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Middle Fork of the American River  "End of the World"  V

   The Middle Fork of the American River has a very popular commercial raft run on it. It also has some seldom run stretches above the commercial run. These are rarely run not due to lack of quality or access, but due to lack of water. 2011 was a record water year, and it was no surprise that there was water in the Middle Fork of the American "End of the World" run. This run receives its name from a large stack up of rapids that can be seen from the shuttle road. The majority of the run is not like the stack up. Which is probably a good thing, otherwise it would be an overnight run with few, if any campsites.

End of the World with too much water. We had considerably less when we ran the river.

   This section of the Middle Fork American starts off nice and steep, but not super clean. There is a lot of brush in the river, making the rapids very blind. They tend to be steep boulder gardens of class IV+ nature but the rock is not too friendly, giving it a class V feel.

Daniel Brasuell on the first good boof.

Dan Kanner on the same,

   Shortly below the sweet boof was the most significant rapid of the top section. A long complex boulder garden with many routes and many hazards. Thankfully many routes went better than they looked, as we were all over the place.

Jonas Gruenwald finds the correct route.

Shorty after the river made a dramatic change and cleaned up, giving us a very nice rather classic section of whitewater.

Jonas looks for the soft spot in a river wide hole.

and just one more river wide hole...

Most of it was read and run, but this one mandated a quick scout. Diane drops in.

Same rapid with a nice ender to get out of the hole.

The end of the world entrance ledge seemed to have a rock in the middle, but Jonas had no problem boofing around it.

Suddenly the river tapered off to rather flat for too long before making the final drop through the "end of the world". Our group chose to portage several times through the end of the world section, each time on the left. One rapid hiding in here is above a very sticky, nasty looking ten foot falls into hydraulic. It's possible to run the lead and catch a deceivingly small eddy on the left, or you can portage from up top through massive thickets of poison oak. Below end of the world the river turns back to class IV and it's a quick jaunt down to take out. Daniel spent more time giving this river description. I was not particularly enthused with it. If it had flow in the fall while little else was going, I'd be there in a heartbeat. As it is, in the spring one is passing up too many ultra-classic rivers by spending a day on this section of the Middle Fork American. Daniel's write-up and detailed beta at A Wet State.

Google Maps Put-In and Take-Out.

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