South Fork American River, Coloma

#292 of 626 in Nature in California
The North Fork American River is the longest branch of the American River in Northern California. It is 88mi long from its source at the crest of the Sierra Nevada, near Lake Tahoe, to its mouth at Folsom Lake northeast of Sacramento. Prior to the construction of Folsom Dam the river was about 9mi longer making for a total length of 97mi.
It rises at Mountain Meadow Lake near the 9008ft peak of Granite Chief in the Tahoe National Forest. Flowing initially northwest, the river soon swings west into a gorge, paralleling the Forest Hill Divide on the south. Big Granite Creek then the North Fork North Fork American River come in from the right. The canyon shallows as the river turns southwest, carving through the Sierra foothills, then turning abruptly south near Colfax. About 4mi downstream, it receives Shirttail Creek from the left then is impounded in Lake Clementine (or North Fork Lake) which is formed by the North Fork Dam, built in 1939 to contain hydraulic mining debris.
Below the dam, the river bends south, passing under the Foresthill Bridge, the highest bridge in California, then receives the Middle Fork American River, its largest tributary, from the left. The valley widens as the river flows south past Auburn, soon emptying into the north arm of Folsom Lake, a reservoir formed in 1955 by the Folsom Dam. Its waters mingle with that of the South Fork American River to form the American River, a tributary of the Sacramento River.
By using our Coloma road trip planning website , you can arrange your visit to South Fork American River and other attractions in Coloma.
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South Fork American River Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
60 reviews
  • This is definitely a great company to use when rafting the South Fork. Our guide Nacala was awesome and the staff made our full day trip unforgettable. Very much appreciated and definitely will be bac...  more »
  • H20 adventures is the best rafting outfit on the river. Everyone at h20 is kind and compassionate making you feel at home from the moment you arrive. Jeff and Kelsey are the best guides ever,they go a...  more »
  • Beautiful area. Water looks inviting but remember it's a deadly river. Cold powerful waters.
  • great class 3 river.

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