Class 4 Rafting on the Middle Fork American River
Middle Fork American River rafting trips provide reliable Class 4 all summer whitewater runs. We offer raft trips for 1-4 days including wilderness camp outs and in combination with other forks of the American. These runs are suitable for the active, fit and adventurous first-timer, or a great choice for those seeking a step-up from the easier South Fork American River. Good swimming skills are required.
The Middle Fork American River is set in a beautiful, rugged wilderness canyon in the Gold Country foothills. It has a very remote feel despite being close to Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. There are a couple of very memorable rapids on this run, the first being “Tunnel Chute”. This a man made, dynamited narrow chute with steep rocky walls. This leads to a big 6-foot drop and then through a 90-foot long rock tunnel! All this just 2.5 miles from put-in. Due to changes in this rapid during high water in spring 2017, the Chute is scouted on all trips and clients have the opportunity to walk around.
The formidable Ruck-A-Chucky Falls after lunch will provide plenty of entertainment. This Class 5-6 boulder slalom is a mandatory portage for clients – sorry no dollar amount can change that. We hike you up above the rapid and you can watch your brave and talented crew bring the rafts through. Once back on the raft there are numerous Class 4 rapids to follow.
This river is a favorite of our river guides during the summer. They appreciate escaping into this secluded and pristine road-less area. Middle Fork American River rafting trips are fed all summer long by snow melt captured in upstream reservoirs. The headwaters are in the Granite Chief Wilderness on the back side of the Squaw Valley. The river travels through steep, rugged and forested canyons within the Tahoe National Forest and into the Auburn State Recreation Area.
The Auburn Dam project threatened the Middle Fork American River canyon for many years. This prevented it from receiving its deserved wild & scenic status. Though the growth of our foothill communities is unavoidable, there is obviously a demand for these recreational areas to remain unspoiled for future generations. We continue to work with organizations like Friends of the River and Protect American River Canyons so we can all continue to enjoy its beauty.
For non-swimmers and timid first timers we recommend easier Class 2 or 3 rafting trips on the South Fork American River.