2000 - 3000 CFS = High flows. All of us, (guest and guide alike), loved getting away from home and into the great outdoors on these two wonderful rivers! Participants should be competent swimmers, active, not overweight.Wetsuits required. In the South Fork American River rainbow trout would be expected to spawn in spring, as high winter flows recede. There are three reservoirs, all part of the Upper American River Project, along Silver Creek and its tributaries before the main stem empties into the South Fork American River just north of Pollock Pines. The water in the calm sections also moves at a swifter pace. Usual minimum age: 12 years old and 90 lbs. Participants should be competent swimmers, active, not overweight.
Participants should be competent swimmers, active, not overweight. Wetsuits required. Wetsuits only required during cooler months. Rapids and drops are abrupt in regard to changes in elevation and speed. Speed of water, size of waves, and drops increase. Due to the large amount of stored water, these upstream reservoirs are able to release water year round on select days of the week.
Above 3000 CFS = Very High flows. Wetsuits required. Participants should be competent swimmers, active, not overweight. We look forward to being back on this beautiful (and favorite of many) river next spring! We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. In September or October water releases are typically increased for two weeks to signal salmon to return for spawning. Wetsuits required.
More challenging Class IV whitewater, yet suitable for a wide range of skill levels. Great for eager first timers and experienced rafters.
Wetsuits required. Previous rafting experience highly recommended.
This release schedule informs boaters when recreational flows are released, thus ensuring enough water for whitewater paddlers. Wetsuits required. The whitewater is mostly class II+ with ten class III's, two class III+ rapids, and one class IV. Best for experienced rafters and adventurous first-timers who like the challenge of difficult paddling and maneuvers.
Usual minimum age: 15 years old. The obstacles change from rocks and boulders to stomping hydraulics and holes. When it does, it has similar features to High flows, but everything about the rapids is bigger and faster. Challenging Class IV+ whitewater, exciting for veterans and adventurous first-timers. These dam-controlled rivers had reliable consistent flows throughout the summer providing wonderful options for rafting, ranging from mild float trips on the easy section of the South Fork American to more challenging whitewater through the stunning remote canyon of the Middle Fork American River. Great for experienced rafters and adventurous first timers. 6000 - 8000 CFS = High flows. Usual minimum age: 15 years old. Silver Creek is a major tributary of the South Fork American River in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Challenging Class III+ whitewater, exciting for first timers and veterans alike. Technical rafting through smooth boulders above the water and smaller ones under the surface. Although Normal flows were released every day except for every other Wednesday through Labor Day, All-Outdoors was not able to offer commercial trips in 2020 due to limited resources. 700 - 1200 CFS = Moderately-High flows. As the water levels increase, boaters should be more experienced and should use extreme caution. Raftable flows are released 7 days a week except for every other Wednesday during the summer months. Calm stretches move swiftly. Wetsuits required. Wetsuits required. The North Fork of the Stanislaus River acts like a free-flowing river, even though Spicer Reservoir is located 14 miles upstream at an elevation of 6300 feet. To plan your trip, look at the Chili Bar Release Schedule, which is published by Dreamflows. The river changes into an Intermediate Class IV river at these unusually high flows. Oar-Paddle Combo rafts used most often.
Above 8000 CFS = Very High flows. We look forward to offering this satisfying, crowd pleasing, non-stop action run again in the spring of 2021! To stay connected and up-to-date on all California river flow information, sign up for the AO eNews, subscribe to the AO Blog, or Follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Participants should be competent swimmers, active, not overweight. Rapids and drops are abrupt in regard to changes in elevation and speed. Participants should be competent swimmers, active, not overweight. Wetsuits required. Above 2000 CFS = Very High flows. Portages required around several major rapids. 450 - 500 CFS = Lower flows. Quick maneuvering and agile paddling required, as well as good balance and the ability to respond quickly to commands given by the guide. Above 4000 CFS = Very High flows.
The measurement used to determine the flow in a river is “CFS”, which is Cubic Feet per Second. The water in the calm sections also moves at a swifter pace. Beginning at Island Lake in the Desolation Wilderness on the western slope of the Crystal Range, South Fork Silver Creek flows immediately into Twin Lakes, followed by Wrights Lake, then flows southwest for about 2.5 miles where it receives Lyons Creek. Challenging Class V whitewater, exciting for veterans. Participants should be competent swimmers, active, not overweight. Several Class IV+ rapids are approaching Class V. Wetsuits required.
Typically the season runs from mid-April to June or early July. Very challenging Class V-V+ whitewater. The water in the calm sections also moves at a swifter pace. Rapids remain the same length, size of waves and drops increase. 600 - 1500 CFS = Lower flows. Early warm weather produced good flows in April and the first part of May.
3000 - 5000 CFS = Moderately-High flows. The Middle Fork is one of the best options for 1-, 2-, and 3-Day wilderness trips. Participants should be competent swimmers, active, not overweight. Participants should be competent swimmers, active, not overweight. This page features real-time flow updates for the North, Middle and South Fork of the American rivers. While the other two summertime favorites - the Tuolumne River and Cherry Creek - had Normal sustained flows throughout the summer months as well, we were not able to offer commercial rafting trips on these rivers in 2020 due to limited resources. These canals bring water to farmers in the San Joaquin Valley.
In most years we concentrate bookings into one weekend trip in late April. 3000 - 4000 CFS = Moderately-High flows. Most rapids are either washed out or need to be portaged. Family of Companies as a resource for information about California's South Fork of the American River for the general public. 1500 - 2200 CFS = High flows. Although the Tuolumne River had sustained Normal flows throughout the 2020 season, All-Outdoors was not able to offer commercial trips due to limited resources. To ensure you can go paddling on a particular day, be sure to check the Dreamflows chart (below) for recreational flows, which ensure enough water for whitewater paddlers. 4000 - 6000 CFS = Moderately-High flows. Good balance and the ability to respond to commands quickly and paddle hard are necessary. 500 - 700 CFS = Normal flows. Participants should be competent swimmers, active, not overweight. Out of boat experiences (unplanned swims) become more challenging. Wetsuits required.
The Merced River is free-flowing and has no dams above the whitewater section. Participants should be competent swimmers, active, not overweight. Class III+ whitewater. Technical rafting through boulder filled rapids and narrow exciting passages. Zone: Report: Format: This flow information reflects conditions only at the time measurements were taken.
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