The three forks of the American River begin in the peaks of the Sierra Nevada range in Northern California. From there they meander through granite canyons into the rolling foothills of the gold country. The three forks range in difficulty from Class II (beginner) to Class IV+ (advanced).
The South Fork American is one of the most popular whitewater rafting rivers in the western United States. It jostles over friendly Class II-III rapids and meanders through the historic gold-mining town of Coloma. The Middle Fork American careens through a secluded canyon over numerous Class IV rapids, including infamous Tunnel Chute Rapid. The North Fork American relies on snowmelt for its flows rather than upstream dam releases-consequently, this American River rafting classic only runs in the spring.