california rafting trips & vacations

Upper Sacramento River

Sims Flat, Ca (40 mis N of Redding) /

Level: Adventurous Beginner to Intermediate /

Class 3-4

Views of Mt. Shasta from the River!

The Upper Sacramento River is an excellent Northern California whitewater rafting trip in the spring, providing pure fun on 50 plus rapids in its nearly continuous 30 miles of white water. There are majestic views of Mount Shasta and Castle Crags as the river passes through the beautiful canyons of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. There is also hardly any rafting traffic! Only minutes north of Redding, the “Upper Sac” is the handiest white water in the northern California mountains. It features beautiful side creek waterfalls, abundant bird life and one of the best trout fisheries in California. We highly recommend this run for active first timers and Class III-IV veterans.

In addition to rafting, the Upper Sacramento area has a lot to offer with stunning scenery and abundant fishing, biking and hiking. The quaint historic railroad town of Dunsmuir has the beautiful waterfalls of Hedge Creek and Mossbrae, caves and soda springs. There is boating and caverns at Lake Shasta to the south and the majestic 14,162 foot Mount Shasta looms just to the north. Accommodations and restaurants are plentiful in Dunsmuir and Mt. Shasta.

Tributary operates under permit from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and is an equal opportunity service provider.

The Upper Sacramento River is free-flowing, so entirely dependent on snowmelt. Check our Predictions Page for updates for this seasons trips.
Rafting Trips On The Upper Sacramento River
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Meeting Location

Sims Flat Campground, Castella, CA 96017

Rendezvous Point:

Cross the railroad tracks and the river. DO NOT ENTER CAMPGROUND. Follow the road around to the small parking area. There are two places to launch from. One is the parking area and the other is just up river on the opposite side. If you don’t see us in the parking area, walk across the footbridge to the other side.

Area Information

Closest accommodations are in Dunsmuir. Alternatives to the north in Mt. Shasta and to the south at Shasta Lake & in Redding.

Cedar Lodge Motel – 4201 Dunsmuir Ave, Dunsmuir, CA 96025 AAA approved. Sixteen units + 3 family units. Amtrak station & Mott Airport pickup/return. (530) 235-4331

Dunsmuir Inn & Suites – 5400 Dunsmuir Ave, Dunsmuir, CA 96025 AAA approved. (530)235-4395.

Cave Springs Resort – 4727 Dunsmuir Ave, Dunsmuir, CA 96025. Motel rooms, cabins, & fully equipped mobile homes.  Pool, Jacuzzi, playground, hiking & horses on the grounds. (530) 235-2721 or 888-235-2721.

Railroad Park Resort –100 Railroad Park Rd, Dunsmuir, CA 96025 Caboose Motel: Sleep in a caboose in the shadows of Castle Crags. Pool & spa. (530) 235-4440

Dunsmuir Lodge – 6604 Dunsmuir Ave, Dunsmuir, CA 96025. (877) 235-2884.

Oak Tree Inn – 4000 Siskiyou Ave, Dunsmuir, CA 96025. Free breakfast, open 24 hrs. Free wireless Internet. 100% non-smoking. (530) 235-4100

Railroad Park RV Park & Campground – 100 Railroad Park Rd, Dunsmuir, CA 96025. Creekside camping in the tall pines. Laundry room, game room. (530)-235-0420.

Castle Crags State Park – Castella, CA 96017  (530) 235-2684. 6 miles south of Dunsmuir off I-5. The 4,000 acre park lies at the base of the 6,544 granite spires that tower above the nearby Sacramento river.  Fishing, hiking, swimming, horseback riding. Hot showers. Reservations recommended & available via www.reserveamerica.com/

Beat in the West – 26987 Sims Rd. Castella, CA 96017. Small & peaceful mountain resort located on Mears Creek. RV park, cabins & family lodge. (530) 235-2603

Sims Flat Campground – No reservations. Stones throw from our raft trip meeting location.

Railroad Park RV Park & Campground – 100 Railroad Park Rd, Dunsmuir, CA 96025. Creekside camping in the tall pines. Laundry room, game room. (530)-235-0420.