North Fork American River

1 day trips meet in Auburn /

Level: Intermediate to Advanced /

Class 4-4+

Class 4-4+ Rafting on the North Fork American River

North Fork American River Class 4-4+ whitewater trips

On this Chamberlain Falls run, the action starts quickly and it is an experience you will never forget. You raft down nearly continuous pool and drop rapids with unsurpassed back country scenery. Aqua colored water flows over polished granite rocks and hillsides are dotted with spring flowers.

Previous paddling experience is recommended and competent swimming ability is required. This is particularly important at times of higher water when eddies are scarce and large holes must be negotiated. This IS NOT A NOVICE RUN!

The North Fork American River flows through a pristine and very scenic steep walled canyon. The river starts its journey west from the headwaters in the Granite Chief Wilderness between the ski areas of Sugar Bowl and Squaw Valley. For most of its length it is protected by federal Wild and Scenic status, as it freely tumbles through steep gorges in the Tahoe National Forest. It enters the Auburn State Recreation Area near Colfax and joins the Middle Fork American near Auburn.

Our  rafting trips are early season. This free-flowing spring river depends on the mountain snow pack, so the length of the season varies.

Rafting Trips On The North Fork American River
How long do you want to go?
Meeting Location

NOTE THIS IS A NEW MEETING LOCATION FOR THE 2020 RAFTING SEASON!

Meeting Location: Crooked Lane Brewing Company

Area Information

Auburn Lodging/Bed & Breakfasts:

  • Placer County Visitors Bureau
  • Auburn Holiday Inn – Newly remodeled! Walking distance to downtown and Old Town Auburn. 15% off for our rafting clients! A California Certified Green Hotel with 96 rooms, free wifi, pool, spa and more! Only 5 minutes to our Middle Fork American River Trip meeting location.

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!

Weimar/Meadow Vista: about 15 mins NE of Auburn. Consists of a couple very rural communities with some ammenities. Super views of the Sierra’s. Great choice if you are looking for something close but not in town.

  • Sierra Sun Cloud Inn B&B – Weimar/Colfax (888) 637-1083 or (530) 637-1083
    Secluded, 18 acre hilltop setting among towering pines. Spectacular views. Adjacent to 15 miles of pristine hiking trails.

Colfax: is 20 minutes NE of Auburn, but convenient from North Lake Tahoe & Reno or if we are meeting in Colfax for a North Fork American rafting trip:

  • Colfax Chamber of Commerce
  • The Colfax Motor Lodge – 550 South Auburn St., Colfax, CA. 95713  (530) 346-8382. Very affordable rates, newly renovated.
  • Rollins Lakeside Inn – 18145 Rollins View Dr, Grass Valley CA 95945. (Yes, technically Grass Valley, but only 25 minutes from our Auburn meeting location). Toll Free (877) 466-0729, 530-273-0729, or 916-792-5073. Lake front property with several cabins to choose from, pool, bbq’s, wifi. Perfect for groups!

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!

Auburn:

Auburn:

Folsom:

Colfax/Weimar/Dutch Flat:

  • Rollins Lake (NID) – 3 campgrounds located on lake 3.5 miles N. of Colfax, 19.5-22 miles NE of Auburn off Hwy. 174/I-80. Reservations available. Hot showers, water, electric hook-ups, boat ramp & rentals, store. Tent & RV sites. (530) 346-2212, (530) 346-6166, (530) 477-9413.
  • Rollins Lake (Greenhorne) – Also on Rollins Lake, no hookups. 530-272-6100.
  • Bear River Campground – 2500 Campground Road, Colfax CA 95713. 14.5 miles NE of Auburn. On Bear River, 23 sites, no water, no reservations (first come first serve basis, holidays are typically full 3-4 days prior to the holiday). Group camp available by reservation, no water. (530) 886-4901.
  • Dutch Flat RV Resort – 55 Canyon Creek Way, Gold Run, CA 95717. (530)-389-8924. Tent camping, RV sites, pool and clubhouse. 26 minutes East of Auburn – located at 3000′ so a great cooler option for the summer!

Coloma/Lotus:

  • Rivers Bend Resort – Private Riverside Camp, On the South Fork American, 20+ minutes S. of Auburn on Hwy. 49. Hot showers, flush toilets, volleyball, horseshoes. Sorry, no dogs allowed. Reservations required through Tributary Whitewater 800-672-3846.
  • Also see South Fork American River Area Information

Lots of great places very close to meeting location. Ask your guides for recommendations if planning on going after your trip.

Yelp – Auburn Restaurant reviews

Placer County Visitors Bureau Restaurant lists by Town

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:

Super Shuttle

Sacramento Airport Ground Transportation

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.