Lower Middle Fork American River

Auburn, CA /

Level: Beginner /

Class 2

for first-time california rafters, families with young kids, and youth groups

Meeting Location

SpringHill Suites
13535 Bowman Rd
Auburn, CA 95603

Located off I-80 near Sacramento, between San Francisco & Lake Tahoe

Area Information

The Lower Middle Fork American River rafting trips offer a beautiful, wilderness setting located in the Gold Country near Sacramento. This trip is perfect for young kids ages 4 and up as well as more timid children for safe rafting trips available all summer long. It is also a great trip for family groups who want to include multiple generations to experience rafting with the grand parents or less able bodied. Inflatable kayaks can be rented for some additional challenges for teens and adults.

The Lower Middle Fork American raft trip is mellower, less traveled, and more relaxed than the nearby South Fork American River. We originally started rafting this river section to introduce our own children to rafting, and now we hope to share it with you too! Our guides are knowledgeable of the flora, fauna and wildlife on this river and are happy to share with you as we float down the river.

Logistics of the trip make it less accessible, therefore few outfitters offer this raft trip. Group sizes are usually small.


  • SpringHill Suites – Our meeting location for these trips. A Marriot hotel with views of the mountains, rooms for families & a pool! They are a preferred partner with Raft California & offer a discounted rate (click the link to view prices/availability)
  • Placer County Visitors Bureau

Foresthill: about 20 mins NW of Auburn, wonderful small town with restaurants, bars, and grocery store.

  • Mountain Shadows – (888) 674-4933 A beautiful house with room for up to 20 people on 1.5 acres with breathtaking views overlooking the Middle Fork American River canyon. Culinary kitchen, heated outdoor pool, wi-fi friendly sound system and more! Great for groups, families, and weddings – dog and horse friendly! Listed on VRBO with 5 star reviews. Pick up for your rafting trip possible.
  • Miners Camp – Centrally located in the historic town of Foresthill, CA. There are 10 recently remodeled modern units sleeping up to 42 people. Listed on VRBO and managed by the same wonderful people who run Mountain Shadows!

Camping available with Raft California at our South Fork American Riverside Campground!

Our camp features views of the river, facilities, Canvas Tent Rentals & a fun environment for families and groups.


  • The Auburn State Recreation Area – Camping, trails, fishing & swimming. Additional recreation, accommodations & sightseeing are available in Grass Valley/Nevada City just 24 miles N. of Auburn via Hwy. 49, or in North Lake Tahoe 80 miles E. of Auburn via I-80
  • Placer County Visitors Center – 13411 Lincoln Way, Auburn, CA 95603. (866) 752-2371 or (530) 887-2111.
  • Protect American River Canyons – Dedicated to the protection and conservation of the natural, recreational, cultural, and historical resources of the North and Middle Forks of the American River and its canyons for all to responsibly care for and enjoy.
  • Auburn Chamber of Commerce – (530) 885-5616
  • Auburn Transit – City of Auburn Public Works operates Auburn Transit. Auburn Transit is a deviated fixed route service that operates within the City of Auburn and portions of unincorporated Placer County.

For local transportation within the Auburn area (ie: to/from hotel and meeting location)

  • Sierra Taxi – (530) 885-2227. Local Taxi service.
  • Gold Cab & Limo Service – (530)-885-1111 / (916)-500-9891. Local taxi and airport services.

For Transportation to/from Sacramento International Airport:

Great fishing location that hosts beautifully-colored wild rainbow trout (native, not stocked) and German browns. Some of the best locations are pretty inaccessible except for serious hikers, but readily accessible on a multi-day rafting trip.

Great trails around, including the 100 mile Western States

  • Fawnridge Winery – 5560 Fawnridge Road, Auburn, CA 95602. Award winning wines. Tasting Hours: Friday-Sunday  11am-5pm

There are several Lakes in the area where you can take a SUP board or kayak for the day – even some you can paddle in for overnight beach camping!

Surrounding Lakes/Reservoirs: