About the Trip
The North Fork of the American is the jewel of the Northern Sierra and is part of the National Wild and Scenic River System. It flows free, unhampered by dams, through a remarkably deep and narrow wilderness canyon. The clear aqua water cuts its way through a narrow gorge with virtually continuous Class IV rapids such as Slaughter’s Sluice, Chamberlain Falls, Bogus Thunder, Staircase and more. The North Fork is runnable only in the spring when the Sierra snows are melting. This is a favorite of those who have previously run Class III rivers — such as the South Fork of the American. No experience is necessary, but guests should be in good physical condition and be able to swim. Wet suits are necessary.
Our One Day North Fork American raft trips meet behind the Raleys parking lot on Lincoln Way in Auburn, Ca unless otherwise planned. Meeting times vary from trip to trip based on State Park regulations. From the meeting point in Auburn, we will shuttle you to the put-in point at Iowa Hill Bridge in Colfax, Ca (approximately 30 minutes). There will be a safety talk and orientation while we gear up for the river. The first section of the trip has the most challenging whitewater. We will stop for a gourmet lunch and do a hike up Indian Creek to a 25 foot waterfall. The second part of the trip has some Class III rapids and a spectacular scenic conclusion to this truly wild river canyon. After enjoying the river for 5 hours or so we will reach Ponderosa Bridge — our take-out point. A 30 minute shuttle drive on an exciting road will bring you back to your vehicle.
We also offer a two day option for North Fork American rafting. This is the same trip at a slightly slower pace with more time for side hikes, fishing, and relaxing. We camp at a remarkable beach by Cod Fish Creek deep in the wilderness. We also float the extra distance to Lake Clementine where you may be able to practice paddle guiding or rowing a boat yourself. We will then take-out and shuttle you back to your vehicles.