Plummeting out of the Desolation Valley basin near Lake Tahoe lies the free-flowing North Fork American River with some of California’s most exciting springtime technical rapids. From the moment we enter the river, the ride is challenging and exciting. The upper stretch of river has an average gradient drop of 50′ per mile through a steep and narrow granite canyon for spectacular whitewater and great vistas — when we have a moment! Turns are tight and technical; Chamberlain Falls is a thrilling drop! North Fork American River rafting is a must-do for the true adventure seeker.
Rafters ready for the North Fork are in good physical condition and possess prior Class III paddling experience. We will cover advanced paddling, safety, and swimming techniques before beginning our run. Wetsuits are usually required for this run. You can bring your own or rent them for $15 in advance by calling our office.
We meet in the town of Auburn and meeting times vary from early morning to mid-day depending on our put-in time. After check-in we’ll drive to the put-in where you will receive a safety orientation and review paddling techniques with your guides. The river leaps into intense rapids from the start with almost continuous class 4 runs for the first five miles. Depending on water levels we may scout one of the biggest drops, Chamberlain Falls, for the best run. Lunch on the riverbank will give us a chance to relax and enjoy the stark beauty of this stunning canyon, before more rapids on the lower section!
Here is the chance to get an intermediate and advanced river in this rocking combo! Available only in May, and possibly early June, depending on water levels. This combo gives you the opportunity to get in a lot of river miles while experiencing great intermediate and advanced level rapids. Meet us at our South Fork American campsite the morning of your trip where we will be camping that night. We raft both the North Fork and the Middle Fork of the American, enjoying the area’s most challenging rapids on this two-day extravaganza!
The chance to combine another river with the North Fork for an outstanding two-day adventure happens each spring! Combine the Gorge Run of the South Fork American with a North Fork run for a springtime extravaganza! Camp at our South Fork camp for two nights, enjoying the “outdoor living” of our wilderness setting.