North fork rafting

North fork rafting

About the River: Rafting on the North Fork American river is only available only during the spring and early summer, typically April and May. Starting as a mild stream, the North Fork of the American River and the most difficult of all the forks of the American, quickly gathers momentum and enters the class IV “Chamberlain Falls Gorge”. Here the river drops through a very steep gorge between house-sized boulders and over waterfalls that reach eight feet in height. Crystal clear water and rapids that seem endless are the trademark of this technical, challenging river. This is one of the most beautiful rivers in the Sierras and should be attempted only by adventurous first-timers with good swimming ability and who are in good physical condition. Wet suits are a must for this trip and are included when you raft with us. We offer half-day, 1-day, and 2-day whitewater rafting trips on the North Fork of the American River.

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Rapids Highlights on the North Fork

  • Length: 12.5 miles
  • “Entrance Exam”: after a quick warm up, this rapid begins and it’s on
  • “Slaughters Sluice”: a quarter mile of drop after drop
  • “Chamberlin Falls”: the canyon narrows and drops over an eight foot falls
  • “Tongue and Grove”: rock jumbles clog the river – do we go left or center?
  • “Bogus Thunder Falls”: the crux of the run, this rapid requires precise timing and a bit of luck
  • “Staircase Falls”: a triple drop all wrapped up into one rapid, the first two set you up for the third and biggest drop of the 3
  • Great for adventurous first timers and advanced rafters
  • Free wet suits and rafting windbreakers
  • Check Availability Form

When is the best time to go White Water rafting on the North Fork- North Fork American river rafting is a springtime adventure. We raft on the snowmelt from high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. March through May is prime time for rafting the North Fork American river when the river is flowing high and clear. Depending on the snowpack, as the North Fork is a free flowing river (no hydro-electric dams), this river could last until the end of June. Normally, however, by mid-late May the river is reduced to levels not recommended for rafting.

Group Discount on All Trips

We offer one of the best group discounts in the industry! Pay for five rafters and the 6th person is free. This discount is applied automatically at checkout on all of our trips.

Scroll below to see our full list of standard trips on the North Fork.

Ready to book your rafting trip on the North Fork American River?

  • Call us at 1-800-750-2386 to speak to a real person; or,
  • Reserve your trip dates directly by booking online.

Not sure what trips are available, or looking for something you don’t see?

  • Call us at 1-800-750-2386 to speak to a real person; or,
  • Fill out our online trip availability form and receive a response within 24 hours with more options and details.
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