American River – South Fork

Section of river: Chili Bar to Salmon Falls Bridge
Difficulty: Class 3
Length: 21 miles; 34 KM
Season: April – September
Best rapids: Meat Grinder, Trouble Maker, Satan’s Cesspool, Hospital Bar

south-fork-american-peoplePulsing through the heart of California’s Gold Country, the South Fork of the American River was once the lifeblood of the state’s gold rush in the late 1840s.  Today, gold is still mined along the American, and the river continues to erode its way toward deeper deposits.  But the main attraction of the South Fork is no longer the riches along its shore.  Today, many adventurers discover a different treasure on this stretch of river: a wealth of fun Class III whitewater that’s made the South Fork of the American River California’s most popular rafting trip.

Scheduled releases keep the South Fork flowing from April through September, delivering miles of thrilling, non-stop whitewater that’s ideal for rafters of any experience level.  The river’s close proximity to Sacramento, along with its fun, easy-to-handle whitewater and long season make it an extremely accessible trip; its gold rush history and beautiful scenery – rolling, grassy hills sprinkled with deep green oak and pine trees, rocky gorges and early-season wildflowers – make the South Fork as inviting a trip as it is obtainable.