Travel Blog


American River North Fork

The American North Fork river is in the state of California. It is considered a class 4 river. (see our post on white water rafting classifications if you are not familiar with this level.) The length is 10 miles or 16 kilometers. The season typically lasts from April until June, corresponding with the spring runoff.  Summer time flows are too shallow for white water rafting on the American river north fork. Unless there has been heavy rains or unusual amounts of rain in the season. There are a number of rapids which are named:

  • Chamberlain Falls,
  • Zig-Zag,
  • Achilles Heal,
  • Bogus Thunder,
  • Staircase

American River North Fork

The North Fork is one of three sections on the American River system suitable for rafting. However it is the most challenging of the rivers, offering a class 4 section that runs about 5 miles, while the remainder is typically class 2 or class 3 level of rapids.

There are many intricate boulders, rushing falls and drops that combine to provide an intense white knuckle thrilling ride. this particular section of the river is not dammed, so the run is a truly natural wilderness run. This particular river is only suitable for white water rafting during the April to June period corresponding with the snow melt in the mountains.

Check before heading out with a local rafting company to ensure that there is sufficient water to offer a safe and thrilling ride through the boulders, falls and drops.

By late June, the runoff from the mountains will decrease to become a normal mountain stream so there may not be sufficient water cascading down through the gorges to provide a white water rafting experience.

This is a great set of rapids to challenge even the most daring folks who love to go rafting. The challenges will vary a great deal depending on the time of year and the relative amount of snow fall in the mountains.  If you are after a particularly challenging set of rapids, check with the rafting company and speak to one of the guides to find out about the local conditions at the time you are planning to go.

Comments are welcome. let us know what you think about the American river north fork white water rafting experience.

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2 Responses to “American River North Fork”

  1. Leda Fordham Says:

    I really enjoyed your blog, the content was insightful, hoping for more great updates in the future

  2. There is really noithng like a Canadian weekend Sadly, we’re pretty booked solid this summer but I do hope we make it up to the lakes just for a few days of pure relaxation. And wine.

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