Class III South Fork of the American River, CA

Chili Bar to Salmon Falls (Chile Bar Put-In to Salmon Falls Bridge)

The South Fork of the American River is considered to be one of the finest recreational resources in California. The river's rapids are relatively gentle and the countryside is rich in history. Opportunities for a wide variety of outdoor activities include whitewater rafting & kayaking, picnicking, trail hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, hunting, fishing, gold panning, wildlife viewing and other passive recreation. All of them unique ways to experience the habitat and beauty of the South Fork of the American River. The South Fork American is one of the most popular (and most populated) whitewater river runs for rafting and kayaking in the state. The river offers short shuttles between access points, several trip options, high spring flows, and dependable boating flows during the summer months when other rivers have dropped too low. This twenty-one (21) mile river run can be made in a full day or a more relaxing two day trip for both beginning and intermediate boaters. Put-In: Chili Bar, Henningsen-Lotus Park, Highway 49 Bridge West, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historical Park, Camp Lotus, Greenwood Creek. Take-Out: Henningsen-Lotus Park, Greenwood Creek, Salmon Falls Bridge. Please note: If you are not an experienced rafter, we suggest you make your trip with one of the BLM-permitted commercial companies who operate on the river. All permitted operators must meet strict standards for safety and quality of service. (BLM)

Section Details

Trip Length Full Day, 21.0 Miles
Notes There is NO DISPERSED CAMPING ON PUBLIC LANDS along the South Fork American River.
Fishing Yes
Camping No
Permit Yes
Manager Bureau of Land Management, Mother Lode Field Office
Wild & Scenic No
Water Trail No
Partner Information
Description American Whitewater