- Difficulty: Class III-IV
- Minimum Age: 14
- Season: May-Sept
- Availability: Click here to view Middle Fork American River weekend dates!
- 1 and 2-Day Trips: Oxbow to Greenwood Bridge — 18 Miles
- 3-Day Trips: Oxbow to Mammoth Bar — 25 Miles
- Combo Trip: South and Middle Forks, Camp at Malode — 28 Miles
On the Middle Fork American River, the fun starts right at put-in where your senses will awaken with the first Class III whitewater rapid, called Good Morning. The wild ride continues as we charge through Tunnel Chute, a world class rapid churning through a narrow chute blasted by gold-hungry miners in the 19th century and empties into a pool that flows through a 90-foot rock tunnel where the river has been diverted through the mountain. We spend the morning paddling Class III and IV rapids until the roar of the river mellows out after Kanaka Falls, and the rapids calm, and we can enjoy the natural wonders of the canyon. This is a true wilderness trip; you won’t see houses, and you won’t see roads or hear cars–only the pristine wilderness around you will delight your senses through this gorgeous stretch of river canyon.
After a hearty and healthy lunch prepared by your guides, we float along for another hour through the pools and riffles, taking in some more canyon beauty before strapping our helmets back on and preparing for more class IV whitewater. The anticipation and suspense builds in the last long pool as we near the thunderous re-entry at Chunder rapid, and then on to Ruck-a-Chucky Falls. Guides will thoroughly entertain you as run the rafts solo down the waterfall, and maneuver through the boulders before picking you up again to run the next set of class IV rapids just downstream. The excitement doesn’t stop as we meet rapids like Texas Chainsaw Mama and Guide Launcher. After this continuous section of rapids we come to the take out at Greenwood Bridge.
Although the Middle Fork is more physically demanding than the South Fork, it is perfectly suited for adventurous first time rafters and experienced paddlers alike. Adventurers as young as 14 years old can enjoy the splendor of the Middle Fork of the American.
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.
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 before you head back to the fast paced lifestyle of life off the river.
While the one-day trip is spent mostly on the water, the multi-day trips spend some time off river, exploring the river canyons on side hikes or brief excursions like exploring riverside caves and picking wild blackberries. We make camp on an isolated beach where you can explore the depths of the river with masks and snorkels, perhaps spotting a five-pound rainbow trout swimming along the river bottom. While 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 (At least temporarily). 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.