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 Topic:  Hazards - Lower MF American 

Forums -> Hazards -> Hazards - Lower MF American Page 1 of 1
Posted to flow site: Mi. American - Above Tunnel ChuteLatest PostNext TopicPrev Topic
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Posted: Jul 28, 2010Post Subject: Hazards - Lower MF American
Bill Deitchman - California State Parks - reports as follows: "There are two hazards on the Lower Middle Fork American River from Driverís Flat Road to Mammoth Bar.

1. The first hazard is from a small slide that has occurred on the Lower Middle Fork American River about 1/4 mile upstream of Mammoth Bar.  The slide has deposited two trees on the outside of a left hand turn in the river.  The largest is a large Cottonwood that is in the main current.  It is possible to boat (kayak or raft) around the trees on the inside (river left) of the turn but inexperienced boaters should take extra precautions to insure that they do not go into the tree(s).  The slide area is easily seen from upriver as are the trees.

2. The second hazard has been reported to me to be approximately 1 mile downstream of Cherokee Bar (about 1.5 miles downstream of Driverís Flat Road) at the bottom of a long pool that splits into two channels just above a left handed turn.  The right channel is narrower and runs along the canyon wall.  The second channel is the wider of the two.  Apparently a down tree completely reaches across the right channel.  The left (main) channel is clear and is even deeper since last year."

Posted: Aug 10, 2010Post Subject: Lower Md Fork hazards
Just returned from floating the Lower Middle Fork of the American R. this last Saturday. My first time down the river, my mother in law wanted to float something without a lot of whitewater. Fun day, took 3 1/2 hours from the put in at Greenwood Bridge to Mammoth Bar with a lunch stop. We started at 11:30. If I were to do it again, I would leave a little later so the water level was a little higher from the OXB release. I was using an Avon Drifter with rowing frame so MOL and wife could sit and relax. A couple chutes were tricky due to their narrow confines but all went well. Pushed through the flats to get through since we really had no idea how long it would take.
The hazards:

1. The report states there are 2 trees in the water about 1/4 mile upstream of Mammoth Bar. I found only one tree, river right, about 200 yards upstream of the take out. Easily passed on the left.

2. The tree below Cherokee Bar is at the bottom of the island across the right channel. You could slide around on the right of the tree but it's easily passed on the left. The right channel, at the top, is shallow and extremely narrow, and takes you into the overhanging trees. No reason to go there. Be careful near the bottom of the island in the left channel, especially if the water is low. We saw what looked like the remains of an old metal fire ring about 10-15 feet from the right bank of the left channel. Hate to run over that, especially with an inflatable.

A good run for beginners, a pontoon boat or kayak would be much easier to run through the tight spots although it wasn't bad for the raft.

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