American River, Middle Fork - Tunnel Run (Ralston Powerhouse to Greenwood)

California-US  

Description

For those without the skill or equipment to run this on their own, this could be one of the best commercial trips in CA.  This area is not nearly as crowded as the South Fork but still offers year round boating due to dam controlled flows coming out of the Oxbow reservoir.  

This is a longer run but can easily be done in a day (including shuttles).  For those wanting to make a weekend out of this, overnighters are possible along most of the river due to BLM controlled land.  Only problem with overnighters is the amount of gear you need to bring and portage through the portage section of this run.  

The portage is the least fun aspect of this run but is still worth it.  Heavy gear and boats will be a real pain so pack light.  You can also have an adventurous sole run the boat down the portage chute while the others walk it.  Either way, make sure to plan appropriately for a successful portage here.

The fishing and side hikes found in this canyon also warrant doing this run as an overnighter.  Lots of mines and historic gold rush era equipment to explore and think about.

Most of this run is solid class III but handful of IV's with a class V portage, length and remoteness make this overall run a solid IV.

Statistics

Class IV- to IV
Current Flow 3628.0 CFS
03-30-2017 01:00
Recommended Flow Minimum: 700.0
Average: 1800.0
Maximum: 3000.0
Typical Season Begins: January
Ends: December
Recommended Use Kayaking: Yes
Rafting: Yes
Canoeing: No
SUP: No
Packrafting: No
Fishing: Yes
Primary Gauge MIDDLE FK AMERICAN R NR OXBOW PH
Length 16.5 Mile(s)
Gradient 23.0 FPM