ARTA River Trips - Image Art

The Middle Fork of the American

Every trip is an adventure.

For right-brained people

Whitewater rafting on the Middle Fork of the American River with ARTA River TripsNowhere else do we launch in the tailway of a hydroelectric powerhouse. Nowhere else do we shove our unmanned rafts over a waterfall and then walk around. Nowhere else do we run a man-made slot through the bedrock. Nowhere else do we float through a tunnel. A tunnel! That’s a lot of distinction. The whitewater is a bit unusual too. There are some really challenging and edgy rapids and there are some long stretches of small riffles and calm pools and there’s not a lot in between. Hot or cold; wild or mild. The canyon is much more remote than the South Fork, no houses, no campgrounds, no roads and for most people, therefore, prettier. The hard rapids mean you should probably be active and eager and over 14 years old.

One Day Option: In the course of one day we will run one of California’s most extreme rapids, (Tunnel Chute, where the river drops over 15 feet through a 100 foot long man-made slot in the bedrock), pass through a 300 yard long tunnel (blasted through the ridge by miners during the Gold Rush), portage the rafts around a breathtaking drop, (the jaw-dropping Ruck-A-Chucky Falls where the river plunges 30 feet over house sized boulders), and tackle numerous other white-water challenges. Between rapids, we’ll float through the golden hillsides of California’s historic Mother Lode Gold Country near Auburn.

Two Day Option: Everything described above, plus a night along the river at a beautiful campsite accessible only by raft. Enjoy an evening of swimming, hiking, fishing and lounging and a night of star-gazing.


"Even though it was just for a day, your guides were like part of our family."

Andy Guillen

For left-brained people:

  • The Middle Fork in one word:
  • Frantic
  • In another word:
  • Adventure
  • Best known for:
  • Uniqueness
  • No other trip has:
  • A tunnel
  • Expect to:
  • Be surprised
  • You can also:
  • Visit Lake Tahoe
  • Signature Rapid:
  • Tunnel Chute
  • Types of boats:
  • Paddle
  • Meeting Place:
  • Auburn, CA
  • Length in days: 1 or 2
  • Length in miles: 16
  • Overall difficulty: IV
  • Highest difficulty (#): IV+ (1)
  • Rapids/day: ~ 15
  • Gradient: 22 feet/mile
  • Rapids:spacer4 stars
  • Scenery:spacer3 1/2 stars
  • Wilderness: 3 1/2stars
  • Swimming:spacer2 1/2 stars
  • Hiking:spacer1 stars
  • Campsites:spacer3 1/2 stars
  • Wildlife:spacer1 1/2 stars
  • Fishing:spacer2 1/2 stars

    California Quail


    California Quail -
    (Callipepla californica) - California’s official state bird, with a little crown to boot. The topknot is actually a cluster of six individual feathers, a little more regal (and pompous) on the male and little more subtle (and appropriate) on the female. The chicks are precocial, meaning they can move about and feed themselves immediately after hatching.