On the North Fork American River sits a stretch of water so remote and dangerous, it’s rarely visited by anyone. Although many of NorCal’s cliff jumpers visit what is known as “Royal Gorge” in the Tahoe National Forest, it’s certainly not a place you’d find many hikers and leisurely outdoorsmen. That’s why the above video is absolutely insane.
Kayaker Evan Garcia descended this dangerous stretch of water in 2020 to create one of the great local YouTube videos of extreme athletes. Garcia and three other kayakers are seen maneuvering through the vast canyons as they drop giant waterfalls and dangerous rapids. Here is what he said about the short film:
With some luck, a series of 100 degree days hit and we snuck in to the Royal Gorge at the end of May in 2020. It’s always a pleasure to experience this amazing place…even after 11 runs through this section it still blows my mind around every corner. It truly is a unique and special sliver of California’s vast Sierra range. I was joined by my brother Nate Garcia, Dave Fusilli, and Scott Lindgren (Who first Descent’ed this section over 20 years ago). Much love to the boys for a great and memorable 2 days in the wild lands! Hope you enjoy some visuals from our trip.
It’s pretty remarkable that these people can safely travel through this waterway unscathed. Of course, these are professionals and this type of feat should not be attempted by anyone without the proper training and experience. But when the stars align and these kayakers get to send this kayaking utopia, it makes for some great theater.