WOOD REPORT: May 10, 2010, From Swinging Bridge to the put-in for the Lower AF is clear of wood and every drop is runnable. This may/will change as Spring flows increase, so a thorough pre-scout is vital. There is some bad wood immediately above and below Dragon's Tooth, and more bad wood upstream to the East Park Boundary. This description is for the 110 cfs level, and is for only half or so of the potential run. I will include the upper part of this run to complete the description when I get to paddle the section above. We were limited on our run due to a few badly placed log hazards. This is a very fast, busy, intense, exhilarating, "on your game" run for those who want to be there. If you're not sure if you want to commit to the run, save it for another day...cause there are few chances to eddy out and escape. This section of the American Fork River has a modified riverbed which is sometimes walled in by rock masonry walls, and has potential for sharp angular rock in the riverbed. Wood is ever-present and a thorough pre-scout is mandatory for each run. June 19, 2009, we put in about 50 meters downstream of the Canyon Nature Trail (due to a very ugly river wide log just below the bridge)and took out just above the put-in for the lower American Fork Section. The run starts out with fast class three for 100 meters. Shortly after launching, you will pass below a log spanning the river comfortable above your head. At the first big bend below this log, the river will drop out of sight where, "There be dragons". This is Dragon's Tooth. Boof the Tooth for some big airtime and you will most likely need to land with a left brace. Stay upright, cause now you're in for it. The class 4 begins doesn't hardly let up. Just before the next footbridge at Swinging Bridge is a steep double drop with a strong hole to punch. For the rest of the run the holes are big and powerful and plentiful, but you're hauling ass so it doesn't really matter. Just don't tip over. Immediately below the first foot bridge is another foot bridge, and likely some cheering tourists. The water is easy for a short spell. Things steepen again and there are many more holes to run and a big one backed up by two boulders on either side and a big boulder 20 feet river center downstream. This is The Launch Pad, and it may cause you some concern as your bow shoots skyward as you exit the strong hole and get a big squirt in your creek boat. Shortly below are some (you guessed it) big powerful holes, and one in particular that is bigger than the rest, which doesn't really matter cause your hauling ass anyway (didn't I just say that?). Just don't be sideways and you should be fine. Catch the eddy river left just above the "service/maintenance" bridge and get your heart rate down and regroup. Continue down through more fun big fast 4, go under the highway bridge and get ready for a snaking double drop (Carsass Cascade IV/V) with some with wood and a boulder or 2 to miss just downstream. From there down, thing mellow to fast class 3/4 with one fun big hole to drop. We, well actually Rodney, found a drop (immediately below the double drop below the HWY bridge) we somehow failed to scout, which unfortunately had a slot-wide log and no eddy service. Rodney got his bow on the log, and then flipped upstream above the log, and had to swim free. Due to the adrenaline from seeing Rodney's "Oh shit" posture, I was able to somehow boof the log, and got to chase down gear. Rodney swam to shore without incident and only bruised his ego. This brought home the lesson to THOROUGHLY PRE-SCOUT FOR WOOD!! Anyway, look for the one good eddy about 100 meters above the double drop with downstream limbo log called Carnage Corner (IV/V) (Put-in marker for lower section) so you know where to get off the river. This is just through the trees a very short walk from where you should have parked your shuttle rig. Or continue on down through the lower run for the full American Fork River Experience. FLOW: The following gauge is at Sawmill Picnic area at road mile post 11. There are a number of perennial feeder streams during Spring thaw that are downstream of this gauge, thus rendering the gauge reading as a rough barometer. Check this for the Sawmill gauge estimate and forecast LINK . There is also a simple gauge at the bridge just downstream of the fee booth at the mouth of the canyon, on the upstream side river left. Zero is around 50 cfs it appears. Not sure of any further csf conversions at this time. FLOW INFO: 50 CFS: Moderately difficult. Boney in between drops. Too low for Dragon's Tooth. Swinging Bridge down is good to go. 110 CFS: Tighten down yer helmet and hold on. Full on run, few eddies, big strong holes.
|Primary Gauge||AMERICAN FK AB UPPER POWERPLANT NR AMERICAN FK, UT|
|Type||Name||Description||Camping?||Water?||Boat Ramp?||Vehicle Access|
|Put-In||In||Just downstream of Canyon Nature Trail bridge in Timpanogos National Park, just downstream of the Park Visitor Center. About 2 miles up canyon from the fee booth at the mouth of the canyon. From I-15 midway between Salt Lake City and Provo, take exit 287, which is the Alpine-Highland/US 92/Timpanogos National Monument/Cabella's exit. Drive about 7.5 miles east on HWY 92 to the fee booth at the mouth of the canyon.||No||No||No||All Vehicles|
|Take-Out||Out||Just upstream of the put in for the lower. It's right where you park for the lower put in, where there are 2 pull outs on the river side and one across the road. This is about 1.5 miles up canyon from the fee booth and 200 meters or so downstream of the Timpanogos Park boundary.||No||No||No||All Vehicles|
|Rapid Name||Description||Scout||Class||Recommended Flow|
|Dragon's Tooth||Big boof river right off the "Tooth", or you could bash down river left possibly.||IV+||
|Carcass Cascade||Step, tight, fast with a ledge boof start and a slalom finish. Keeping off two boulders (one top right, on bottom center-not really visible in photo) is the big challenge.||IV+||
|Carnage Corner||Angled 6 foot or so boof after 90 degree bend in river. Boaters must avoid rib breaking rocks on left in botched landing zone and shallow pin potential rocks in correct landing zone. There is a nice sloping launch pad that provides a clean run with a center to right angle and well timed boof stroke.||V-||
|Launch Pad||Ledge drop followed by more of the same. Gets big and powerful when the water is up.||IV+||
|Crazy Train||Big waves and holes at high flow, rock and technical at low flow.||IV||
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