Directions, What to bring & Where to stay:
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Maps & Directions:
Meet Place for Middle Fork American River Trips
5845 Sunset Drive
Foresthill, CA 95631
Note: If you plan to use a GPS navigation system or online mapping service, please use in conjunction with the driving directions we provide below.
Meet Time: 8:00 am for most 1-Day Trips / 9:00 am for most 2-Day and 3-Day Trips
These times may change. Please refer to the information sent to you in your Trip Confirmation email, check with your group’s organizer, or contact our office.
Exit I-80 at the Auburn Ravine / Foresthill Exit #121 in Auburn. Travel east on Foresthill Rd. 17 miles to the outskirts of Foresthill.
You will pass Worton's Grocery Store on your right. About a ½ mile beyond Worton's is Foresthill High School on your left. Turn left onto Sunset Drive after passing the school, just before a large building with a mural on the wall. If you get to the center of town you have gone about ¼ mile too far.
Once on Sunset Drive, there are two driveways immediately on your left. Turn left into the second driveway that has a large rock at the entrance with the words "Carpenter's Place". As you turn into the driveway you will see a large building ahead of you which is our trip meeting area. Turn right just before the building and drive around back to the All-Outdoors parking area to meet your guide.
Drive Times and Distances:
San Francisco: 140 mi / 3 hrs
Walnut Creek: 121 mi / 2.5 hrs
San Jose: 165 mi / 3.5 hrs
Sacramento: 50 mi / 1 hr
Placerville: 48 mi / 1 hr
Auburn: 17 mi / 30 min
Coloma: 38 mi / 50 min
Truckee: 90 mi / 1.5 hrs
N Lake Tahoe: 90 mi / 2 hrs
S Lake Tahoe: 115 mi / 2.5 hrs
Los Angeles: 435 mi / 7-8 hrs
- Professional Guide, instruction, and equipment (April through May, see Wetsuit Information for added rental cost.)
- Delicious fresh meals
- River shuttle by bus to and from the Meet Place for your trip
What to Bring
- Personal Medicine
- Change of clothing for ride home
- Waterproof sunblock, sunglasses with strap, hat, visor (optional)
What to Wear
- Quick drying shorts to wear over swimsuit is recommended for more comfort
- Athletic shoes that are lace-up, no slip-ons or thongs
- Long-sleeve shirt and pants for added sun protection and/or extra layering
- Wool or fleece sweater/jacket, waterproof jacket or wetsuit (required in early Spring, late Fall, and in inclement weather)
While on the river, you need little other than your river attire. There is limited space available in a water-resistant bag for small essential items, such as raingear or medication, that you might need during the day (no towels, please). This bag is usually available only at the meeting place, during the lunch stop, and at the end of your trip.
NOTE: For your comfort and safety, special clothing items, including a wetsuit, are generally required April through mid-May or during periods of inclement weather. If your trip takes place during a time period when wetsuits are required, see "Wetsuit Information".
Additional Items for Overnight Wilderness Trips:
Remember to pack light since everything is carried by raft into this wilderness canyon and space is limited. Please have your camp gear ready to be packed in a water-resistant bag that we provide. Just the minimal toiletry items are needed since the camps do not have running water or electricity. Upon arrival at camp, the guides will set up the camp kitchen; plates and eating utensils are provided.
Camp clothes: one pair of dry shorts, pants, shirt, jacket, dry shoes and socks, sturdy sandals
Camping gear: sleeping bag, pad, ground cloth, tent (optional), toiletry items, insect repellent, flashlight
Optional items for downtime at camp: book, deck of cards, collapsible fishing gear
Please Do Not Bring:
Expensive watch, jewelry, radio, pets, camera without water protection. Space is limited on the boat. Please note that storage of keys, wallets, and other valuables is the participant's responsibility.
River Conditions (Real Time)
Real-time, up to the hour flow information is available for the Middle Fork of the American River on our Updated River Conditions page.
The important thing to remember about the weather in the Sierra Foothills is that it can change on short notice. It is always best to be prepared for any kind of weather situation.
Seasonal patterns do exist. In April and May, days are generally breezy and warm (60-70 degrees). Nights can be in the 50's; generally cooler during the earlier spring trips. The summer months are usually hot and dry (85-100 degrees). Night temperatures can range from the low 60's to the low 70's.
Even though these patterns exist, it is not uncommon to get a 90 degree day in May and a breezy, rainy day in June or July. It is always important to bring sun protection and cold weather gear to the river. You can decide which is most appropriate once you have arrived.
For specific questions, feel free to contact our Reservation office at (800) 247-2387.
Tahoe National Forest: Sugar Pine Reservoir, (877) 444-6777 Explore the forest and camp before and/or after your whitewater adventure. We recommend two campsites within Sugar Pine Reservoir: Giant Gap and Shirttail Creek because they are located closest to the AO meet place in Foresthill; about a 35 minute drive.
