilderness between the ski areas of Sugar Bowl and Squaw Valley. For most of its length it is protected by federal Wild and Scenic status, and the river freely tumbles through steep gorges on the Tahoe National Forest into the defacto wilderness of the Auburn State Recreation Area.
Lower North Fork American River Rafting Trip Options
Easier spring trip, semi wilderness!
Rating: Class 2-2+
Minimum Age: 6 years
Length: 9.5 miles
Time: Meets in Auburn: 10:30am weekdays & 8:00 am weekends
Price: Starting at $104
Includes lunch. Inflatable Kayaks maybe available at lower flows.
This Lower North Fork American 1 day rafting trip is a very scenic and easier going Class 2-2+ spring run. Most suitable for families with younger children or those looking for a wilderness scenic float. It is a great alternative …[ FIND OUT MORE ]
Easy spring run, wilderness canyons
Rating: Class 2-2+ (some 3 at higher flows)
Minimum Age: 5+ years (higher age at high flows)
Length: 16.5 miles
Time: 12:30pm meet on day 1 – 4:30pm day 2
Price: Starting at $249
Includes 3 0r 4 meals and 1 night camping. Inflatable Kayaks possible lower flows.
This is a spectacular spring family rafting overnight trip, suitable for younger kids. Availability of both rivers makes it a rarely run trip, but it can be available in seasons where higher water flows occur due to a large snow …[ FIND OUT MORE ]
Fun Spring Overnight for Younger Kids!
Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-2+
Minimum Age: 6 years (older during high water)
Length: 22 miles
Time: 9:00am day 1 - 4:30/5:00pm day 2
Price: Starting at $234
4 meals and 1 night camping included.
This combo overnight whitewater rafting trip on the Lower North / South Fork American is a great spring time trip. Kids from 6 yrs may be able to participate depending on flows. It is an option when the Lower Middle …[ FIND OUT MORE ]