American River North Middle South Forks
The famous Giant Gap 14-mile run of the even more famous North Fork American River is one of California's top whitewater challenges, for experts only. Cliffs tower 2,000 feet above the river. Heaps of mine tailings and old cabin ruins border this roller-coaster ride through the historic Mother Lode. Stop to catch your breath at the Lover's Leap picnic area, which features California's most venerable black oak, estimated to be 350-450 years old.
Take U.S. 50 to the town of Placerville, then follow Hwy 49 to Hwy. 193 to the Chili BarReservoir. Highway 49 also runs through Coloma for river access at the state historic park.www.hobogrill.org