With the days getting warmer, many Northern Californians’ thoughts turn to summer and the plethora of outdoor activities available in our area, including rafting on the American River. While the immediate Sacramento region features a rather mild experience from the University area to Fair Oaks that is popular with college-aged rafters looking for more of a party atmosphere, we are not far from the Middle Fork, which provides a more exiting experiencing – including Class II & Class III rapids and a few exhilarating Class IV drops.
The Middle Fork is located an hour from Sacramento, 50 miles to the east. Its flows are regulated by Oxbow Dam so the river levels are very consistent.
Tunnel Chute is probably the most popular part of the Middle Fork rafting adventure, but the run features other Class IV rapids including Parallel Parking, Cartwheel, and Upper Ruck-a-Chucky. Ruck-a-Chucky itself is a massive drop with huge boulders, and is considered unrunnable.
Here is a video of excited rafters experiencing Tunnel Chute:
Rafter deaths along the Middle Fork are uncommon, averaging less than one per year. Commercial rafting companies focus on safety, and often provide an incident-free, exciting experience. With the uncontrollable nature of the river, however, injuries can obviously occur. An attorney can help navigate a potential injury claim against a rafting company. The biggest pitfall to an injury claim is the waiver of liability that rafting companies require all rafters sign before beginning their adventure.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a rafting accident, call me at (916) 921-6400.