The South Fork of the American River is a great all-around stretch for private boaters of all levels. Novices will find the 3-mile, Class II “Coloma to Lotus” stretch to be an ideal introduction to whitewater. As your novice skill improve explore a little further on downstream on the C-G section (Coloma to Greenwood a 5.5-mile stretch). Intermediate boaters enjoy the increased challenge of the Class III “Chili Bar” and “Gorge” runs, and expert kayakers spend hours perfecting their rodeo moves in the world-famous Chili Bar Hole, Maya, First Threat, Barking Dog, and other play spots.
Looking for fellow paddlers? Check out our links page for kayaking clubs and links to other paddling-related web sites, or post in the forum to find like-minded paddlers.
The resources pages have lots of logistical information, including maps and directions, shuttle notes, local food, and lodging.
There are several schools offering instruction on the South Fork. Some offer roll sessions and kayak polo in heated pools for comfortable entertainment and practice during the spring and winter months. Explore the options to find a program that suits your needs.
Get your kayaking photos online at Hotshot Imaging
5461 Bassi Rd, Lotus, CA 95651
Kayak, paddleboard, and packraft the river! Have fun and learn skills with world-class instructors in a safe supportive environment. Beginner, advanced classes and trips available. Kids and adults welcome. www.cwwcollective.com 530-426-2820
1032 Lotus Rd, Lotus, CA 95651
Over 25 years guiding in California and beyond! Professional, local instructors, small classes of 3:1 ratio. Whitewater and lake outings. Kids & Adults camps. currentadventures.com 530-333-9115
7308 Hwy 49 Ste F, Lotus, CA 95651
Our private boater shuttles are arranged so that you can eliminate the hassle of "the shuttle" out of your day and the carbon monoxide out of the environment. colomashuttle.com 530-303-2404