Two Day TripMiddle Fork + South Fork Chili Bar
- Where: Day 1 – Oxbow Bend to Greenwood Bridge on the Middle Fork. Day 2 – Chili Bar to Coloma on the South Fork
- Meeting time: 7:00 AM in Coloma or 9:00 AM in Auburn on Day 1
- Trip length: 24 miles (18 miles on the Middle Fork and 6 miles on the South Fork)
- Class/Level: III - IV
- Departing time: Daily
- Ending time: 1:00 PM on Day 2
- Time on water: Day 1 - 6 Hours Including Lunch, Day 2 - 2 Hours
- Lunch: Included both days
- Camping: 2 Nights Camping for Free
- Age restrictions: Minimum Age is 12
Trip Description and Brief Itinerary
This is arguably our most popular Middle Fork two-day trip. On this incredibly fun Middle Fork American white water rafting trip, you’ll raft the entire 18 miles of the scenic Middle Fork on the first day and then raft the fantastic 6-mile Chili Bar section of the South Fork. Between the trips you will return to our deluxe campground where you can relax and make use of all the amenities and enjoy some hearty meals. Your second day ends by 1:30 PM leaving you plenty of time for your drive back home.
Since the first day on the Middle Fork starts early we suggest you arrive the day before your trip and camp with us at our deluxe river campground. Our camp is complete with modern restrooms and free hot showers, swimming pool, volleyball court, and more. Our campground is situated just above Troublemaker Rapid on the South Fork of the American River and right next to James Marshall Gold Discovery Park.
Your Middle Fork adventure begins at 7:30 AM following a delicious continental breakfast. Jump into our shuttle vans and head off for a full day rafting of thrills, challenges, and excitement as well as a true wilderness rafting experience. You will drive along gorgeous roads through the Sierra Foothills and through Tahoe National Forest, dropping down to Oxbow Dam on the Middle Fork.
At the put-in, the guides will unload the rafts and help all the rafters with their life jackets and helmets. The group will then be given a comprehensive safety and paddle talk and soon after you will be on the water. The rapids are small to start but within the first 30 minutes, you will be getting amongst the big ones including the ultimate in “Big Drops” at the Tunnel Chute Rapid. Here the river descends 80 feet through a very narrow chute. Then you’ll suddenly find yourself underground for 90 feet traveling through a tunnel blasted by the gold miners long ago.
This beautiful river continues to flow through the rich gold-bearing country with a dozen more impressive rapids, including Bus Crash, Kanaka, Chunder, Parallel Parking including the famous Class 6 Ruck-a-Chucky, which you will be walking around as it is simply too dangerous to raft!
On this trip, you will be covering 18 river miles, and you’ll experience a thrilling time on the river during this adventurous full-day rafting trip. We provide you with a hearty deli lunch along the river. At the end of the trip, we will load the rafts back on our vans and drive back to camp. We do provide cold drinks and water for the shuttle back to camp.
Once back at camp you can relax or jump in the shower to freshen up for dinner. You can also view your photos from your days rafting. At 6:00 PM we start our dinner service with wine and beer. Enjoy some tasty hors d’oeuvres before we serve a delicious, healthy dinner with dessert that will satisfy the heartiest appetite.
Your second day begins a bit later after a hearty hot breakfast at 8:00 AM. Around 9:00 AM we will jump into our shuttle vehicle and drive up to the top of the South Fork at Chili Bar. On the Chili Bar Run, the action starts right off the bat and is almost non-stop for 6 miles. You will raft down some challenging Class III rapids including Meat Grinder, Triple Threat, and Troublemaker as well as lots of smaller ones. The trip ends around 12:00 PM after which a hearty burrito bar lunch is served. Have a shower and get freshened up for your drive back home. You can even stay for a bit and explore James Marshall Gold Discovery Park where gold was discovered in 1848 leading to the California Gold Rush!
There are limited spaces available on the Middle Fork, especially on weekends. They do fill up fast so book soon!
Important Trip Details
This Middle Fork and Chili Bar two day rafting trip is offered on Monday & Tuesday, Tuesday & Wednesday, Wednesday & Thursday, Thursday & Friday, Friday & Saturday, Saturday & Sunday, and Sunday & Monday.
This rafting trip leaves our River Camp at 7:30 AM on the first day so it’s imperative that you arrive by 7:00 AM at the latest if you’re not camping with us the night before. Additional nights of camping and meals are available. Please call us 1-800-825-3205 or contact us for details.
Get ready for some superb Middle Fork white water rafting and South Fork white water 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.