This trip is typically a “back up” trip when the Lower Middle Fork American River is also not available. Please contact us if you are interested in this trip.
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 to the more difficult South Fork American when river flows are higher during above average snow melt. When flows are not too high, the addition of inflatable kayaks can provide some added excitement for the more adventurous.
We meet in Auburn and we shuttle up I-80 east to Weimar. The put-in is located down a narrow canyon road heading into the Auburn State Recreation Area. At the historic Yankee Jims Bridge (and popular swimming hole) the rafts are launched. After donning PFD’s and getting some paddling instruction, we proceed to float into this pristine and secluded North Fork American River canyon.
Some of the most exciting rapids are to be found in the first few miles, with the Class 2 rapids named 1 ½ and 2 ½. Following this is rapid 3 ½ and Bend & Brake (which verge on class 3 at higher flows). About 4 miles down the river, most other rafters will take off the river at the Ponderosa Bridge. This is the end of the more difficult upstream Class 4 run from Colfax. Soon after the bridge is a trail on river right for a possible side-hike that leads to the impressive 40′ Codfish Creek Falls. The remaining section of river is even more remote, and you are officially deep into the wilderness of the Auburn State Recreation Area. Typically lunch will be served at Codfish Creek camp area, and below this we will encounter more class 2 rapids.
A lot of the charm of this Lower North Fork American 1 day rafting trip trip is that you will likely see very few people. What you might see though, are the steep hillsides which can be covered in California poppy, lupine and other wild flowers.
We take out at the upper end of Lake Clementine. Refreshments are served and we shuttle back to the meeting location.