California Rafting Trip Planning
with Adventure Connection
RAFT THE AMERICAN RIVER IN CALIFORNIA – This page contains all of the trip information sheets, maps and directions for the many adventures we offer. If you are at all unsure which document pertains to your trip, please call us. We always send these same sheets out to you with your initial reservation, so you might want to double check that correspondence and make certain you’ve the right whitewater rafting trip. We’ve also included a personal gear list and our waiver form.
1-Day Trip South Fork American River – Gorge Run
We meet at our campsite just outside Coloma on Highway 49. We launch from our campsite into a fun and easy section of the river, with time to warm up and practice our paddling before hitting some of the bigger Class III rapids in the Gorge. This eleven-mile run is fun and exciting, just perfect for a beginning and intermediate whitewater experience! We have a healthy and hearty lunch on the riverbank.
1-Day Trip Middle Fork American River
This 17 mile trip is a Middle Fork extravaganza for those of you wanting a lot of excitement in one, very full day. We meet you in the town of Auburn after breakfast (on your own) and head for put-in. We’ll be on the river early, running the Tunnel Chute and lots of other exciting rapids as well as floating and paddling the calmer stretches of the river. We stop for a picnic lunch along the way and at take-out in the late afternoon, you can look forward to cold drinks at the end of a long and very exciting day.
2-Day Trip South Fork American River
We start our two-day trips on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. On the morning of the first day we’ll meet for a river orientation and safety talk. Then you and your other crew members will board your boat at our campsite put-in and practice basic paddle strokes with your guide before setting out to raft the lower eleven miles of the river known as the “Gorge Run”.
2-Day South Fork American Midweek Family Trips
Adventure Connection is proud to be one of the first rafting companies to offer a special series of rafting trips for the whole family, designed to bring fun and adventure, education and growth to our guests. These trips offer you time together in the outdoors, sharing the thrills of the river, meals, campfire and sleeping out under the stars.
2-Day Trip Red Wine and White Water – Wine Tasting Trip
We start our two-day trips on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Each of our wine tasting trips includes whitewater rafting on either day one or day two and wine tasting the day we are off the river. That choice is dependent upon numerous factors including weather, permit restrictions, size of trips, etc. If you have a preference please let us know in advance and we will always attempt to accommodate your wishes. Please note that our meeting time is 9:00 on day one for either option and you can, if you choose, spend the evening prior and enjoy breakfast with us for a nominal fee.
2-Day Combo Trip Middle Fork & South Fork American River
The chance to
1-Day Trip South Fork American River – Chili Bar Run
We meet at our campsite just outside Coloma on Highway 49 and shuttle up to the top of the river canyon, where we begin the Chili Bar run. The river starts right out with exciting rapids so first-timers are ready for a thrill from the beginning. After we practice our paddle strokes we’ll tackle fun and challenging rapids like Meatgrinder and Triple Threat, and finish off the big rapids with the excitement of Troublemaker. We enjoy the beauty of the river canyon stopping for lunch along the riverbank and take out at our camp in time for fond farewells.
1/2 Day Trip South Fork American River – Gorge Run
For those of you on a tighter schedule, we have two separate half-day adventures designed to give you as many whitewater rafting thrills and spills as possible in a shorter time-frame. The 11-mile Gorge half-day whitewater rafting trip meets at noon and finishes around 4:00 PM. Lunch is not included on these trips, but can be added for an additional cost. And whilst we truly believe that the more time you spend on a river the happier you’ll be…these two mini-runs are gems!
1/2 Day Trip South Fork American River – Chili – Bar Run
For those of you on a tighter schedule, we have two separate half-day adventures designed to give you as many whitewater rafting thrills and spills as possible in a shorter time-frame. The 9-mile Chili Bar half-day whitewater rafting trip meets at 8:30 AM and finishes around noon. Lunch is not included on these trips, but can be added for an additional cost. And whilst we truly believe that the more time you spend on a river the happier you’ll be…these two mini-runs are gems!
