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HomeRafting - Middle Fork American River

Middle Fork of the American River

Raft on Middle American River

Once you've tackled the South Fork of the American it's time to look for a bit more challenge. You don't have to go far though because the Middle Fork is another dam controlled river that typically flows until September. And yes, there is challenge. You start from Oxbow Reservoir and after the first four miles you've had three class IV sections as well as seven class III rapids. Among these is the infamous Tunnel Chute which is a class IV+ rapid leading directly into a tunnel cut by early miners during the Gold Rush. After mile 4.1 you reach a nine mile stretch of calm water with occasional small rapids. This stretch is agreat time for great fun and games. Additionally, there are several streams which flow into the river that have interesting side hikes. Otter Creek features small warm pools to swim in while Canyon Creek also provides alternatives as well as a good lunch stop above the lower section of rapids. The lower section starts off strong with Chunder (class IV). After that there is amandatory portage around Ruck-a-Chucky Falls which are unrunnable. You get to watch as the rafts make the journey unmanned until the guides pick them up at the bottom of the falls. Than it's back to the action with sevral more class IV rapids during the final stretch to the old Greenwood Bridge (no bridge anymore) take out. There are a number of outfitters that offer trips on the Middle American. We recommend Whitewater Excitement. They've got the experience and facilities to make your trip somethig to remember.

Hot Rafting Tips -
1. Wanna bring your camera? Get a Pelican Box. It's waterproof, has customizable foam inserts, and provides much easier access than a dry bag.
2. Private Boaters beware of Public River Access Parking - Smash and Grab robberies are not uncommon at the public river access lots. Take some advice from a victim. DO NOT LEAVE VALUABLES IN YOUR CAR. Leave your windows open. Try and separate your car from other cars, they want to smash and rifle as many as they can as quickly as they can.


Middle Fork Map Tunnel ChuteTunnel Chute

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