Moving first among big foothills and later through a steep granite canyon, the South Fork struts out quickly, surging powerfully, then yawns coyly before suddenly rushing headlong through the fabled American River Gorge. All trips include cold beverage at end. One-day trips add bountiful lunch along the river. Two-day trips add a delicious camp BBQ dinner and tasty cookout breakfast. Read the full trip description »
The South Fork American River flows down the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and offers a blend of relaxing calms and thrilling Class III rapids. This is the absolute best rafting run for beginning rafters!
Six miles downstream from Chili Bar, the river flows past the historic township of Coloma, where James Marshall discovered gold in 1848, thereby starting the California gold rush.
The entire 20 river-mile stretch of the South Fork American from the Nugget to Folsom Lake is run on our two-day trip. One-day trips usually run the lower section, commonly known as The Gorge. Express trips usually run the upper stretch, also called the Chili Bar Run. Both are classic beginner rafting runs!
South Fork American Rapids: The South Fork American River is rated Class III, providing an exciting, but not scary river experience.
Some of the more memorable rapids include Meatgrinder, Troublemaker, Fowler’s Rock, Satan’s Cesspool, Hospital Bar.
The South Fork of the American River flows for rafting derive from water releases from hydroelectric facilities located at Chili Bar and above.
These controlled releases are made for power generation purposes and are not subject to the control of the County of El Dorado or within the control of rafting operators.
April through September
2014 start dates:
Call booking office.
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