The North Fork of the American River has always been a California favorite with the only disappointment for most being when they must leave it behind. Originating in the Tahoe National Forest (Placer County), the American River flows for 120-miles to end up in the Sacramento Valley.
Fed by snow melt, it’s beautifully clear waters attract tourists and water sports enthusiasts from all parts of the globe. Rafting by rock walls thousands of feet high and past some of the most breathtaking scenery the U.S. has to offer is more than worth a trip to Placer County where it all begins. There is a reason so many people have fallen in love with this area, and once you’ve seen it for yourself you’ll know what it is.
Enjoy the River in Safety and Comfort
Just about anyone can handle a slow float in a raft. However, those without experience can still enjoy the speed of all that racing water in the company of a qualified river guide. Beautiful as it may be, the American River can be unforgiving of mistakes or inexperience. All you need to pack are personal belongings and your guide provides the rest.
The Chamberlain Falls run is one of the most popular on the river. Class IV, this section has easy access to 9-miles worth of continuous whitewater. There are other runs available that include camping, but unless you include Giant Gap, the Chamberlain is only a one day run packed full of enough whitewater to satiate even the most enthusiastic rafter https://www.theamericanriver.com/ who may be short on time.
Calling the North Fork “Scenic” Hardly Does It Justice
When thinking of this fantastic place Majestic is a good word to use. Water falls, trees, wildflowers so bright they seem to glow, birds of all kinds, deer, mountain lions, bald eagles, and maybe even a black bear or two are just a sample of what you can expect to see https://www.rivers.gov/rivers/american-nf.php. Whether you plan to stay on dry land or get out there on the river, the North Fork area is more than worth a few photos and videos, forgetting to pack your camera is not an option.
North Fork has held “Wild and Scenic” status since 1978. This helps ensure all that wild, natural beauty will still be there to enchant future generations. Try making a video of any section of whitewater before you leave, put it on a loop and make your own “nature sounds” video. As exciting as being out on the North Fork can be, finding a comfortable perch to observe it from dry land is indescribably peaceful.
There is much more to the area than an awesome, challenging time on the water. It’s camping, hiking and fishing opportunities have people returning to their favorite spots year after year. You can read about it and google hundreds of pictures, but words and images only go so far. If you’re planning a visit to North Fork for any reason, prepare to be humbled and impressed.