We'll meet you at 8:00 am on the morning the trip begins at the Auburn Ravine Shopping Center, (13384 Lincoln Way, Auburn, CA 95603 - look for Raley's). To get to the Shopping Center, take the Foresthill Exit off of Highway 80 in Auburn and bear east towards Foresthill. Turn left onto Lincoln Way and turn right into the Shopping Center. Coming north on Highway 49, go all the way to Highway 80 and head east to the Foresthill exit. Meet our van in the parking area behind the Raley's store. We will bring you back to Raley's at the end of the trip; arrival time may be as late as 7:00 pm.
Most trip members arrive by car and vehicles will be left in the parking lot for the duration of the trip. Driving time from Sacramento is about 1 hour, from San Francisco about 2 1/2 hours and from Los Angeles about 8 hours. If you are flying, Sacramento is the nearest airport and cars can be rented for the drive to Auburn. Due to potential delays, we do not recommend flying out of Sacramento before 11:00 pm the night the trip concludes.
The Best Western Golden Key (530/885-8611) is on Lincoln Way near the meeting place. There is also a Comfort Inn (530/885-1800) and a Holiday Inn (530/887-8787) in Auburn. Camping is available 20 miles away at Bear River County Park, (530/269-1121) and at various Forest Service campgrounds within an hour's drive, (530/265-4531).
Meals & Drinks: ARTA menus feature fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats and the guides double as camp chefs. Dinner is usually grilled chicken or fish, pasta, green salad and a baked Dutch Oven dessert. If you have special dietary needs, please tell us in advance and we will do our best to accommodate you. ARTA provides fruit drinks at meals and sodas at take-out. If you want alternative beverages in camp, please bring your own. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed at lunch or on the river.
Weather: The California Foothills enjoy warm to hot temperatures for most of the summer with very little rain. Summertime highs can reach the 100's, however it is usually cooler along the river. The Middle Fork run is immediately below Ralston Powerhouse and the water is always cold and clear. Wool, fleece or neoprene wetsuit socks are helpful.
Travel Insurance: Because life is full of surprises, we suggest you consider purchasing supplemental travel insurance for your trip. Trip cancellation, evacuation, baggage loss and other coverages are available for between 4% and 11% of your trip cost. You can get more information at www.travelinsure.com; please enter ARTA's Participating Organization Number (215296) at the top of the enrollment form.
Gratuities: We want you to feel like a guest in our home. But if you feel that your guides did an outstanding job, a post-trip gratuity is a flattering way to let them know. Tips should be based on your satisfaction, your financial means and your attitude about tipping. Tips typically range anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the trip cost, (with the occasional recommended book or coveted hat thrown in). It is customary within ARTA to give the tip to the Lead Guide who will distribute it equally amongst all of the staff. And thank you very much.
If there are any questions we haven't answered, please feel free to contact us. We really enjoy talking about our trips, so don't hesitate to call: 800-323-2782.
The Middle Fork is the American's most remote fork and every trip is an adventure. Our 1 day trips cover over 20 miles of clear, cold river through a near wilderness setting which is full of natural and human history, wildlife and exciting whitewater. The canyon is reminiscent of the Stanislaus, with wide gravel bars, thick riparian vegetation, and many side streams. The Middle Fork has a few intense rapids, (including Tunnel Chute, where the river drops 25 feet through a 100 foot long man-made slot in the bedrock, and Ruck-A-Chucky Falls where the river plunges 30 feet over house sized boulders). Trip members should have previous paddling experience, and be prepared for a demanding trip. At the guide's discretion Tunnel Chute is run only in paddle rafts, and nobody runs Ruck-A-Chucky Falls (the rafts are portaged around; trip members should feel comfortable walking and climbing over boulders and rough terrain as there is no real trail around the rapid). Overall, the Middle Fork includes stretches of scenic beauty and enjoyable Class II and III whitewater, separated by intense, wild rapids which are exhilarating and memorable events. For those who have experienced the South Fork and the Tuolumne and who want another adventure, the Middle Fork awaits!