Long Ravine Campground: Colfax, (530) 346-6166
This family owned and operated resort offers RV and tent camping. Amenities include hot showers, large group campsites, picnic tables, BBQ and fire pits, flush toilets, RV hookup, and dump station. Guests can also enjoy access to 26 miles of shoreline, boat rentals, swimming platform and slide, and fishing. About an hour drive to AO meet place
Hotels and B&B's
Foresthill Miner's Camp: Foresthill, (888) 983-5083
Spend a cozy night in one of these artfully restored miner's cabins, where every unique room has been meticulously crafted in "American Picker" decor. Instagram and Pinterest were invented for places like this. Miner's Camp also has a covered outdoor cooking area and open area with fire pit for all guests to enjoy during their stay. The cabins are located a short half a mile drive from our meeting place.
Best Western Golden Key: Auburn, (800) 201-0121 or (530) 885-8611
This chain hotel is located in downtown Auburn and about a 30-minute drive from our Foresthill meeting place. Amenities include a complimentary continental breakfast, outdoor pool, spa, internet, and cable TV. Guests can also enjoy the lawn area for picnics and barbeques.
Holiday Inn: Auburn, (800) 814-8787
This hotel is located about 30 minutes from our meeting place in Foresthill and about a mile from Historic Downtown Auburn. Amenities include a fitness center and spa, outdoor pool, internet, and a restaurant (next door). All rooms are complete with cable/satellite TV, coffeemaker, and refrigerator.
Motel 6: Auburn, (530) 888-7829
Despite its low-budget reputation, this newer Motel 6 with a pool is getting above average ratings from our guests. It is located about 30 minutes from our Foresthill meeting place and has casual dining nearby. Motel 6 offers coffee in the morning.
Power's Mansion Inn: Auburn, (530) 885-1166
Built in 1884, this historic mansion is centrally situated in the heart of downtown Auburn and about 45 minutes from our meeting place in Foresthill. It has 15 themed bedrooms each with its own private bath, satellite TV, phone, and numerous original antiques and fixtures. Full complimentary breakfast at The Power Club, an Irish brewery and restaurant next door.
Vacation Rental "Cottage Pool House": Auburn, (530) 906-6400 or (530) 906-9081
About 30 minutes to the Foresthill Middle Fork meeting place, this private cottage is built on a 5 acre estate and sleeps 2-4. It is complete with a modern pool, spa, kitchenette, living room, and full length patio.
Christmas Tree Vineyard Lodge: Foresthill, (916) 599-0141
Within the Tahoe National Forest, this rustic lodge is about a 35-minute drive on Foresthill Rd to our meeting place. Six quiet guest rooms are complete with private bath and a queen bed. The great room in the lodge offers warmth and conviviality with a wood stove and activities including games, books, TV, DVD player and WiFi. Rates include a full breakfast and access to the kitchen to prepare your own food at other times. Nearby hiking and mountain biking trails are available along with horseback riding and fishing opportunities.
Large Group Accommodation & Conference Facility
Mountain Shadows Resort: Foresthill, (888) 674-4933
Less than a 5-minute drive from our meeting place, the resort is perfect for large groups that want an extended play & stay experience for large events or corporate off-sites. Bookend your day on the river with fully equipped accommodations for the entire group. Sleeps 15 people. Additional accommodations are available nearby at the Foresthill Miner's Camp. Located on 1.5 acres of private property overlooking the American River Canyon, the resort has several bedrooms and bunk rooms, 3 full baths, culinary kitchen, swimming pool, outdoor and indoor fireplaces and more.
Tahoe National Forest: American River Ranger District, (530) 367-2224
If you're interested in hiking, fishing, boating, or swimming before or after your whitewater trip, the Tahoe National Forest is a great place to visit. The forest encompasses a large area stretching from the crest of the Sierra Nevada mountains to the golden foothills above the Sacramento Valley. The Sugar Pine/Big Reservoir area is the closest in relation to our meeting place in Foresthill, about a 30 minute drive.
Auburn State Recreation Area: Main Office, (530) 885-4527
This recreation area covers 40 miles of the North and Middle Forks of the American River and offers visitors the chance to explore over 100 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, swimming, boating, fishing, and mountain biking. The park is located south of Interstate 80, stretching from Auburn to Colfax. The main access is from Auburn, either on Highway 49 or the Auburn-Foresthill Rd.
Visitors to the Middle Fork American River may also want to explore the nearby town of Auburn. Its charming historic Old Town and Downtown is filled with museums, shopping, restaurants, and buildings rich in Gold Rush era history. Take a stroll down Commercial Street where the brick faced buildings and store fronts appear much like they did in early days.
You can also stop by the Auburn Farmers Market which takes place every Saturday and features small-scale farms and California certified fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers. Visit the Auburn Chamber of Commerce for more information.