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Day TripNorth Fork Double Trouble

  • Where: Iowa Hill Bridge to Ponderosa Bridge TWICE!
  • Meeting time: 8:00 AM in Coloma or 8:30 AM in Auburn
  • Trip length: 18 River Miles
  • Class/Level: IV - V
  • Departing time: Daily when water permitting
  • Ending time: 5:00 PM
  • Time on water: 5 to 7 hours with lunch
  • Lunch: Included
  • Camping: Camp one night for FREE before your trip
  • Age restrictions: Minimum Age is 14
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Trip Description and Brief Itinerary

So what is better than rafting the North Fork of the American River? Rafting it twice in the same day!!! Now this is one intense day of whitewater rafting action. This is one of our raft guides favorite trips and we know you will absolutely love it!

Enjoy this absolutely gorgeous naturally free-flowing river as it dances through pristine canyons with beautiful rock formations and some of the most exciting technical rapids for rafting in California. Right from the start and featuring almost continuous technical whitewater rapids, you’ll slalom through Chamberlain Falls, Bogus Thunder, Staircase, and many more. A hearty deli lunch is served along the way and you will get a chance to enjoy the spring wildflower display, lush foliage, and abundant wildlife. The last few miles of your adventure offer a slower pace allowing you to catch your breath, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the canyon before you head back to the start for more!

The North Fork of the American River is free-flowing and the water flows depend entirely on snowmelt and rainfall. The North Fork is considered one of the best Spring rafting trips in California! This stunning 9-mile section of the North Fork of the American River is dominated by American Whitewater Expeditions and we are leading the way and setting the standard! We have the best and most experienced guides on the North Fork whose sole job is to make sure you have a fantastic and safe time on your river trip. Did I mention we raft more people down the North Fork each year than all others combined!

Your North Fork rafting adventure begins early as you head out of our River Camp around 7:30 AM. There is also an option for rafters to be picked up in Auburn at 8:00 AM. You can also take advantage of FREE camping the night before your trip! The start times on the North Fork do vary slightly with the river flow and we will contact you and advise accordingly.

After having had the hearty and optional Continental Breakfast we head out to the North Fork, passing through the beautiful American River canyon the confluence of the North and Middle Forks and into the heavily forested Sierra Nevada foothills, then up Highway 80 to Colfax. You will arrive at the put-in about an hour later and your guides will unload the rafts, get you all your safety gear and give you a very detailed Safety Talk. After the safety talk, each raft crew will be taught how to paddle as well as follow commands – then you’ll practice for a good 10 to 15 minutes because rapids start right off the bat and the first 4 miles of the trip is very intense with continuous whitewater rapids.

Once on the water, the action starts right off the bat with Slaughters Sluice which leads into one of the biggest hits on the river at Chamberlin Falls. The rapids continue one after the other, Tongue & Groove, Zig Zag, Achilles Heel, and Bogus Thunder with the infamous “Toaster” where interesting out-of-boat experiences are known to occur. This leads into smaller rapids and then back into the thick of it with Grand Slalom, Staircase, Nose Stand, and many more.

Soon you’ll float past the Yankee Jim bridge and Indian Creek! From here on out for the next several miles the river takes on a more gentle and enjoyable tone! You’ll stop along the way for a hearty lunch, soak in the sun and relax a little and swap stories of the rapids run. Enjoy more of the beautiful canyons until you reach the take-out.

Catch your breath, load your rafts and drive back to the top to have another go! The second run is often more exciting and enjoyable then the first, partly because you know what to expect and by now are feeling a lot more confident.

This trip typically is done by 4:30 PM. This trip can end earlier or later depending on the water level!   After the second run, at the take out, the rafts are re-loaded and you will have an opportunity to change out of your wet-suits and into dry clothes. We also serve cold drinks and water for the drive back to Auburn or our River Camp.

There are limited spaces available on the North Fork and weekends fill up fast so book soon! Give us a call at 800-825-3205 and let us show you a time on the North Fork rafting trip.

Important Trip Details

Along with the normal rafting gear and shuttles your trip Includes

FREE Camping the night before your trip.

FREE 4 Person Tents – Set-up before you arrive.

FREE Wet Suits and Splash Jackets.

Hearty River Lunch

Please keep in mind the North Fork is a natural free-flowing river fed by snowmelt and rain. The rafting season on the North Fork varies and this year we are anticipating a long season. We will likely be rafting the North Fork during the months of March, April, and May. Please call us for details.

Our Spring North Fork Double Trouble rafting trip is offered every day of the week departing from our River Camp in Coloma or at our Trip Meeting Place in Auburn. The meeting times vary depending on trip size, availability and river flow. The meeting time for this North Fork Whitewater Rafting trip is typically between 6:30 AM and 7:00 AM.

Get ready for some North Fork rafting action! Check out our Equipment List for items you will need for your trip as well as Maps and Directions to our River Camp in Coloma as well as Maps and Directions to our Auburn Meeting Spot.

If you are camping with us, breakfast before your trip can be added with advanced reservation. Additional nights camping after the trip is also available. Please call 1-800-825-3205 or email us for details.


Day TripNorth Fork Double Trouble Midweek Price Per Person: $219 Saturday & Sunday Price Per Person: $239
Group Specials For every 5 paid rafters the 6th goes for 50%. For every 11 paid rafters the 12th goes for FREE.
NOTE: There is an 8% Govt Land & River Use Fee added to all prices above.