South Fork American

Bird’s Eye View

The South Fork of the American River is one of the most popular whitewater runs in the United States. Its popularity stems from its proximity to other cool places like the San Francisco Bay Area and Lake Tahoe and its accessible but fun Class III rapids. This is the perfect family rafting trip because it’s fun for people who have rafted before, but doesn’t overwhelm beginners.

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South Fork American River Whitewater Photo Gallery


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The South Fork in a Nutshell

Difficulty: Class III – Upper & Lower; Class II – C to G

Gradient: 25 ft/mi

Length: 21 miles, (shorter options)

Season: Apr to Oct; winter weekends

Sections: Chili Bar (Upper); Coloma to Greenwood Creek (C to G); Gorge (Lower)

Who should go: Beginner and intermediate rafters and kayakers, families, business groups, bachelor(ette) parties…

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Whitewater & Scenery

Whitewate & Scenery With offerings of everything from mellow stretches to famous play waves and challenging Class III+ rapids, the South Fork really has something for every boater.

Read more about South Fork American Whitewater.

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River Flows

River FlowsSummertime flows are released daily from 8am to 12pm, with no water guaranteed on Wednesdays. Water is often released in the evenings as well. Wintertime flow guarantees are restricted to weekends.

Learn more about South Fork American River Flows.

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LogisticsNumerous run options, camping locales, and safe, monitored places to leave your car make the South Fork logistics pretty much a no-brainer. You can even run the shuttle on your bike …

Keep reading about South Fork American Logistics.

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South Fork Video


Watch a South Fork American video before you see it up close.

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Places to Eat, Places to Stay
& Things To Do

Places To EatPlaces To StayThings To Do

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Local Gear Shops

Local Gear ShopsBuy gear and other supplies for your whitewater trip on the South Fork in Coloma, Auburn, Sacramento or Online.

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