American River North Middle South Forks

Quick Facts

American River North Middle South Forks


(916) 985-4474

Map Directions

Things To Do


The famous Giant Gap 14-mile run of the even more famous North Fork American River is one of California's top whitewater challenges, for experts only. Cliffs tower 2,000 feet above the river. Heaps of mine tailings and old cabin ruins border this roller-coaster ride through the historic Mother Lode. Stop to catch your breath at the Lover's Leap picnic area, which features California's most venerable black oak, estimated to be 350-450 years old.

Map of American River North Middle South Forks

Latitude, Longitude: 38.999709, -120.880337



  • Boating

    White water rafting and kayaking are both available.

  • Bicycling

    The American River watershed has hundreds of miles of trails suitable for mountain biking. You can also ride the roads along the river or cross some of the many bridges.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Please contact the park for more information.

  • Fishing

    The American River watershed offers fishermen (and fisherwomen) a wide range of experiences, from fly-fishing in the clear streams of the Sierra Nevada to casting for steelhead in the lower American as it flows through Sacramento.

  • Hiking

    The North and South forks of the river have extensive hiking trails. The more rugged and demanding are those of the North; the South Fork has its share of difficult trails but also many that are suitable for an afternoon outing (the new Cronan Ranch Trail is a tremendous addition).

  • Water Sports

    WIth an array of water sports ranging from kayaking to white water rafting, one's sure to enjoy what these rivers have to offer.



Take U.S. 50 to the town of Placerville, then follow Hwy 49 to Hwy. 193 to the Chili BarReservoir. Highway 49 also runs through Coloma for river access at the state historic park.

Phone Numbers


(916) 985-4474