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Archive for the 'Middle Fork American' Category


2014 California River Rafting Season Update [MAP]: Eight Rivers We’re Rafting This Year

April 21st, 2014 by Malina

We’re getting a LOT of questions about what kind of impact the drought is having on California rafting trips in 2014.  Let’s clarify the matter:  we have plenty of water for great rafting trips this year because of upstream reservoirs.  Our handy-dandy map shows you when and where all our rivers are running this season.

Click on Map To View Full Size Version:

Map: 2014 California River Rafting Season Update

View Full Size Map: 2014 California River Rafting Season Update

Here’s a more detailed description of each California river we’re running:

South Fork American:

Family-friendly and fabulous, the South Fork is your go-to river for groups with first-timers and Nervous Nellies, but it’s certainly no float trip.  Class III rapids abound and even experienced rafters will have a hoot on this, the most popular river in the state.  Trips are running now and into the fall!

Middle Fork American:

Tunnel Chute rapid has to be one of the coolest rapids in California–it’s a heart-pounding ride down a chute literally carved out of solid rock that ends in a placid float through a small hill.  What???  Yes, it’s true, and you gotta see it to believe it.  Plus there’s another 17 miles of wilderness canyon with class III-IV rapids and calm stretches for day-dreaming and relaxing. Middle Fork river trips will run May-September.

Tuolumne:

Man, the Tuolumne is a keeper.  It’s a beautiful and wild canyon with a heart of gold that refused to be put out by the 2013 Rim Fire.  See the recovery process up-close and personal on a Tuolumne river trip this year–we’re already running trips and will be out there until September 1st, 2014.

Cherry Creek:

Class V Cherry Creek is the most challenging commercial river trip in the United States.  And the drought is actually doing it a huge  favor–because there isn’t a big spring snowmelt, which has to subside before the river is low enough to run in typical seasons–Cherry Creek is actually going to be available for trips much earlier this year.  Our season starts May 3rd and ends September 1st.

Merced:

The Merced is one of the few free-flowing rivers to have a spring season in California this year.  Located near Yosemite Valley, this class III-IV river runs April to early June in 2014.

Kaweah:

Because it’s fed by snow melt (of which there isn’t a ton this year), the Kaweah will have a short season in 2014, just a few action-packed weekends in late April and early May.

Cal Salmon:

If you’re ready for a last minute adventure to make the road trip up north, this weekend we have  one epic class IV-V weekend (April 26-27) on the Cal Salmon.   The season here will last through May, but this is a river that we don’t run every day, so be sure to call in advance to book ahead.

A special note about the Spring rafting season:

Well, first off, some people don’t know that the season has already started.  Somebody, somewhere is probably rafting through rapids in California right now as you read this (assuming you’re reading this during daylight hours.)

If you’ve been wanting to check one of our spring runs off of your bucket list, right now is the best time to book that trip. Not only are the river canyons more beautiful in the spring, but it’s the only time of year you can raft on the Merced, Kaweah or Cal Salmon.  (The North Fork of the American or North Fork of the Stanislaus are not expected to have a season this year.)  And this year, Cherry Creek will have a full spring season, which almost never happens because flows are usually TOO high.

And in case you haven’t seen it, we are running our annual Spring Sale right now; if you book by April 30th and raft before June 30th, you will save 20% off your trip for groups of any size.  Need help making plans?  Get in touch, we want to help!

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Last Chance for Middle Fork Rafting 2013

September 23rd, 2013 by Malina

MiddleFork_AORaftingIt’s been yet another epic season on the mighty Middle Fork American, but the fat lady, so to speak, is about to give her final encore, and that, my friends, is our cue to pack up and head back to HQ for the year.  This is your last chance to tremble and giggle as you scout Tunnel Chute rapid and then heed the “get down” command as you hurtle toward the chute……it’s your last chance to watch portage at Ruck-a-Chucky…your last chance for a leisurely lunch prepared riverside by your intrepid river guides…. and your last chance to enjoy the lazy calm stretch in between class III and IV rapids.  Our 2013 season on the Middle Fork wraps this weekend, and then it’s O-V-E-R until next year!

Check out our Middle Fork Rafting Video if you (or your buddies) need more convincing.

