Other Rivers in California

 »  Bear River
 »  Cache Creek
 »  Cal Salmon River
 »  Carson River
 »  Clavey River
 »  Clear Creek
 »  Colorado River
 »  Cosumnes River
 »  Eel River
 »  Feather River
 »  Grindstone Creek
 »  Kaweah River
 »  Kern River
 »  Kings River
 »  Klamath River
 »  Mad River
 »  McCloud River
 »  Merced River
 »  Middle Fork American River
 »  Middle Fork Feather River
 »  Mokelumne River
 »  North Fork American River
 »  Piru Creek
 »  Pit River
 »  Putah Creek
 »  Russian River
 »  Sacramento River
 »  Salmon River
 »  San Joaquin
 »  San Lorenzo River
 »  Scott River
 »  Sespe Creek
 »  Smith River
 »  Stanislaus River
 »  Stony Creek
 »  Trinity River
 »  Truckee River
 »  Tule River
 »  Tuolumne River
 »  Walker River
 »  Yuba River

 Find a Rafting Trip

 Link to Us
 Email This Page to a Friend
 Business Login
 Add a Listing

  Follow Us On Twitter
  Visit Us On Facebook

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  :: California River Trips  :: South Fork American River California

Kayaking & Canoeing South Fork American River California

Tributary - South Silver Creek
 photos of Tributary - South Silver Creek
Put-in:  1.2 Miles above Ice House Reservoir (Autobahn)
Take-out:  Ice House Reservoir
Difficulty:  Class V, Granite Slides and Tea Cup Drops
Length:  1.2 miles
Lovers Leap
Put-in:  Strawberry
Take-out:  Kyburz
Difficulty:  Class V
Length:  9.6 miles
Silver Fork of the American - Dugald Bremner Run
Put-in:  Upper Bridge
Take-out:  Girard Creek
Difficulty:  Class V
Length:  3.5 miles
Silver Fork of the American - Lower Run
Put-in:  China Flat
Take-out:  South Fork American River
Difficulty:  Class V+
Length:  3.3 miles
Kyburz to Riverton
Put-in:  Kyburz
Take-out:  Route 50 Bridge
Difficulty:  Class III-IV 700-1,200 cfs
IV-V 1,200-3,000 cfs
Length:  9.5 miles
Riverton to Peavine
Put-in:  Route 50 Bridge
Take-out:  Peavine Ridge Road
Difficulty:  Class III, IV
Length:  3.5 miles
Golden Gate
Put-in:  Peavine Ridge Road
Take-out:  Forebay Road
Difficulty:  Class V+
Length:  9.5 miles
Tributary-Silver Creek
Put-in:  Camino Reservoir
Take-out:  South Fork Confluence
Difficulty:  Class V
Length:  9.2 miles
Slab Creek
Put-in:  Slab Creek Dam
Take-out:  White Rock Powerhouse
Difficulty:  Class V
Length:  7 miles
Tributary - Rock Creek
Put-in:  Near Dutch Canyon
Take-out:  Rock Creek Road
Difficulty:  Class IV+
Length:  6.3 miles
Chili Bar
 photos of Chili Bar  videos of Chili Bar  map of Chili Bar
Put-in:  Chili Bar
Take-out:  Highway 49 bridge NW of Coloma
Difficulty:  Class III
Length:  5.8 miles
Coloma Park to Lotus Campground
 map of Coloma Park to Lotus Campground
Put-in:  Coloma Park
Take-out:  Lotus Campground
Difficulty:  Class II @ 500 - 1,500 cfs, II+ @ 1,500 - 3,000 cfs, III > 3,000 cfs
Length:  3 miles
South Fork Gorge
 photos of South Fork Gorge  videos of South Fork Gorge  map of South Fork Gorge
Put-in:  Marshall Gold Discovery State Park
Take-out:  Salmon Falls Bridge
Difficulty:  Class III
Length:  14.5 miles


The South Fork of the American River is one of the most popular boating destinations in the entire country. It is located just outside of Sacramento, California in gold rush country and offers Class III rapids with steady flows throughout the entire summer. The season begins in April and continues through September, allowing for plenty of time to explore this classic whitewater run.

The South Fork of the American is surrounded by the rolling Sierra Nevada foothills. The rapids are fun and just the right challenge for an intermediate boater. In the summer months, the weather is warm and dry. In the early spring, the weather is cooler and the South Fork American River is usually higher and colder.

In the beginning of this run, the river drops quickly through a steep canyon made up of volcanic rock. There is a section of civilization about halfway through this stretch before the river winds through the gold country foothills, and thunders through a section of continuous Class IIIs before setting in the Folsom Reservoir.

If you are interested in the history of the area, a nice side trip could include a visit to the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. There are also plenty of nice trails along the South Fork of the American River from Lotus-Heningsen Park between Coloma and Lotus.