Rapid Rating


River Mileage

About Tunnel Chute

Tunnel Chute is the first major rapid you will encounter on the Middle Fork of the American River, and it comes quickly. After passing through Last Chance rapid, make sure to eddy out on the right side, so you can scout from the wall on the right. Unless you’ve seen it before or someone in your party has solid experience on this rapid, we strongly recommend scouting this rapid.

The main goal is straightforward, but execution can be a bit tricky, as a lot of the current wants to push you towards the right wall, or spin your boat. There’s a wave/hole on the left side which you’ll want to hit square as best you can. Most boaters enter right-of-center, trying to get as much momentum to the left as possible, to avoid the right wall.

You’ll pass through a long tunnel just below this rapid, which was blasted out by miners during the Gold Rush era. Ideally, everyone gets to see this tunnel from inside the boat.