Middle Fork American River Rafting

Starting From


Number of days


Start Location

We meet at Driver's Flat Trailhead located near Applegate, California in the Auburn State Recreation Area

End Location

Driver's Flat Trail Head

Group Size




Operated by


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Class IV + Middle Fork American River rafting in the historic California foothills through the Auburn State Recreation Area

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Guiding life's greatest adventures since 1969. OARS is one of the most trusted names in rafting and the company is consistently ranked among the top adventure travel outfit...

Additional Information

  • Raft Tunnel Chute an underground rapid blasted out by gold miners
  • Delicious riverside picnic lunch
  • Intense Chunder Rapid thrills before a walk around roaring 35-foot Ruck-A-Chucky Falls
  • Paddle through whitewater rapids like Parallel Parking, Texas Chainsaw Mama and Final Exam

The Middle Fork of the American River is a "must do" for all rafting enthusiasts! The Class IV Middle Fork of the American River rushes through a pristine, secluded canyon where a melee of pounding whitewater and the beauty of the Sierra Nevada foothills combine to offer an incomparable whitewater rafting adventure in California near Sacramento. In 1889, in search of gold buried beneath the American River, miners blasted a tunnel through the side of a cliff to divert the water, creating one of the most unique whitewater features anywhere. Now known as "Tunnel Chute," this long, tumultuous rapid, which concludes with 90 feet of this pounding river disappearing underground, is the heart-stopping highlight of this thrill-packed Middle Fork American rafting experience.


  • Aptly named Good Morning, a big-wave Class III rapid gets our blood flowing and hearts pumping on our Middle Fork American River rafting trip through the scenic Sierra Nevada Mountains 
  • The ominous roar of famous Tunnel Chute is the presage we hear before the river rushes downward 25 feet through a man-made chute and tunnel
  • After a short stretch of flatwater, we'll enjoy a delicious riverside lunch
  • The river changes considerably, meandering over several miles of calm water and allowing us the opportunity to rest while gazing at the beautiful scenery
  • Steep walls covered in pine forests plunge down into the boulder-strewn river in the heart of Auburn State Recreation Area in the American River Canyon
  • Paddle through the flat-water section, and prepare for another long stretch of continuous whitewater action
  • An intense Class IV drop, Chunder, provides thrills and chills before a portage around the roaring 35-foot Ruck-A-Chucky Falls
  • The day winds down with another mile and a half of great whitewater rapids - Parallel Parking, Texas Chainsaw Mama and Final Exam
  •  Transfer back to our vehicles and return to civilization for the conclusion of our Middle Fork American River rafting trip

May - September


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Nearby Adventures


Hike to the North Fork Dam of Lake Clementine


Rock Climb at the Quarry


Hike the Quarry Trail in the Auburn SRA


Hike Training Hill


Hike to the Jumping Rock on the Bear River


Hike The Historical Stevens Trail


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Hike around Coon Creek to Hidden Falls