When you’re ready to take the next step in river rafting adventure, then the Middle Fork of the American River is where you belong. From the moment you launch the fun starts with the first Class III whitewater rapid called Good Morning. The wild ride continues through Tunnel Chutea world class rapid churning through a narrow chute blasted by gold-hungry miners in the 19th century and then flows through a 90-foot rock tunnel. You’ll spend the morning paddling Class III and IV rapids until the roar of the river mellows out after Kanaka Falls. Then you’ll enter a more mellow stretch of river, where you can enjoy the natural wonders of the canyon. This is a true wilderness trip; you won’t see houses or hear cars – only the pristine wilderness around you.

Mother Lode is a terrific whitewater outfitter. I’ve taken a number of trips with them down the Middle Fork of the American. Their guides are highly qualified! They’re great at listening to their clients and making the trip fun and exciting.”


Floating along for another hour or so through pools and riffles, anticipation builds as we near the thunderous re-entry of Chunder rapid and Ruck-a-Chucky Falls. Guides will thoroughly entertain you as they run the rafts solo down the waterfall, maneuvering through boulders before picking you up again to run the next set of class IV rapids. The excitement doesn’t stop as you experience rapids like Texas Chainsaw Mama and Guide Launcher. After this continuous section of rapids, you arrive at the take out at Greenwood Bridge.

One Day Middle Fork

Meet time: 7AM
Duration: 18 miles

The one-day Middle Fork rafting trips are spent mostly on the water. This wild and scenic river trip allows guests to view wide quartz veins, light gray granite and dark gray and black layers of alternating sandstone and some wildlife! You’ll get to take a nice lunch break on a sandy beach where you’re welcome to take a swim, while the guides prepare your lunch.

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Two Day Middle Fork

Meet time: 7AM
Duration: 18 miles

Multi-day trips spend more time off river, exploring river canyons, riverside caves and picking wild blackberries. You’ll camp on an isolated beach where you can snorkel – perhaps you will spot a 5-lb rainbow trout! As you relax and evening comes, you are treated to a riverside dinner followed by a warm campfire. As the evening of star gazing and enjoying the serenity of the canyon comes to an end, falling asleep will be easy as you are lulled to sleep by the relaxing sound of the river.
When booking, select the first date of your desired range to book a two-day trip. 

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Middle Fork/South Fork 2 Day

Meet time: 11AM
Duration: 28.5 miles

We offer a number of combinations that are sure to satisfy your whitewater appetite. Often, people want a chance to ‘warm up’ before taking on a more difficult river – to get a feel for what it’s like to sit in the boat and experience whitewater. Do this by combining the South Fork with the Middle Fork during the summer. Combination trips give you the chance to enjoy two different rivers and have the luxury of staying at our riverside camp, complete with modern amenities!

Available dates vary. Please call (530) 626-4187 to book this trip.

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Looking for something a bit more relaxed?

You might find the South Fork American River to be the perfect fit!

» Check out South Fork trips