Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Rating: Class 4-4+
Minimum Age: 13-16 years
Length: 26 miles
Time: 8:00am day 1 - 4:30pm day 2
Price: Starting at $319 [ VIEW PRICES ]
4 meals and 1 night camping included.
[ AREA INFORMATION ] Motels, Camping, Restaurants & More
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This early season Middle Fork / North Fork American River 2 day rafting trip is an ideal choice for those wanting to warm up on Class 3/4 rapids, before stepping up to some exciting Class 4+ action on the 2nd day. The spring time flows on the Middle Fork American River are often at higher water levels than during the summer, which makes for additional excitement. Great overnight trip for adventurous rafters who are looking for an early season spring run.
We meet early in the morning in Auburn and you are transported from here, through Foresthill to the put-in below Oxbow Reservoir.
On the Middle Fork American River, the famed Class 4+ ‘Tunnel Chute’ is encountered early in the trip. Numerous Class 3 rapids follow and the Class 4+ ‘Kanaka’. You are served lunch on a beach during the easier stretch in the middle of the river. Just below the entrance of Canyon Creek your adrenaline will kick back in with the Class 4 Ruck-a-Chucky rapids. Upper Ruck-A-Chucky (AKA Chunder) is the first in this series followed by the falls. You will hike around this 20′ drop through a sieve of huge boulders as it is a mandatory portage for clients. Back in the raft for ‘Lower Ruck-a-Chucky’ (AKA ‘Cleavage’) which follows and is a fun “surf” spot. Then the action continues with a 2 mile gorge laced with numerous Class 3-4 rapids including ‘Parallel Parking’ and ‘Catapult’ (AKA ‘101 Airborne’).
We take out at Drivers Flat Road (old Greenwood Bridge site). You are served cold drinks before boarding vehicles for your return to Auburn. You will then drive approx. 30 mins to Lotus, CA where you will spend the night.
Our overnight camp at Rivers Bend is an exclusive camp site not open to the general public. It has flush toilets, hot showers, a volleyball net and horseshoe pits. If you did not arrive the night before, you will have time to set-up camp and relax with a drink. Appetizers are served and a delicious 3 course dinner is prepared by your guides. This is accompanied with a moderate amount of beer, wine, and soft drinks. After dinner, the day’s photos will be available to view in camp and you can relax around the camp fire.
On the second morning, awake to the sound of the river and the aroma of coffee brewing. Personal gear should be packed while the guides prepare a great breakfast. Departure time from camp varies depending on the allocated start time we have on the North Fork American. So be sure to check with your guides and know where they want you to be and at what time. We will usually depart from camp no later than 9:00 am for our second day of more challenging rapids on the North Fork American River. Usually we caravan to Auburn and then we transport you to the put-in near Colfax.
On the North Fork American, the challenge starts right from the beginning. You negotiate a Class III-IV gorge with a series of boulder slalom rapids called Slaughter Sluice. Less than 1 mile in the Class 4+ Chamberlain Falls! Soon after come more Class 3-4 rapids named Tongue & Groove, Zig-Zag, Achilles Heel, Bogus Thunder, Grand Slalom. The three river wide ledges of Staircase complete the 4 miles of intense Class 4 action. You will be glad to take a breather. There is a possible picturesque side hike up Indian Creek to a waterfall and a welcome lunch stop. After lunch it is a bit more mellow, with frequent Class 2-3 rapids. You can enjoy floating through this scenic, tranquil and peaceful canyon. Take the opportunity to admire the beautiful, clean water, polished granite and spring wild flowers frequent the river banks.
The season for this Middle Fork / North Fork American River 2 day rafting trip depends on the snow pack run-off. For trips from mid-June into September in most years, the Middle Fork American 2 day wilderness trip or the South/Middle American River Combo would be the trips of choice.
An alternative spring trip for 2 days of Class 4 cation is the North Yuba Bullards Bar / Maytag trip.