Just What is CFS anyway?
CFS stands for Cubic Feet per Second, and it’s a measure of the volume of water passing any given point in a river in one second. One cubic foot of water weighs 62.5 pounds.
Why does the river level fluctuate so much?
There are a series of dams upstream of the South Fork and Middle Forks of the American River which provide water for electrical power, irrigation, and drinking for residents of California. The most water is released in the spring and summer, supplying plenty of exciting whitewater action. This assures you of a great raft trip all the way through the end of September, even in low snowpack years. The North Fork American is not dam controlled, and is therefore runnable only in April, May, and early June, depending on the snowpack and rainfall each year.