Whitewater River Rafting Trips

American River

Middle Fork from Oxbow Dam to Drivers Flat Road (Old Greenwood bridge ruins)

This trip is a class IV run on the American River Middle Fork from Oxbow Dam to Drivers Flat Road (Old Greenwood bridge ruins) 15 miles of river. The gradient of the river is 22 feet per mile. The rapids are Panic Alley, Guide Slammer, Mad Dog, Last Chance, Tunnel Chute V-VI, Pin Cushion, Lattuce Hole, Thread the Needle, Cartwheel / Kanaka Gulch IV-V, Chunder Upper Rucky-A-Chucky IV, Ruck-A-Chucky mandatory portage, Tight Squeeze, Cleavage, Parallel Parking IV, Driver’s Ed, Catapult and Sharen’s Dream. There are several unnamed class III rapids between Oxbow Dam and Tunnel Chute and several more unnamed class III rapids between Parallel Parking and Greenwood Bridge ruins. The flows on the river between June and October vary greatly. High flows during the snow runoff make many of the rapids unrunnable.

This trip is a "helmet" (class IV) run. When you are told to put on your helmets and life vests the helmets and life vests are to stay on and buckled up until you are told it is alright / ok to take them off. At Tunnel Chute and the portage at Rucky-A-Chucky your helmets and life vests are to stay on and buckled up. If you slip and fall on any of the boulders (some the size of a house) at Tunnel Chute or Rucky-A-Chucky you will be glad you had the "cushy" life vest and helmet on.

Water temperatures during the fall, winter and spring months fall below 50 degrees F and a wetsuit or dry suit are required. There is a combination of public and private lands (mining claims on BLM land). There is a combination of public and private lands (mining claims on BLM land). We have to be especially careful of the mining claims. The laws regarding the mining claims on public lands are "fuzzy" and open to interpretation. We must show respect for any private property along the river. We have the right to access the banks of the river up to the high water mark, whether it is public or private property, to portage the rafts and scout the river.

We will stop somewhere along African Bar and have lunch.

This trip is a class IV run and unlike the class III runs helmets are required. This trip is far more strenuous and longer then the trips on the south fork. This trip is not for the first time rafter. For this trip it is required that you have made at least one class III run before. This trip requires a greater level of teamwork, discipline and cooperation. For this trip it is required that you be in above average health and general physical condition.

Notes / Agenda:

We meet at my house 6:30 a.m. sharp at my house in Sacramento! We meet at my house 7:15 a.m. sharp in Auburn at the Foresthill exit Chevron station (for people either living closure to Auburn or coming from Nevada). We put in the raft on the river around 9:00 a.m. and will be taking the raft out at the Old Greenwood Bridge Ruins, Driver’s Flat road around 4:30 p.m. With packing the gear and driving time to fetch the vehicles at the put in, arrival time back to Sacramento can be from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Remember to pack your own lunch. So be there sharp, no stragglers, if you’re late you hold up the whole crew. If you are going to be late or you cannot make it for any reason call.

From my house we go to Old Greenwood Bridge Ruins on Driver’s Flat road. Driver’s Flat road is off Forest Hill road going to Forest Hill. Forest Hill road off of highway 80 going through Auburn at the Forest Hill exit. We will leave 1 or 2 vehicles at Old Greenwood Bridge Ruins on Driver’s Flat road and go up to Oxbow Dam on Mosquito road going to French Meadows. Mosquito road is off Forest Hill road. We leave the trucks at Oxbow Dam and take off on the river for Old Greenwood Bridge Ruins. The trip is 15 miles of river on the Middle Fork of the American River.