Other Whitewater Trips on the South Fork American River

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Paddlesports Schools:

Otter Bar Lodge Kayak School
Located in:
Forks of Salmon, CA

More Details
Our Website
Otter Bar offers all skill levels of whitewater kayak instruction based out of our wilderness lodge on California's pristine Salmo (more...)
site home  :: self guided home  :: U.S. river guide  :: Rivers in California  :: South Fork American River California  :: Chili Bar Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing Trip

Chili Bar Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing Trip on the South Fork American River

California Poppies

View larger map of Chili Bar & get directions
Click 'Earth' to fly through the canyon!

Chili Bar Video

R2 through Troublemaker Rapid
  • Not So Clean Run at Trouble Maker
  • Clean Kayak Run at Troublemaker
  • Surfing First Threat
  • Chili Bar Info
    Use this information at your own risk. See our legal notices.
    Put In:  Chili Bar
    Take Out:  Highway 49 bridge NW of Coloma
    Difficulty:  Class III + @700 - 1,500 cfs, III-IV @ 1,500 - 10,000 cfs
    Gradient:  31 fpm
    Run Length:  5.8 miles
    Current Streamflow:  3425 cfs @ 04/26/2009 10:00 PM - AMERICAN RIVER AT CHILI BAR (CBR), reading taken from CDEC
    Flow Information (phone):  916-368-8682
    Good Level:  1,000 - 10,000 cfs, Optimum 2,000 cfs
    Season Comments:  January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
    Primary Season: 

    This section of the South Fork American is dam-controlled and runs all year long

    Permit:  Private boater permit tags are available at the put in.
    Character/Similar To:  Very popular summer time run, rapids are pool drop with some great playspots.
    Hazards:  On a hot summer weekend watch out for crazy rafters
    Water Craft:  kayak,raft
    Land Ownership:  Mostly private.
    Wilderness:  No
    Camping on River:  No
    Location:  In the Pacific Region (CA), 45 miles Northeast of Sacramento
    Shuttle Logistics: 

    Put In: From US 50 in Placerville turn north onto CA Hwy 49. Just outside of Pacerville turn right onto CA Hwy 193. Continue winding down Hwy 193 for about 3 miles. After crossing the bridge turn left into the Chili Bar put in (privately owned; fee).

    Take Out: To reach the take out from Chili Bar return south on Hwy 193 toward Placerville. Turn right onto CA Hwy 49 just outside of Placerville and continue for about 8.5 miles to the Hwy 49 bridge over the river just past Lotus Rd. There is a small parking lot on the left before crossing the bridge. Take out on river left on the upstream side of the bridge and use caution crossing the highway to the parking lot.

    Towns near Chili Bar Kayaking

    Angels Camp California
    Auburn California
    Coloma California
    Grass Valley California
    Jackson California
    Placerville California
    Reno Nevada
    Sacramento California
    San Francisco California
    Tahoe City California
    Truckee California

    Other Resources

    Conservation Organizations
  • American River Conservancy
  • American River Watershed Group
  • Disabled Adventure Outfitters' (DAO)-
  • Protect American River Canyons
  • Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign
  • South Yuba River Citizens League
  • Pacific Coast Kayak Clubs
  • California Floaters Society
  • California Kayak Friends
  • Hydraulic Hooligans
  • River City Whitewater Club
  • Sequoia Paddling Club
  • Shasta Paddlers
  • Sierra Club San Francisco Bay RTS
  • Stanford Kayak Club
  • Western Waters Canoe Club
  • Paddling Sites
  • California Whitewater Rafting
  • Dreamflows
  • Travel Guides
  • California Vacation & Travel Guide