1-Day Trip North Fork American River
We meet in the town of Auburn for our one-day North Fork trip. Meeting time varies from early morning to mid-day depending on our put-in time on the river. After check-in we’ll drive to the put-in where you will receive a safety orientation and review paddling techniques with your guides. The river leaps into intense rapids from the start with almost continuous class 4 runs for the first five miles. Depending on water levels we may scout one of the biggest drops, Chamberlain Falls for the best run.
2-Day Trip North Fork & South Fork American River
The chance to combine another river with the North Fork for an outstanding two-day adventure happens each spring! Combine the Gorge Run of the South Fork American with a North Fork run for a springtime extravaganza! Camp at our South Fork camp for two nights, enjoying the “outdoor living” of our wilderness setting.
2-Day Trip Middle Fork & North Fork American River
This combo gives you the opportunity to get in a lot of river miles while experiencing great intermediate and advanced level rapids. Meet us at our South Fork American campsite the morning of your trip where we will be camping that night. We raft both the North Fork and the Middle Fork of the American, enjoying the area’s most challenging rapids on this two-day extravaganza!
2-Day Trip Middle Fork American River – Wilderness
1-Day Trip Kaweah River
Our one-day trips are on Saturdays and Sundays, meeting at 8:30 AM. After check-in we’ll take a short drive to the put-in where you will receive a safety orientation and paddling instruction by your guides. The stretch of river we do on the one-day trip is very exciting with many class IV and V rapids including “Suicide Falls” and “The Flood”. After a picnic lunch on the riverbank we’ll get back into our boats and tackle some of the biggest rapids on the river like “Upper and Lower Slickies” and “Holiday Hole”. Our take-out is at Lake Kaweah – just a short bus ride back to your vehicles. We’re usually off the water and back at our meeting site by 3 to 4 PM.
2-Day Trip Kaweah River
The first day is the same stretch as our one-day trips. We camp at mile 11, enjoying the wilderness, a sumptuous dinner prepared by your guides, great conversation, bright stars, and a peaceful sleep. The next morning, after breakfast, we either continue on down river or repeat the same stretch we did the first day. Usually folks prefer to repeat the same stretch because of the abundance of exciting rapids. We return to our meeting place around 4 PM of the second day relaxed and ready for the next exciting adventure!
1-Day Trip Tuolumne River
The Tuolumne River is done as a one day trip only in early spring and late summer/fall. We run all 18 miles of the Tuolumne in one day as there is only one place to put-in and one take-out area. Rafters need to be adventuresome and in good condition with prior rafting experience. Our day is long and full from the moment of meeting in the morning until we return to our cars around 6:00 PM.
2-Day Trip TUOLUMNE River
Experience the thrill of great rapids with time to enjoy the serenity of a wilderness canyon. We meet early on the first morning of your trip at our outfitter’s meeting place on Highway 120 near Groveland, west of Yosemite Nat’l Park. The drive to our put-in takes us deep into the canyon on narrow back roads–an exciting adventure in itself! We meet our guides and boats, don wetsuits if needed for protection and comfort, stow our gear in waterproof dry bags in the oar boat, and head for the river in paddle boats–usually six paddlers plus your guide to a boat. We raft the upper section of the Main Tuolumne, scout and run Clavey Falls, and make camp below the falls for a well deserved evening on the river where we rest and play while our guides prepare a wonderful dinner and campfire.
3-Day Trip Tuolumne River
Take the time to truly enjoy the wild and scenic Tuolumne with an extra day on the river to hike, fish, relax and fully experience this extraordinary wilderness canyon. We raft the river with time to experience and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the river. Our camp is usually just below Clavey Falls, a wonderful area for hikes, fishing, and just relaxing in the “middle of nowhere” on our extra day in the canyon. We return to our cars around 4:00 to 5:00 PM on the third day, rested and refreshed from a true wilderness experience.