Ends TODAY: 20% off any Middle Fork American Rafting Trip

September 2nd, 2013 by Malina

ldw-2013-v2-wOur Tunnel Chute Showdown Sale ends today!  Book by Labor Day (that’s today, folks) and save 20% on any Middle Fork American Rafting trip.  A one day trip–or heck, a multi-day mini vacation for you and that special someone or the whole dang family–literally every Middle Fork trip from now until the end of September qualifies.  The only hitch is you gotta act soon because the sale ends today and our office closes at 2pm in honor of the holiday.

UPDATE: Rim Fire’s Impact on California Rafting [MAP]

August 28th, 2013 by Jamie Low

UPDATE: (8/28/2013)
Not only are we running trips on the South and Middle Forks of the American River, but we are also running guided rafting trips on the  Goodwin Canyon run of the lower Stanislaus River in late October.  This post and the map have been updated to reflect this.  

Wondering how the American Fire near Foresthill and the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park is affecting river rafting trips in California?

The short answer is that we are thankfully still in full swing on the South Fork of the American River (until the end of October),  the Middle Fork of the American River (through the end of September), and on the Intermediate-Advanced Goodwin Canyon run in late October.

To help illustrate, we’ve adapted this satellite photo of the Rim Fire (adapted from this NASA satellite photo taken on Sunday August 25th) to clarify the difference between the Tuolumne and American River Watersheds, and what this means for planning your next vacation day on the river with us:

Rim Fire Map: Impact on California Rivers

Click on Map for Full Size Image: Map of Rim Fire Impact on California Rivers

 

Yes, there is plenty of very bad news in here; but there’s also some very good news: we’re far from done playing on the river.

The 2013 California Rafting Season Continues!

The American River Canyons: Open Through October
Both the South and Middle Forks of the American River, which remain unthreatened by either of these fires, will remain open through the end of their regularly scheduled seasons.  Our guides and reservation staff are still working (and playing) on the river until the end of the California rafting season, which continues on throughout the month of October. (Yes, that’s right; we’ll say it again: we run trip all the way through October!)

In fact, this week we launched a new Facebook Sweepstakes for a chance to win a whitewater rafting trip for two people on one of these rivers!  We will pick a new winner every week; all you have to do is enter once, and you are automatically registered for a chance to win every single week until the sweepstakes ends at the end of September.  All you have to do is Like our Facebook page and submit your email address so we can notify you of the results.  So whether you’re thinking about a trip this fall, or want to wait until next Summer, you might want to sign up now.

Goodwin Canyon: October 19th – 27th, 2013 (Intermediate – Advanced)
Looking for a bit more whitewater excitement closer to the San Francisco Bay Area?  This is one of our guests’ favorite day trips, due to the short drive and high adventure waiting for those who choose to take advantage of the late Fall water releases from the upstream dam.  This canyon is unlike any other we explore, and it doesn’t run very often.  If you haven’t checked it off your California River Top Ten list yet, late October will be your only chance to get it done.  Take a look at our Goodwin Canyon photos and river description page to see if you and your friends are up for it, or call 1-800-247-2387 to talk it out with one of our river specialists.

Tuolumne River & Cherry Creek: Closed Due to Rim Fire
Unfortunately, the Tuolumne River and Cherry Creek canyons are currently closed to public access, and we have cancelled the remainder of our scheduled trips there for the season.  Gregg Armstrong recently detailed what we know about the impact to these canyons, and in a follow up post he describes All-Outdoors’ first-hand account of evacuating from the area last week.

As soon as we are allowed to enter the canyon, we hope to report back here with our observations on the after effects of the fire. While we don’t yet know the extent of the damage,  we are very hopeful of the long term recovery of the watershed, its ecosystem and our own future return to a place we have long considered our home.

If you are currently booked on the Tuolumne or Cherry Creek, or reservations staff has either already contacted you, or will be notifying you soon regarding your trip.  You can also contact us if you have any questions.

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Middle Fork American Rafting: 20% off all Trips!

August 16th, 2013 by Malina

MiddleFork_AORaftingA steep, dramatic canyon, clear open skies, and 18 miles of cool refreshing water that’s an easy drive from the Bay Area and Sacramento……how could the Middle Fork of the American River get any better?

Well, I’ll tell you.  Because all–and by all I mean one, two, and even three day–Middle Fork American rafting trips are 20% off from now until the end of September!  The only catch (and ain’t there always one, although this one is pretty harmless if you ask me) is that you have to book your trip by Labor Day.

The only hard part is figuring out what day to call in sick to work . . .

Still not convinced?  Read reviews of Middle Fork Rafting trips.  For even more, go to Yelp!

