south fork american river rafting | 1-day gorge run

A great family whitewater rafting trip, perfect for first time rafters

& a quick camping weekend get-away from the city!

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.


We’ll tackle fun and challenging rapids like Satan’s Cesspool, Hospital Bar and Recovery Room. At the end of the day, we shuttle back to camp, and you may take a shower, buy a souvenir t-shirt and say farewell to the new friends you’ve made.


Get ready for a great day on the river! We begin our time together with a BBQ riverside lunch. We will than gather for orientation and safety information where you will receive your paddle and your life jacket. We launch our boats, practice paddling skills with our guides, and head for some easy rapids to get us started feeling confident and ready for the day. Then the real fun begins! Paddle through more exciting rapids which include Satan’s Cesspool and Hospital Bar to finish the day’s run. We return to camp around 4:00-5:00 p.m. full of memories of a great river experience.

One-Day Gorge Run | American River Rafting At Its Finest

Trip Highlights

  • Most popular California River for first-time rafters as well as experienced paddlers, families with kids, groups of friends, and company team building outings.
  • A wonderful day of rafting with lunch along the riverbank
  • Our beautiful riverside camp has a camp store, which provides last-minute items that you may have forgotten including t-shirts, shorts and other sportswear
  • Experienced guides: skilled and ready to provide a safe and fun outdoor adventure
  • A great day of excitement, fun and relaxation in a beautiful river canyon


$109 – adult
$99 – youth (7-16)
$99 – senior (62+)


Saturday & Sunday
$129 – adult
$119 – youth (7-16)
$119 – senior (62+)


All prices are subject to an 8% state/county river access fee.
Discounts available for groups of 6 or more.

Departure Times

11:00 AM the morning of your trip

River Rating

Class III+ (Beginner/ Intermediate: Medium Intensity Whitewater)
9 Miles of Rafting!


6500 Hwy 49, Coloma, approximately 1 hour east of Sacramento on Hwy 49, about 3 hours from the Bay Area.  
Take Hwy I-80 or Hwy I-5 to Sacramento, then Hwy 50 east towards Placerville/So Lake Tahoe. In about 30 miles take the Ponderosa Road exit in Shingle Springs. Turn left over the freeway, then make an immediate right at the light onto North Shingle Road. That automatically becomes Lotus Road at mile 4.5. At mile 11.3 turn left at the stop sign onto Hwy. 49, and follow 2 miles to the Raft Caliornia sign at 6500 Hwy 49. Turn left into gate and follow signs to our meeting area.

With over 25 years of running the highest quality rafting trips and river tours, Raft California invites you to join us on one of our spectacular rafting adventures!

We have whitewater rafting trips on over 12 rivers in Northern California, Oregon, and into Nevada! Rivers include the South Fork American, Middle Fork American, North Fork American, North Yuba, Truckee, Tuolumne, Kaweah and more!.

Raft California
6500 State Highway 49
Lotus, CA 95651-9764
(530) 626-7385