Summary: This is great wilderness run. Good mix of boulder gardens and bedrock rapids. IV+ to V- in difficulty. First 3 miles of run are mostly high quality IV+ / V-. Then, gradient mellows and the next 4-5 miles slide away quickly with some occasional class IV to keep you on your toes. Then, you cash out on the gradient bank with the last ½ mile being the steepest of the run. The inconsistent gradient/difficulty keeps this run from being a classic. Most similar comparisons would be to Canyon creek (SF Yuba trib), SF T, and Lavazola. Predictable ideal flows (even simple gauge readings) would yield paddlers here on a regular basis.
A solid crew of class V boaters should budget ~5 hours.
Other Information Sources:Middle Fork American River Project RelicensingExisting Resources Overview pdfPlacer County Water AgencyUpper American River FoundationUCDavis Hydra Center, flow study news release
Flows between 425 and 480 were reported to be good during the May 2010 boating study. Effects of flows outside that range are untested.
Historical records are available at:MF American below Interbay - USGS #11427770 Ralston Powerhouse - USGS#11427765
Permits are not required for this reach.
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