River rafting is a major attraction in California. The most popular California river rafting destination is the mighty American River. The American River begins in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and runs to the Sacramento River. The American River splits into three forks before it converges. The North Fork, the Middle Fork, and the South Fork each offer rafters unique adventures.
The North Fork of the American River offers the most challenging rapids on the river. It is fed by the runoff from the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the early spring when the snow melts. This runoff, mixed with the narrow canyons found downriver make for some exciting and challenging Class IV rapids. Chamberlin Falls Gorge, the most intense part of the American River, is found on the North Fork. This fork of the river is only open for rafting for a few months of the year, usually from April to the early summer.
The Middle Fork of the American river is slightly easier to navigate than the North Fork. Adventurous, physically fit novices can try a guided tour on the Middle Fork. The Middle Fork contains some of the most popular Class III and IV rapids in the state. Parts of this fork run through beautiful 2,000-foot tall canyons. The season for Middle Fork rafting runs from April through October, giving rafters many months of the year to enjoy the river.
The American River's South Fork provides a variety of rafting pleasures. Part of the South Fork is the most popular river for beginners in the country. Other areas of the South Fork offer Class III rapids, perfect for providing a challenge to novice or intermediate rafters. The South Fork is considered by many to be the best place for families to enjoy California river rafting.
California river rafting is a great way to spend some time in the summer. There are a wide variety of rapids, some for beginners and some for the most seasoned experts.