The South Fork of the American River, below Chili Bar Dam to Salmons Falls, is managed by El Dorado County Parks and Trails Division of the Chief Administrative Office.

Warm temps - Cold Water

Rushing riverEven with summer temp, the water is still cold and can change levels anytime. Wear a PFD and proper attire!

The Division of Boating and Waterways has information on how to prepare for these cold and fast water dangers. You can learn more by accessing that information at Winter & Spring Storm Boating and Marina Safety (ca.gov).

Non Motorized Watercraft

Inflatable raft

For canoes, boards, rafts, kayaks, rowboats, paddleboats, inflatables, sculls, and other non-motorized recreational watercraft:

  • Clean off visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud from watercraft, gear, paddles, floats, ropes, anchors, dip nets, and trailer before leaving water access. Scrub hull using a stiff brush. Rinse watercraft, trailer and equipment with high pressure hot water, when possible.
  • Drain water from watercraft, sponges, bailers, and water containing devices before leaving water access.
  • Dry everything five days or more, unless otherwise required by local or state laws, when moving between waters to kill small species not easily seen or wipe with a towel before reuse.


Education, Information, and Safety is our focus. Sharing ways for river access with residents and visiting river recreation enthusiasts.

News and Visitor Information


River Management Plan