california rafting trips & vacations

South Fork American 1/2 Day PM Gorge Run

North Fork American River is a GO this Spring

50% Off Kids on Weekdays

OH SNAP! You're Going Rafting​


Middle Fork American River – 2 Day Wilderness Rafting Trip

What Gear Does Tributary Provide

Included for the rafting:

  • PFD (Personal floatation device / aka life jacket)
  • Paddle
  • Helmet
  • Professional raft guide for each raft
  • Shuttles to/from camp


Included with this overnight vacation package:

  • 2 nights riverside camping (different locations each night, additional nights available as an add on)
    • Your first night of camping is at our established South Fork American River campground in Lotus, CA with showers, and flush toilets (additional nights are at this location)
    • The second night of camping out on the Middle Fork American River Canyon
  • 5 meals
    • Day 1 – breakfast, lunch & dinner
    • Day 2 – breakfast & lunch
  • Dry Bag for your gear on the 2nd night

What Gear Should I Bring


Required Items:

  • Re-usable 20oz or more water bottle (filled with ice water)
  • shoes (no flip flops)
  • sunscreen


Suggested Items:

  • sunglasses (with a strap)
  • baseball hat
  • Cell Phone (at your risk, it will sink)



  • Wallets
  • Expensive jewelry


FOR CAMPING (both nights)

  • sleeping bag
  • pillow
  • flashlight/headlamp
  • change of clothes
  • towel


For camping Night #1

This night is at our established campground on the South Fork American River


For camping Night #2

This night is on the Middle Fork American river at a primitive Campground

  • tent & sleeping pad (Raft California will also provide)
  • duffel with personal gear that can easily be packed into our large Dry Bag
  • Most kids ages 14 and up
  • Strong Swimmers
  • All participants must be in good physical condition for challenging rapids and side hikes

Once you arrive as our guest please know you are now what we consider “River Time”. This means we try and stick to a schedule, but times are merely a guideline and may not be exact once we start our adventure. Times below may vary, but not much!

The night before your rafting adventure begins:

  • 4:00-8:00PM – Check in to our South Fork American River campground for camping the night before you start rafting. Dinner is not included. Renting a Canvas Tent for this evening is highly suggested for guests on this trip. It is an early morning the next day and makes it easy to pack up when you don’t have to take down a tent.  

Day 1

Your guides will hand out dry bags for your overnight gear for camping tonight as it will be in a different location

  • 7:00AM Coffee, tea and drinks are available in the kitchen
  • 7:15AM Breakfast
  • 8:00AM Load shuttle to the Oxbow Reservoir put in for the Middle Fork American River
  • 9:00AM Arrive at put in, safety talk & boat rigging
  • 10:00AM On river, rafting with lots of Class 4 rapids with Tunnel Chute within in the first few turns
  • Noon Riverside lunch, often at Dardanelle Creek for the first side hike
  • Inflatable kayaks and river play on the class 2 sections down to camp
  • We will pull into camp early evening, usually around 4:00PM. Guides and guests unload rafts and there is plenty of time for exploring, swimming, fishing, or just kickin’ it by the river!
  • Riverside appetizers, drinks with delicious dinner to follow
  • Evening Campfire and riverside chats (campfire not guaranteed due to possible high fire danger)

Day 2

The morning is leisurely as we wait for the river flows to rise.

  • Just as the sun starts to brighten the sky your guides will have coffee, tea and drinks for you as you enjoy the amazing morning in the canyon! Breakfast is served shortly after and the guides will start to pack up the kitchen area.
  • After breakfast you will pack up your personal gear to load back onto the gear boat(s). We get all the gear loaded & do a sweep of camp to make sure we didn’t miss any trash or personal items and we get back on the river!
  • There are a few miles of the calmer Class 2 rapids and some additional places to explore.
  • Noonish we stop for lunch and shortly after getting back on the river we get back into the Class 4 action!
  • Once we come thru Chunder Rapid (Class 4 usually with photographers to capture the action) we will pull over for the gear boat to unrig or it will get taken off river. The next rapid on the river is the Class 6 waterfall called Ruck-A-Chucky. This is a mandatory portage (walk around) for our guests, sorry guides/staff only and you will get to watch from the looking perch while your trusty guide maneuvers the boat down a 28 foot waterfall and around a handful of rocks and undercurrents.
  • Back on the boat there are many more Class 4 rapids, including Cleavage a popular surfing spot as well.
  • We usually arrive at the take out at the bottom of Drivers Flat Road by 3:30 where we load the gear into the shuttles and head back to our campground on the South Fork American River
  • Fond farewells as you head home or to your next destination … OR maybe you would like to stay another night!

More Questions?