South Fork of the American River


Overview

Description of river, overview, etc.



Trip Compliance

Directions

To Chili-Bar Put-In

  1. Take US-50E towards SACRAMENTO/SOUTH LAKE TAHOE.
  2. About 50 miles west of Sacramento, the highway will end, and you will go into the town of Placerville.
  3. Turn LEFT onto SPRING ST/CA-49, toward Coloma/Georgetown. (It's the second stop light.)
  4. Go about one mile, turn RIGHT on to CA-193/GEORGETOWN RD.
  5. Go over the bridge, and make an immediate LEFT (CHILI BAR LN), and drive down the gravel road a bit. 
    Drive all the way down, and we should either be launching the boats straight ahead, or a little to the right. 

To Nugget Put-In

  1. Same as to Chili-Bar Put-in, except after the bridge, make a RIGHT into the Camp Nugget Driveway (small sign says The Nugget).  
    The code to the gate is #7236 (five button pushes)
  2. Open gate, go down hill, make sharp right.
  3. There will be a large loop near the river. The campsite is at the end of loop, next to the bathrooms.
  4. If you go past houses, you missed the turn (private houses).
  5. Do not park on grass, please.

From Chili-Bar or Nugget Put-In to Henningsen Park

  1. From Chili-Bar, make RIGHT at exit. From Nugget, make LEFT at exit. 
    Cross bridge.
  2. Continue onto CA-193/GEORGETOWN RD) about 2.3 mi.
  3. When at 49 fork (ugly pink Italian restaurant is on your left), make a RIGHT onto CA-49/COLOMA RD. 
    Stay RIGHT on COLOMA RD/CA-49 (there is an alternate route to Chili-Bar/Nugget that forks off here, on the way back). 
  4. Follow CA-49 signs, pass Marshall Gold Discovery State Park (alternate put-in). 
  5. Continue a bit until you see a stop sign. 
  6. Turn LEFT at LOTUS ROAD. 
  7. Henningsen Park is on your right.

To Camp Lotus Put-In

  1. Take 80-E towards WEST SACRAMENTO. 
  2. Keep LEFT and take US-50E towards SACRAMENTO/SOUTH LAKE TAHOE.
  3. After about 30 miles, take PONDEROSA ROAD exit (Exit 37). 
  4. Turn LEFT at the exit, cross over the freeway, and make an immediate RIGHT turn onto NORTH SHINGLE ROAD (there is a carpool lot on the corner). 
  5. Continue a SLIGHT RIGHT onto GREEN VALLEY ROAD (Shingle becomes Green Valley). 
  6. Continue a SLIGHT LEFT at LOTUS ROAD (Green Valley becomes Lotus). 
  7. Turn LEFT at BASSI ROAD. 
  8. Cross over the one-lane bridge (be careful -- locals tend to truck through this). 
  9. Camp Lotus will be on your right, marked with a big sign. Go down the driveway.
  10. Stop at the office on the right to get parking permit.
  11. Parking lot is at the end of the driveway. 
  12. 5461 Bassi Rd, Lotus, CA 95651

To Henningsen-Lotus Park Put-In

  1. Take 80-E towards WEST SACRAMENTO.
  2. Keep LEFT and take US-50E towards SACRAMENTO/SOUTH LAKE TAHOE.
  3. After about 30 miles, take PONDEROSA ROAD exit (Exit 37).
  4. Turn LEFT at the exit, cross over the freeway, and make an immediate RIGHT turn onto NORTH SHINGLE ROAD (there is a carpool lot on the corner).
  5. Continue a SLIGHT RIGHT onto GREEN VALLEY ROAD (Shingle becomes Green Valley).
  6. Continue a SLIGHT LEFT at LOTUS ROAD (Green Valley becomes Lotus).
  7. After the stop sign (at Bassi Road), continue about 0.4 miles. HENNINGSEN-LOTUS parking lot entrance will be on your LEFT.


To Skunk Hollow Takeout from Camp Lotus

  1. From Camp Lotus driveway, make a LEFT onto BASSI RD.
  2. Cross over the one-lane bridge (be careful -- locals tend to truck through this).
  3. Turn LEFT at LOTUS ROAD. Go about 1 mile; you'll pass Henningsen Park.
  4. Turn LEFT at CA-49/COLOMA RD.
  5. Go about 6.8 miles. At the top of a grade, look for PILOT HILL sign. 
  6. Turn LEFT onto SALMON FALLS ROAD, and make an IMMEDIATE LEFT to continue onto SALMON FALLS ROAD.
  7. Go about 5.7 miles.
  8. Skunk Hollow entrance will be on your LEFT, right before the bridge. If you cross the bridge, you went too far. If the parking lot is full, find some spots before the entrance, also on the left side. Don't forget to put parking brake.

To Salmon Falls Takeout

  1. Same as to Skunk Hollow takeout, but CROSS the bridge. 
  2. Parking entrance will be on your RIGHT.
  3. The gravel ramp is at the left parking lot (where the hordes of people usually are).
  4. Make sure to put ICO signs on your dashboard.

Note for Leadfoots

There are frequently visited speed traps in front of Henningsen, Marshall Gold, and along the Salmon Falls section of 49. Be aware of speed limits! Also, both sections of the shuttle runs are heavily populated by bicyclists, so be careful going around blind turns.

Folsom Reservoir Tow

Rafter's Toe provides raft tow service through Folsom Reservoir to either the Private (Skunk Hollow) or Commercial (Salmon Falls) take-outs. If you have a weekday or early-season trip you may need to schedule an appointment (530-622-9650).

To predict if you will need a tow, check the Folsom Reservoir Elevation.


 Elevation  Description
 455'  Surprise is completely washed out.
 440'  Current stops after Surprise.
 430'  Two rapids after Surprise.
 422'  Current up to and just past the bridge.
 420'  Rafter's Toe stops all service.
 418'  Current all the way to Salmon Falls takeout.

Expedition Logistics

Ċ
Ryan Clark,
Feb 28, 2012, 11:33 PM
Ċ
Ryan Clark,
Feb 26, 2012, 8:48 PM
ą
Ryan Clark,
Mar 9, 2011, 10:41 AM
ą
Ryan Clark,
Mar 9, 2011, 10:41 AM
Ċ
Ryan Clark,
Mar 9, 2011, 11:13 AM
Ċ
Ryan Clark,
Mar 29, 2015, 8:00 PM
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