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Middle Fork

Lunch Included!

The Middle Fork of the American River is the perfect mix of thrills and amazing scenery. This Class IV river is ideal for the thrill-seekers, experienced rafters or athletic beginners. With 18 miles of whitewater this all day excursion is sure to energize your soul. Experience the unique Tunnel Chute rapid; a tunnel blasted through the mountain back in the gold mining era. 

River Miles
Min Age
Major Rapids


Departure: The meeting time for the Middle Fork is 8:30AM. You will meet the WET van and your guides for the day. behind the Raleys in Auburn California at 13384 Lincoln Way, Auburn, CA 95603. From there we have a short ride in the van down the beautiful Middle Fork Canyon to our put- in location at the Oxbox Reservoir.

The Trip: Enjoy a stunning combination of scenery and adventure on this day long trip. Start out with Good Morning Rapid quickly followed by Tunnel Chute. Wrap up the first section of rapids with Kanaka Falls, then enjoy an easy float until you reach the lunch area near Chunder Falls. Stop for a gourmet deli style lunch served riverside, then continue with Class III – IV rapids in the afternoon.

Return: Once your time on the water is complete you will load into the WET van and return to the Raley’s parking lot after a short drive.

Middle Fork
American River Rafting

Middle Fork of the American River

About the Trip

This 18 mile trip is an experience that you will never forget. The Class IV Middle Fork of the American River is an intermediate whitewater river offering numerous big drops, intricate technical rapids and tons of action. This trip is perfect for adventurous novices as well as the more experienced individuals who have rafted the South Fork and are looking for something more adventurous.  This is a full day adventure full of whitewater action as well as calm pools that allow you to bask in the breath taking beauty of the 2000 foot deep wilderness river canyon. If all of that isn’t enough the Middle Fork provides the added benefit of its historic significance during the California Gold Rush.

To the River!

We start are day in Auburn, California from which we jump into our shuttle vans to drive to put-in. You get a bird’s eye view of the canyon as we travel to our put-in.

The Whitewater Rafting

After being fitted with all the necessary rafting equipment and receiving a safety orientation from one of our highly trained guides, we load into our rafts to continue our adventure. It starts off right away with the aptly named “Good Morning” rapid. If you weren’t awake before, you will be after this rapid. After tackling numerous rapids including Kanaka Falls, Bus Crash and the famous “Tunnel Chute” which drops 80 feet through a 14 foot wite chute ending by floating through a manmade tunnel blasted through the mountain during the gold rush, this is an absolutely incredible experience and one of only two rivers in the world where you can raft through a tunnel, we will stop for a gourmet deli lunch freshly prepared by your guide. Before continue our journey filled with more whitewater action and breathtaking views. This is truly a once in a lifetime experience and we have people come back year after year to re-live it.

Best Time to Come

Depending on snow pack and river flows the Middle Fork of the American is run-able June through September.

The very best time to experience this river is during midweek or Sundays when you can avoid the Saturdays crowd and experience the solitude of the canyon. You will feel like you have the river to yourself.


Most frequent questions and answers

For Rafting:

  • Secure footwear; old tennis shoes or sturdy sandals with heel straps such as Tevas, Keens, and Chacos. NO FLIP FLOPS OR BARE FEET!
  • Swimsuit or shorts and T-shirt to wear on the rafts.
  • Sunglasses with neck strap (Please be sure to bring a neck strap for any glasses you plan on wearing on the raft.)
  • Sunscreen and lip ointment
  • Water bottle
  • Waterproof camera (optional)
  • Light cap or visor (optional)
  • Any medicines you require (please contact us beforehand to ensure we can accommodate any needs)

Please feel free to bring whatever items you would like to leave in your car for retrieval after the trip. Camp Lotus features hot showers available for your use.

  • Optional gratuity for your hardworking guides
  • Dry Clothing
  • Water or other beverage
  • Dry towels 
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Tent (optionally we can provide tents at no cost)
  • Warm clothing for the evening.
  • Personal care items (Toothbrush, deodorant,  hair care products, etc.)
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • One professional, talented, and possibly humorous river guide
  • White water raft (Crewed by your provided guide at all times)
  • Personal Flotation Device (Life-jacket)
  • Helmet
  • Paddle
  • Other required safety equipment
  • Wetsuits an paddle jackets may be required at additional cost during cooler months and are avaliable upon request in warmer months.

Take a Closer Look

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Meeting Place: Behind the Raley's

13384 Lincoln Way, Auburn, CA 95603

The meeting place for this trip is directly behind the Raleys on Lincoln Way in Auburn. Please drive and park behind the Raley’s where our guides will meet you.

Drive Times:
Sacramento Area: Approximately 45 mins
San Francisco: Approximately 2 hours



Full Refunds and No Cost Reschedules

Let’s face it, what we are facing with Covid-19 has left a lot of us uncertain about the future. As a way to promote positive vibes and to give us all something to look forward to during social distancing we are offering full refunds (or preferably reschedules) on all trips. Please don’t hesitate to book your whitewater excursion. Let’s beat this and get out on the water together!