American Fork - American Fork, Upper



****WARNING: WOOD HAZARD*** May 22, 2009 There is a lot of new wood and shifted wood since the rise in flows. I would not recommend this run unless a thorough pre-scout is completed first.*** The Upper Main American Fork River is a class IV- section that is splashy with a few good drops, some low brush and wood hazard. Most of the run is class III, but two drops and the need for class IV skills because of wood hazard ups the overall rating. There are a few sections of artificial riverbed that provide few eddy's, one or two "limbo" logs and a few logs to portage. This would be a very nice run if it were wood free. As is, it is a fun run if you locate and remember where the trouble wood is. A thorough pre-run wood scout is highly recommended so you don't get an unpleasant surprise around a blind bend. Put in at the confluence of the North and South Forks of the American Fork, or drive up the Tibble Fork Road a short ways and put in for a longer run, though beware of low pipe crossings above the river (see North Fork American Fork description). The river is initially straight with a few artificial waves/holes and with some wood to maneuver around. Be prepared to portage after you go under the exit bridge (1st bridge) at Little Mill Campground. There are currently two log problems to walk around, but they are close together. Below, the river picks up speed, winds a little bit and then slows in a pool. Run a fun 5-6 foot log jam drop (with a nice hit at the bottom) and immediately go right to miss a log blocking the left side of the river. This is the toughest single drop on this section. After a short bit, a second bridge, the road entrance to Little Mill Campground, is passed and you will find another log drop of about 3 foot in height. As the river straightens again and is roadside, the river pinches down and accelerates between shoreline boulders for about 100 yards and creates a fun pushy white froth. More winding and the Sawmill Picnic Area bridge (3rd bridge) comes in sight. Below the bridge is a low overhead log and another fun 4 or so foot drop with a nice hit at the bottom. Again the river becomes roadside and you pass a footbridge and the gauge on river left. The river then winds away from the road and a cliff is found river left at river level. After the bend, get ready to catch an eddy river right ABOVE a square boulder and a rapid. If you miss the take-out and continue on, be prepared for class V jank and wood. I guess the point here is know your take-out location and eddy. FLOW: The following gauge is at Sawmill Picnic area at road mile post 11. Check this for the Sawmill gauge estimate and forecast LINK .


Daniel Anderson
Class IV-
Current Flow 86.5 CFS
07-22-2024 14:15
Recommended Flow Minimum: 50.0
Average: 100.0
Maximum: 125.0
Typical Season Begins: May
Ends: August
Recommended Use Kayaking: Yes
Rafting: No
Canoeing: Yes
Packrafting: No
Fishing: No
Length 1.3 Mile(s)
Gradient 105.0 FPM