North Yuba River

Downieville, California /

Level: Intermediate to Advanced /

Class 4-5

Best Spring Rafting!

Class 4 & 5 spring whitewater on the North Yuba river! Our white water rafting trips on the North Yuba River offer uncrowded, more private trips. We are one of the original permit holders for the North Yuba are there are still only 3 permitted outfitters originating in 1981. It is a very special river to us, and we would love to have you join us.

 

Trip Info

The North Yuba River offers both veterans and active first-timers a variety of whitewater rafting thrills on over 28 miles of river. Raft trips from 1 – 3 days can be combined for varying levels of difficulty. At higher flows previous paddling experience is recommended. However  people who are competent swimmers, athletic and adventurous can enjoy some of these runs when the peak snow melt is over. Even at lower flows, the North Yuba River offers exciting rafting in smaller boats.

Despite the most popular section including the infamous Class 5 Maytag rapid, it occurs towards the end of the run. We always scout this.

The North Yuba River travels through the scenic Tahoe National Forest, and is fed by the snow-melt from the majestic 8000+ peaks of the Sierra Buttes. It is located at the north end of the fabled Mother Lode highway (Hwy 49). The nearby mining towns of Downieville and Sierra City provide rustic charm and great history. There is plentiful camping, a good selection of restaurants, cozy cabins & motels, saloons and historic landmarks.

Great opportunities are available in the area for hiking, fishing and mountain biking. For those travelling from the Bay Area or Sacramento, the towns of Grass Valley and Nevada City are conveniently on your way. They provide unique experiences and accommodations to extend your stay.

Raft California operates under permit from the Tahoe National Forest Yuba River Ranger District and is an equal opportunity service provider.

FAQ's

Where should I stay for my North Yuba Rafting Trip?

Camping: 

  • Tributary Whitewater camp – Sometimes available for overnight guests and groups. Rustic camping with porta-potties and no showers. 1-800-672-3846 or (530) 346-6812
  • Willow Creek Campground – Camptonville, 6 miles west of meeting location. Reservations available, hot showers, water, some electric hook-ups, cabins and tent camping available. 530-288-0646.
  • Tahoe National Forest Campgrounds – Numerous locations along Highway 49 and many on river. Elev. 2200 ft. Vault toilets, most have water. Go to www.recreation.gov for reservations. In “Where” field enter Indian Valley – Tahoe National Forest. This shows the closest camp to the meeting location, but location map with others within a few miles. Most open last weekend of April. Before that, the sites may show as “not available”, but you can access the camp sites, but no services (and no fees), so bring your own water.

Meeting Location

New For The 2023 Yuba Rafting Season:

Trips will meet in town of Downieville, CA for your North Yuba River Rafting Adventure. In the past we used to meet at our camp which was hard to find and without cell reception difficult when our guests are lost. The exact location is still in the works, meeting time is 10:00AM.

The North Yuba River flows adjacent to old highway 49 making is a wonderful drive. We encourage our guests to stay in Downieville the night before your rafting trip to ensure on time arrival. It makes for a great vacation get-a-way.

Note that cell reception is pretty non-existent past Nevada City so if you are running late or need to contact us please do so in Nevada City.

North Yuba River Rafting News
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