Terror near the BBQ

July 18th, 2013 by Malina

2538450992_43e7efeb7cYou know, the scariest (in a good way of course) part of your rafting trip really should be the moment just before you head into a long rapid like Meatgrinder on the South Fork or when you feel like you’re going to drop off the face of earth when you hear the “get down” command above tunnel Chute on the Middle Fork…..but if you use aerosol sunscreen spray, the biggest shocker may actually be the seemingly innocent act of applying your SPF! 

I just read a report about how spray-on sunscreens can actually burst into a fireball if they don’t dry enough before you get near an open flame….or a BBQ!  Now there’s a risk your mama never warned you about.  So before sidling up to the grill master on your next multi-day river trip, make sure your sunscreen is good and dry so you leave the thrills on river where they belong!

Four weeks left for Middle Fork American Rafting Trips

September 3rd, 2012 by Malina

Being heavily regulated and legislated (and damned), the Middle Fork of the American River can basically be turned “on and off” by the Powers that Be.  And this year, those powers have decided to turn off the spigut at the end of September.  That means you have one month left to experience the remote canyon and class IV action of the Middle Fork……….after that, you’ll have to wait until next year.  Since this is the end for the Tuolumne River as well, the Middle Fork in September is your last opportunity for class IV rafting this fall.

Apple Hill Opens this Weekend

August 27th, 2012 by Malina

Rafters headed to the American River take note–Apple Hill opens this weekend.  Soooo….if you’re rafting on the South or Middle Fork of the American River think about maybe adding a day to your trip and spending a day on the water and a day exploring the ranches, orchards and wineries of Apple Hill, which is only 20-25 minutes from our River Center in Lotus.

If you have the kids with you, a U-pick orchard or a place with lots of sticky caramel apples is calling your name.   Lovers of pork will want to check out Smokey Ridge Charcuterie at Smokey Ridge Ranch–they make some seriously tasty hand-crafted sausages, duck confit and specialty items like rillettes and apple ketchup.

If it’s a couple’s weekend you’re after–and you’re not a teetotaler of course–then check out one of Apple Hill’s wineries.  Boeger is one of the regions oldest vintners and have a blacksmith shop and artisan yarn shop in addition to a beautiful tasting room and picnic grounds.  If you have a sweet tooth put Jodar and diVittorio winery at the top of your list.  Jodar is well-known for port, and diVittorio has several styles of port as well as fruit wines like plum and nectarine.

How to Pack for your Multi-Day River Trip

August 10th, 2012 by Malina

Leave the 10 person tent, head-to-toe mosquito netting, and battery-operated blender at home people–packing for a multi-day river trip starts with thinking “less is more.”  For starters, we provide you with most of the infrastructure you need–all your on-river gear, kitchen supplies and food.   If you want some **adult bevvies** you’re welcome to bring them, although keg stands/beer bongs aren’t very neighborly.  Functionality the next day, people–keep it in mind.  

 What you really need to provide is your personal stuff.  Your shorts and swimming suit, your sunscreen and toothbrush, those things.  Also a sleeping bag and a camp mattress of some kind.  You really don’t need a tent–our guides never bring them and they’re out on the river all summer long so they know what they’re doing.  Of course if you reeeeeeeeeeeeeaaallly reeeeeeeeeaally love to wrestle with a tent, and are confident you won’t poke somebody’s eyes out with the poles or initate divorce proceedings as part of the set-up process, feel free to bring a small tent, but we don’t think you’ll actually miss it.  Or want to waste valuable leisure time in setting up and breaking it down . . .

For a full list of what to bring see the “maps and travel details” pages for the river you’re traveling to on our website: South Fork Two-Day List, Middle Fork Two-Day list, Tuolumne Two-Day list.

Last Chance and Tunnel Chute Rapids

August 1st, 2012 by cameron

It’s another exciting day on the Middle Fork American River. You’ve gotten up early to meet us in Forest Hill, CA, a one-horse town that was once considered as a possibility for the state capital. You’re already wet and enjoying yourself…and then there’s this:

Last Chance is a natural rapid, a powerful pour-over of water. Tunnel Chute is man made, the site of a giant mining operation during the California Gold Rush. Prospectors working for a company blasted in the chute that is now the rapid and then straight on through the side of the ridge. This drained out a stretch of river bed revealing a huge amount of gold. It was the largest find of the Gold Rush.