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Lending a Helping Hand on the Middle Fork

We love the American River. It’s our treasured home, and a beautiful playground that anyone can visit. We’re committed to doing whatever we can to keep it safe, exciting and fun for everyone who uses it.

A couple weeks ago, a horse on the Western States Trail got spooked, threw his rider and tumbled down the embankment before landing in the Middle Fork of the American River. The rider was airlifted out and is currently recovering. Sadly, the horse did not survive the fall.

We were grateful to have been contacted by the Park Rangers at Auburn State Recreation Area as they sought a rafting company that would help remove the 1000 pound horse from the rapids. Two of our guides, Tom and Brian, were brave enough to take on the challenge, so away we went, hoping to help out.

American Whitewater guides respondTime was of the essence, so we got on the river as soon as we could. It took the three of us and several hours of careful work, but we were able to get the horse onto a raft and down the river to an access point where it could be removed safely.

Needless to say, it was a unique trip down the river, and one we don’t want to repeat anytime soon.

It was a pleasure working with California State Parks Ranger Bill Deitchman, who shares our passion for the outdoors. When asked if he wanted to comment he shared these kind words: “I would like to say that it is often a pleasure working with our [rafting] concessionaires in tackling special problems that might arise on our wonderful scenic rivers. The public – whether travelling down the river with one of our [rafting] outfitters, fishing along the river bank, camping at our campsites or just enjoying the river beaches and scenery – have greatly benefited by the actions taken by AWE in helping to resolve this problem on the Middle Fork.”

I’d like to thank Bill and the other park rangers at the Auburn State Recreation Area for all that they do every day to preserve this river and its surroundings. I’d also like to thank Tom and Brian for giving up their free day to help out. And we especially want to extend our sympathies to the rider and the rider’s family as they work through the recovery process – our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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