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.
Corner of Nevada St & Main St in Downtown Downieville. Your guides will meet you there and look for our van & rafts! There is parking at that location as well as just through town if needed.
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.
Cell reception is not reliable in this area! Google and Apple Maps usually work, but you will know when you get to Downieville, there is AT&T cell reception in town.