North Fork American River – 1/2 day “Chamberlain Falls” Run


Only Class 4 Express Run! Previous experience preferred!

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced

Rating: Class 4-4+

Minimum Age: 14 years

Length: 9 miles

Time: Varies, but usually 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Price: Contact us [ VIEW PRICES ]

Lunch NOT included. Strong swimming skills required.


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This North Fork American River rafting half day trip is most often available as an afternoon trip. You still get the full 9 miles, but you do not get lunch or the side hike. You blast down the whole thing with a few stops to scout rapids.

As with any Class 4 run, good footwear is essential as rapids may be scouted. Due to cold snow melt water and the technical nature of this run, first timers are discouraged and strong swimming abilities a must. Depending on water levels and air temperature, wetsuits may be mandatory. Rentals are available for $10. Helmets are always provided.

We meet in Auburn or Colfax. We will shuttle you to the put-in launch site near Colfax to start your trip through the Auburn State Recreation Area. You will be given your pre-trip instruction and necessary equipment. 

The challenge on this North Fork American River half day rafting trip starts right from the beginning. First, we negotiate a Class III-IV gorge with a series of boulder slalom rapids called ‘Slaughter Sluice’ before crashing over the Class 4+ ‘Chamberlain Falls’. Soon after comes more Class 3-4 rapids named ‘Tongue & Groove’, ‘Zig-Zag’, ‘Bogus Thunder’, ‘Grand Slalom’ and ‘Devil’s Staircase’. There is a brief section where we take a breather, and relax a little after more than four miles of intense Class 4 rapids. The second half of the trip is mellower with frequent Class 2-3 rapids and we float through a tranquil, peaceful canyon and take the opportunity to admire the beautiful, clean water and polished granite.

We take out at the Ponderosa Bridge where you are greeted with a cold drink. We return you back your vehicles.