American River Rafting

A guide to California Whitewater Rafting

North Fork American River Rafting Access

The following shuttle information to the different whitewater rafting access points were excerpted from The American River by PARC. Images were provided by All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting. The maps are from Expedia and should be used in conjunction with a full-scale map. Some of the shuttle roads are steep and narrow, please drive carefully and watch your speed.

North Fork Put-in and take-out shuttles

"Take the Colfax exit off Interstate 80. Go right back along the freeway frontage road about 1/4 mile to Colfax-Iowa Hill Road and turn left. Go about 3 miles, passing a Maidu Indian Cemetery on the left. The private boater put-in is across the river, on the south side, in a recently-developed campground."

"Colfax-Iowa Hill Road is a remnant of a Gold Rush wagon road, and has many hairpin turns and switchbacks. The last long easterly switchback had a spectacular view of Cape Horn, a huge rock monolith which marks the lower gateway into the Wild and Scenic portion of the North Fork."

Shuttle for take-out at Ponderosa Way

"The vehicle shuttle for the North Fork is fairly simple. For the full-day river trip down to Ponderosa Way, take the Weimar Cross Road exit off of Interstate 80 and park at the park-&-ride parking lot."

"While most of your party assembles gear in the parking lot, a shuttle car or cars sufficient to carry out all boats and passengers at the end of the day should be driven to the Ponderosa Bridge river Crossing. You might think about stashing snacks and dry clothes in the take-out vehicle(s). The drive is a scenic 20-30 minutes long on a combination paved/unpaved road."

Shuttle for take-out at Shirttail Creek

"The Shuttle for the shorter river trio ending at Shirttail Canyon is a little more complicated to get to. Again, get off I-80 at Weimar Cross Road exit. From here most of your crew people can continue to the put-in, while sufficient shuttle vehicles take Canyon Way towards Colfax to Yankee Jim's Road, then turn right. (This road is also marked by a "Forest Hill 13 miles" road sign.)"

"Park your car at the suspension bridge river crossing at Shirttail Creek and try to figure out the ever-changing parking signs. A lot of miners park here to reach their claims. Leave take-out vehicles here and retrace your tracks back to Canyon Way (once again admiring waterfalls). Back on Canyon Creek take a right, head up to Colfax-Iowa Hill Road, and rejoin your friends."

Map by Travel