“Our guides did an awesome job for our two boats on the Middle Fork–we all had a great time! You’ve got a great set-up and good people working there from top to bottom. Great job!” – Eric Anderson
Difficulty: Class III-IV
Minimum Age: 14
On the Middle Fork American River, the fun starts right at put-in with the first Class III whitewater rapid, called Good Morning. The wild ride continues through Tunnel Chute, a 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. We spend the morning paddling Class III and IV rapids until the roar of the river mellows out after Kanaka Falls. We then enter a more mellow stretch of river, where we 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.
After a hearty and healthy lunch prepared by your guides, we float along for another hour through the pools and riffles before strapping our helmets back on and preparing for more class IV whitewater. 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 we experience rapids like Texas Chainsaw Mama and Guide Launcher. After this continuous section of rapids we come to the take out at Greenwood Bridge.
“I am writing to express my appreciation for the wonderful guide we had on our first trip on the Middle Fork of the American. Kelly is very skilled at guiding, and our discussion of the history, river ecology and conservation in general as well as his extensive international travel was very informative and added to the enjoyment of the trip… we will be returning for more trips and we feel comfortable recommending your company to our friends.” – Wendy and Dave
Our one-day Middle Fork rafting trips are spent mostly on the water. It is an eighteen-mile run beginning at Oxbow and taking out at Greenwood Bridge. We take a nice lunch break on a sandy beach where you are welcome to take a swim while the guides prepare your lunch. This trip typically goes from approximately 7:30AM-4PM.
Mother Lode offers one, two and three-day whitewater rafting trips on the Middle Fork. Our one and two-day trips take out at Greenwood Bridge, a beautiful eighteen mile run. The three-day trip continues on downstream with 7 miles more of tranquil class II rapids where you can relax or take a swim.
While the one-day trip is spent mostly on the water, the multi-day trips spend more time off river, exploring the river canyons, riverside caves and picking wild blackberries. We make camp on an isolated beach where you can snorkel, perhaps you will spot a five-pound rainbow trout! As you relax and evening comes, you are treated to a gourmet 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.
One day trips are great but two days of whitewater rafting are twice as much fun! We offer a number of two-day combinations that are sure to satisfy your whitewater appetite. Often, people want a chance to “warm up” before taking on a more difficult river. 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.
See for yourself why the Middle Fork of the American has been determined eligible for National Wild and Scenic Status, an honor less than 2% of rivers nationwide can claim.