Ruck-a-Chucky Falls Rapid

After a long lull in the Middle Fork of the American River, you’ll arrive at two back-to-back tricky rapids. The first of these is Class IV Chunder Rapid, the second of these is Class VI Ruck-a-Chucky Falls. Don’t be caught sleeping here, as you’ll have floated through around 10 miles of Class I-II whitewater and flatwater.

Ruck-a-Chucky Falls is a mandatory scout and a highly recommended portage. Both scouting and portaging can be done on the right-hand side. The typical line is through the middle chute between two enormous boulders, seeing where you are spat out, and then threading the needle between the undercut wall on the left and a large boulder in the center of the channel.

Ruck-a-Chucky Falls is considered to be a Class VI rapid. This video illustrates what can happen if you don’t nail your line. Scout is mandatory, portage is strongly recommended here.

For the sake of contradiction, many guides on the Middle Fork of the American will choose to R1 their boats down Ruck-a-Chucky Falls to avoid the portage. While we don’t recommend this option, it is still an option that boaters take.