Some of the American River's rapids have ominous sounding names like Meatgrinder, Troublemaker, Satan's Cesspool, and Hospital Bar. Troublemaker is the best-known and has a reputation to match its name. It's a Class III+ rated rapid and whether it provides terror or thrills depends on your emotional state by the time you reach it!
Trouble on Troublemaker
Troublemaker & American River Resort
Troublemaker sits on a broad bend of the river that borders American River Resort on one side. Only ARR's registered guests have permission to access the shore on our side of Troublemaker. To sit on the rocks and watch the action up close is a lot of fun and a favorite of many or our guests.
Boater's Description of Troublemaker
"The river enters a boulder garden, followed by a falls, with an S-channel on the far left. The rapid's name describes your route well. At lower flows, the true path is narrow indeed. If you shade right, a large diagonal wave tends to flip kayaks. If you go far left, you end up in an eddy that is hard to exit. Precise placement into the gut of the hole surfs you next to a big rock on the left below, then thru a steep channel along Gunsight rock, where rafts often end up wrapped. Advanced boaters might want to eddy left, then ferry across the hole, exiting to the right of Gunsight rock. In any case, the swim isn't too bad [with life vest], but keep your feet up." (From Coloma Club website.)
Troublemaker is rated Class III+ on the standardized scale.
Class III is defined as: "Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims."