marshall gold discovery state historic park

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Explore California wild and scenic rivers for outstanding scenery and rafting and kayaking fun with #mypubliclands roadtrip.

North Fork of the American River

The famous Giant Gap run of the even more famous North Fork of the American River is one of the most challenging Class V spring runs  in northern California. Cliffs tower 2,000 feet above clear green streams smashing a path through rapids choked with boulders. Heaps of mine tailings and an old cabin ruin border the course of this roller coaster ride through historic Mother Lode.

South Fork of the  American River

The Gold Rush River, the South Fork of the American River, delivers its own special currency as the most popular (and most populated) whitewater run in California. Tempered by upstream dams, the South Fork lurches and bucks through cataracts of boulders, drops and chutes, on its headstrong plunge through Meatgrinder, Fowlers Rock, and Satan’s Cesspool, then delivers a rough goodbye at Hospital Bar. Along with these heart-stopping rapids, you’ll no doubt come to shore long enough to do some discovering of your own at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park.

Merced Wild and Scenic River

Beginning in the high country of Yosemite National Park, the Merced River makes a headlong rush through glacially-carved canyons, rugged mountains and foothills to the San Joaquin Valley. Multiple access points allow skilled whitewater enthusiasts to challenge the rapids at your own pace. Enjoy a day of fishing before gathering around the campfire to cook up the day’s catch at McCabe Flat, Willow Placer or Railroad Flat campgrounds.

Experience the South Fork of the American Wild and Scenic River virtually! Video by Maria Thi Mai, BLM.

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