Difficulty: Adventurous Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 3-4+
Minimum Age: 13 years
Length: 17 miles
Time: 8:30am - 5:00/5:30pm
Price: $139-$169 [ VIEW PRICES ]
Lunch included, camping available nearby
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The Middle Fork American River is a great trip for the active and adventurous rafter (first timers OK) as long as you have good swimming ability. It’s a long but satisfying day that begins with an early rendezvous. Make sure you get a good breakfast before meeting us!
After meeting in Auburn, you are transported through Foresthill to the put-in location just below Oxbow Reservoir. The guides will ensure that you are correctly equipped with PFD’s (personal flotation devices), paddles and helmets. You will be told in a safety talk what might happen on the river and any necessary environmental protection procedures.
The infamous “Tunnel Chute” rapid is one of the first big rapids encountered. Numerous Class 3-4 rapids follow this in the first 6 miles, such as Last Chance, Submarine Hole and Kanaka. The pace is mellower for the next 7 miles, allowing time to appreciate the solitude and beauty of the lush, forested canyon. The incredibly clean & clear Sierra mountain water originates from the snow pack on the back side of Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows. You may get a glimpse of some wild-life (including bears and heron) and the river is host to rainbow and brown trout. We stop for a generous river side lunch (which many are surprised about how good it is!). While your guides prepare the food, you will have time to swim and hike.
After lunch we re-launch and below the entrance to Canyon Creek the Class 4 adrenaline rush kicks back in with the Ruck-a-Chucky rapids. Upper Ruck-A-Chucky (AKA Chunder) is the first in this series. Next is a 20′ drop through a sieve of huge boulders which is a mandatory portage for clients. Lower Ruck-a-Chucky (AKA Cleavage) immediately follows and is a fun “surf” spot. We make our way thru a 2 mile gorge laced with numerous Class 3-4 rapids such as Parallel Parking and Catapult (AKA 101 Airborne). We take out at Drivers Flat Road (old Greenwood Bridge site). You are served cold drinks before you load up for your return to Auburn.