MIDDLE FORK AMERICAN RIVER RAFTING
Enjoy 18 magnificent miles of the Middle Fork American River
American River Rafting for Adventurous First-Timers & Experienced Rafters
Rich in history and full of breathtaking views, the Middle Fork American River offers an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime river rafting experience. As one of the original outfitters of the Middle Fork American, we are uniquely equipped to guide guests through its mild class I-II stretches, to its exhilarating level III-IV rapids. In fact, we’ve been providing river tours here since 1979!
The Middle Fork American cascades through one of the deepest and most remote canyons in California, where guests will enjoy crystal clear waters and all the beautiful sights of the mid-Sierra. This 18-mile American River rafting adventure includes the famous Tunnel Chute rapid, where the river thunders through a narrow chute before flowing into a cavernous 90-foot tunnel blasted by 19th-century miners. Guests will also get a chance to watch their guide’s rafting skills on Ruck-A-Chucky Falls, which features an impressive 25-foot drop surrounded by towering granite boulders, and must be portaged.
Middle Fork Trips start at $130!
Last Minute Bookings Welcome – Reserve Today and Raft Tomorrow!
The Middle Fork American river rafting season typically opens during or after the excitement of the North Fork season, a class IV+ Spring run that is anticipated by many during the offseason. Middle Fork flows are dam regulated at Oxbow Reservoir for the duration of the rafting peak season, from May through to September. Rafting trips start on waters that come directly from the Oxbow Reservoir outflow, and within seconds rafts are navigating the first rapid, Good Morning. This is a rapid that sets the tone for the day with a series of significant splashes that all seem to find their way to smiling faces. Rafters are challenged with their first class IV rapid of the day within 20 minutes of the whitewater trip. By lunch, the river calms, and guests get to take in the scenery and company of each other. In the midst of these gentler waters, the rafts will pull over on a California State Park managed campsite to enjoy a colorful and well-balanced meal. Once finished, the rafts are back on the water and charging towards the next high action section of the river. This tight section of the canyon has rapid after rapid filled with big splashes, steep drops, and exciting maneuvers. Just before the rafts take off the water, there is an opportunity for one last swim in the refreshing Middle Fork waters. Guests can float alongside the rafts, relaxing and reflecting on this spectacular and adventurous experience.
American River Rafting and Lodging Options
Guests rafting with us multiple days will travel from our rafting base in Coloma, California and those doing a day trip option will meet in Auburn, California. Our journey begins with an ultra-scenic shuttle ride to our launching point, where we start our river travel in a beautiful canyon plentiful in California Gold Rush history. Once arrived, rafting guests will be briefed by our expertly trained river guides, who will share safety procedures and paddling instructions before embarking on this exciting rafting tour.
Those who spend multiple days rafting with us stay at American River Resort, a beautiful campground with full hook-up RV sites, grassy tent camping sites, stand-alone deluxe cabins, and hot showers. American River Resort sits on the South Fork American River and is rich in biodiversity. The area can be utilized for a variety of other recreational activities. These activities including bird watching, hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, swimming, gold-panning and more. For a worry-free approach to camping, take part in dinners with other rafting guest and enjoy a fabulous three-course meal provided by resort staff. If you’re searching for a thrilling river adventure vacation, look no further than our exclusive Middle Fork American River whitewater rafting and camping packages.
There are three major forks of the American River that span Placer County, El Dorado County, and Sacramento County. The Middle Fork American River is one of California’s significant waterways and is responsible for over 1 billion kilowatt hours of hydroelectricity. The Middle Fork is part of a massive California project, which consists of two major stations in a length of 62 miles. Water accumulates from snowmelt off the Sierra Crest of the Western Sierra Nevada Mountain Range near Granite Chief Peak of Tahoe National Forest and Squaw Valley Ski Resort. The North Fork and Middle Forks of the American River eventually come together and meet the South Fork in Folsom Lake, East of California’s Capital City. The American River then feeds into the Sacramento River with the Sacramento Metropolitan Airport at its Eastbanks. The collective of water will eventually end up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Public land surrounds much of the river with the oversight of United States Forest Service, California State Parks and Bureau of Land Management. As many other recreational rivers in the United States, the Middle Fork of the American River benefits from the environmental advocacy of American Whitewater, a nonprofit with the mission, “to conserve and restore America’s whitewater resources and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely”. Their actions helped save the Middle Fork from the Auburn Dam that was slated to be built in the 1970’s.
This commercially rafted section of the Middle Fork American is just outside the historic town of Foresthill, a small community that was once in consideration for California’s State Capital. It was an important trading center for the nearby mining camps and had the areas only limestone kiln. Trains from the Cool Quarry transported limestone to the town, here much of the building materials for California’s infrastructure was manufactured. Many mining relics can be identified on the trip downstream with correlating mining tales to build on what is witnessed. With its warmer Mediterranean climate, it is the perfect location to embark on a summer rafting journey.
A Magnificent Middle Fork White Water Rafting Experience