River Runs Kayaking Whitewater

The Tunnel Run section of the American River in California is a Class III-IV river run, with a total distance of 7.5 miles from Ralston Powerhouse to Greenwood. This section features a number of challenging rapids, including the infamous "Tunnel Chute" and "Chamberlin Falls." It is best to float this section in the spring months, when the snowmelt provides enough water flow to make the rapids more manageable. The recommended flow for this section is between 1,000 and 2,000 cfs. It is important for rafters and kayakers to be experienced and skilled in navigating Class III-IV rapids, as the Tunnel Run section can be dangerous for beginners.

Realtime River Levels

Nf American R A North Fork Dam Ca
USGS 11427000
snowpack density image

July 18, 2024







Last Updated 2023-06-13
River Levels 1390 cfs (1.86 ft)
Percent of Normal 200%
Optimal Range 700-3000 cfs
Status Too Low
Class Level IV- to IV
Elevation 717 ft
Run Length 16.5 Mi
Gradient 23 FPM
Streamflow Discharge 66.8 cfs
Gauge Height 0.5 ft
Reporting Streamgage Nf American R A North Fork Dam Ca
USGS 11427000

Regional Streamflow


Cubic Feet Per Second


Cubic Feet Per Second


Cubic Feet Per Second


Cubic Feet Per Second

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