Trip Details

  • Meeting Location: IRIE Office in Truckee or Raley's in Auburn, CA

  • Meeting Time: 7:00am in Truckee or 8:15 in Auburn

  • Season To Go: Spring, Summer and Fall (water permitting)

  • Length of Trip: 18 river miles, 6 hours on river with lunch stop. Approximately 10 hours total including travel from Tahoe/Truckee and gear/safety orientation

  • Minimum Age: Typically 12 years old - subject to water levels, rafting experience, and swimming ability

  • Cost per person: $139 Monday - Friday, $149 on weekends

  • Cost per person for over night trip: $275 for 2-day, all week; $425 for our 3-day trip

  • What's Included: The Middle Fork American whitewater rafting trip includes paddles, helmets, personal flotation devices, splash tops (if needed), water in every boat, a qualified Middle Fork guide in each boat, a fresh riverside lunch and cold refreshments at the end of the trip. For 2-day trips, 2 lunches, breakfast and dinner are catered for you. We provide transportation to and from the river, either from our office in Truckee California or our meeting spot in Auburn, California. Select lodging pick-ups in the Truckee area can also be arranged.

  • Raft size and capacity: On the Middle Fork American, we use 13' & 14' rafts that will fit up to 6 guests plus one guide. However we aim to only put 4 or 5 guest per boat if individual group sizes will permit.

What you need: Shoes that will stay on your feet, either sandals with a back-strap, good water shoes or old tennis shoes. It is typically hot and sunny in the Middle Fork American canyon, so basic swimming attire is generally fine. We do suggest that you bring plenty of sunscreen or a long sleeve shirt for sun protection (cotton is not great river wear as it will not keep you warm when it is wet). If you do bring personal water bottles, waterproof cameras, small waterproof bags or any other items please make sure that they can be attached to the boat securely. Complete List of of what to bring for one, two and three day trips.


Trip Description

The Middle Fork American River is a Class IV or intermediate river that is suitable for experienced guests and adventurous first timers alike. Our usual minimum age is 12 years old, making it a great family outing for teenagers. 

Your rafting trip on the Middle Fork American River starts with a bang! Within minutes of jumping into the boat you encounter several Class III rapids, preparing you for the first Class IV rapid, Tunnel Chute. Ending in a 90 ft tunnel through a solid rock ridge which was created by miners in the late 1860's, Tunnel Chute's rich history and awesome whitewater make it one of the most infamous features of the Middle Fork American River. Your day continues with several more class III and IV rapids as we continue deeper into the canyon culminating with Kanaka falls, the final class IV rapid of the morning

The middle section of this whitewater rafting trip mellows out and allows for swimming, relaxing and time to take in the scenery as you float 2,000 ft below the canyon rim. After a river side lunch stop, the second set of Class IV rapids will take you to the end of the river trip. These last rapids are the most continuous and technical section of whitewater rafting on the Middle Fork American River. This is a very popular but long day trip, or a more leisurely two-day whitewater wilderness camping trip. Scroll down for more information on two and three day rafting trips.

Book Your One Day Middle Fork American River Trip Here


Lunch on the River

Lunch will be prepared by your guides in the shade on the side of the river at one of the many nice pull outs in the calm section. The lunch stop is almost always near a well maintained composting toilet system for your convenience.   

I.R.I.E. Rafting Company's standard single day rafting trip lunch is a deli spread and comes complete with all the fixings necessary to make your perfect deli sandwich. All of our lunches include chips, salsa, fruit and cold juice to get you started (if you have not already filled up on wild black berries from the side of the river) and cookies for dessert. Our deli spread includes an assortment of meats, cheeses, vegetables and condiments that is sure to satisfy anyones tastes and diet. We source our lunch locally and organic when available. If you have special requests or needs we are happy to accommodate, just call or check out our menu page for more info.

2 & 3 Day Middle Fork American Rafting Trips

The Pace of an Overnight Trip is Ideal

For our two-day trips we take a slower pace through the first set of rapids, allowing us to stop at points of interest, rock jumping spots and play spots. If the group would like a short stop to scout Tunnel Chute, this is a great way to take in the roar of the raging rapid in the chute, the history of the old mining operations and the massive hole that was dug with pickaxes and a small amount of dynamite to divert the river and ultimately make one of the most exciting rapids on the Middle Fork American River.  After lunch, those interested can take the short hike up Dardanelle Creek to its amazing slot canyon waterfall before floating down to one of the riverside camps. Day two starts with a mellow morning sipping coffee while breakfast is cooked and gear is packed. A calm morning float down to our lunch spot at Canyon Creek allows time to wake up before venturing up Canyon Creek's beautiful lush trail to swimming holes and waterfalls. When you return from your hike the lunch of your choice from our menu will be ready for you just in time to watch the water rise from the dam release and the river come alive. After lunch, we raft through Ruck-A-Chucky Gorge, the most continuous section of Class IV whitewater rafting on the Middle Fork American River and float down to take out where cold refreshments will be waiting at the van. 

For our three-day trip, we pass the take out point for the one and two day trips and camp on a sandy beach a bit further downstream. The third day is a relaxing float with occasional Class II rapids until we arrive at Murders Bar Rapid. We have the option of taking out before or after this very difficult and hazardous Class V rapid, depending on the desire of the group and the groups ability and experience level.


Camping on the River

The Middle Fork American River has three river side wilderness camps which are maintained by California State Parks. Each one has nice swimming, plenty of flat sandy areas for camping and composting toilets which really are one of the nicest wilderness outhouse systems out there. Most nights on the river are warm and clear, so generally tents are not necessary unless desired for privacy. We do not provide tents, sleeping bags or pads, however if needed we can arrange rentals for you.

When we arrive at our overnight camp there is plenty of time for swimming, fishing (licenses are required) or just relaxing with a cold beverage before enjoying dinner prepared by your guides. We bring along Horseshoes and Bocce Ball for your enjoyment, but feel free to being along any games you and your group might enjoy.

On trips lasting more than one day, we like to mix up the menu a bit and we rotate through our breakfast, lunch and dinner menu options. You are welcome to take a look at our menu and pick the meals you would like or let your guides choose their favorites from our menu. Please feel free to call with any questions or requests, we can make many meals vegetarian and can also accommodate meals not on our menu in many cases.