Middle Fork American River

Auburn /

Level: Intermediate /

Class 2-4+

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.

Trip Info

Class 4 Rafting on the Middle Fork American River

Rafting trips on the Middle Fork American River are reliable all summer long! The Class 4 whitewater run is 18 miles long and offered as a 1 day or 2 day trip. The 2 day Middle Fork American overnight wilderness camp outs are some of our guide favorites.

Our 2 day South Fork American & Middle Fork American River combo trip is another popular vacation package. Spend 2 days on the American River, Class 2-3 South Fork on day 1 and Class 4 Middle Fork on day 2. Camping is at our established camp in Lotus, CA with glamping options & tent camping. Groups welcome!

These runs are suitable for the active, fit and adventurous first time rafters, or a great choice for those seeking a step-up from the easier trips like the South Fork American River. Good swimming skills are required.

On the Middle Fork American River you will splash thru numerous Class 4 rapids including Tunnel Chute, Kanaka, Bus Crash, Cleavage and more! This trip is action packed right after put in.

Our 1 day trip is all day and includes lunch. We meet you in Auburn at the Crooked Lane Brewing Company in the morning and will take you to/from the river.

The 2 day overnight on this river is a favorite of our river guides during the summer. They appreciate escaping into this secluded and pristine road-less area. This trip allows us to show you the more unique canyons, streams and waterfalls as we explore in the rafts and on foot.

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.

The Middle Fork is one of the deepest river canyons in California. Once scheduled to be under hundreds of feet of water as part of the Auburn Dam project, folks just like you discovered it’s treasures and forced the powers-that-be both here in California and back in D.C. to recognize it’s true worth as an important part of our environmental, social, economic and spiritual health. Check out this gem – it’s perhaps the most bang for your buck (in so many ways) that you can get anywhere in our fair state!

For non-swimmers and timid first timers we recommend easier Class 2 Lower Middle Fork  American River (for ages 4+) or 3 rafting trips on the South Fork American River (ages 7+).

FAQ's

What can I expect on a Middle Fork American River rafting trip?

On the Middle Fork American River you will encounter many Class 4 rapids including Tunnel Chute, Kanaka, Bus Crash, Cleavage and more! This trip is action packed right after put in.

Our 1 day trip is all day and includes lunch. We meet you in Auburn at the Crooked Lane Brewing Company in the morning and will take you to/from the river.

The 2 day overnight on this river is a favorite of our river guides during the summer. They appreciate escaping into this secluded and pristine road-less area. This trip allows us to show you the more unique canyons, streams and waterfalls as we explore in the rafts and on foot.

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.

The Middle Fork is one of the deepest river canyons in California. Once scheduled to be under hundreds of feet of water as part of the Auburn Dam project, folks just like you discovered it’s treasures and forced the powers-that-be both here in California and back in D.C. to recognize it’s true worth as an important part of our environmental, social, economic and spiritual health. Check out this gem – it’s perhaps the most bang for your buck (in so many ways) that you can get anywhere in California!

For non-swimmers and timid first timers we recommend easier Class 2 Lower Middle Fork American River (for ages 4+) or 3 rafting trips on the South Fork American River (ages 7+).

Middle Fork River Map

What class rapids is the American River?

The rapids on the Upper Middle Fork American River section from Oxbow Powerhouse to Ruck a Chucky Campground are rated class 2-4+. There is a Class 5 that is a mandatory portage for rafting guests.

For easier rafting trips the South Fork American River is rated Class 2-3+ and suitable for kids ages7+ and non-swimmers.

There are other Class 2 sections on the South Fork American and Lower Middle Fork American rivers OK for kids as young as 4 years old.

How long does it take to raft the American River?

The Middle Fork American River trips are 1 to 2 days. A full day is 8 hours and overnights include 2 nights of camping and meals with 1 night of camping in the wild.

Meeting Location

Meeting Location: Crooked Lane Brewing Company

The following is for our Class 4 Middle Fork American and North Fork American River rafting trips.

Middle Fork American River Rafting News

$20 off Middle Fork American River Rafting on Sunday 9/27

Join us for the Last Day of Rafting on the Middle Fork American River in 2020 & Get $20 off! Sunday September 27, 2020 YES! This is the one with...
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