SOUTH FORK AMERICAN RIVER RAFTING

Class III Whitewater Rafting on the South Fork American River

We rate the South Fork of the American River as the best river in California for both first-time and more experienced rafters. As the premier dam controlled river in California, the South Fork is a fun and exciting Class 2-3+ white water river, and it has become our most popular vacation for individuals, families, groups of friends and company recreation trips. Because of its abundant dam controlled releases it is available most days from March through September. The river offers a wide range of adventures, with over many rapids interspersed with calm, slower stretches where you can enjoy the beautiful canyon scenery and each other’s company.

Beginner & Experienced Whitewater Rafters Love South Fork American River Rafting!

The South Fork‘s many whitewater rapids are perfect for learning and practicing the paddle skills of whitewater rafting. Each 14 to 15 foot self-bailing raft usually has a crew of 6 to 8 paddlers, and an experienced guide at the back of the boat who steers the raft and instructs the crew in basic paddle strokes, in order to power the raft through the rapids as a team. Under our paddle captain’s guidance, we set up for each approaching rapid, paddle hard to make it through safely, and sit back to laugh and relax with each successful, wet run of an exciting rapid.

Melting snow from the High Sierras creates this 21-mile whitewater river in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada near Coloma on Highway 49, one hour east of Sacramento. The water is clear and cool; the air is clean and warm–the perfect setting for a fun, exciting adventure. The river environment is home to a multitude of fish, birds, and other wildlife. The scenery alternates between rolling green and golden hills and long rocky gorges with many oaks and pines along the riverbank.

 

NOTICE: Water flows in the South Fork American River result from releases from hydroelectric facilities located upstream. Such water releases are not subject to the control of El Dorado County or commercial rafting companies operating under permit from the County of El Dorado.

 

Camping on the South Fork American River

Camping at our private campground on the South Fork American River is available to all our rafting guests and included with certain overnight rafting trips. Camping is riverside and beautiful! Our 60+ acre campground features Canvas Glamping Tent rentals with private decks, free showers, flushing toilets, games and more! We have great options for large groups as well who would like a more secluded retreat in our Camp #1 Space! We are close to Sacramento, San Francisco, and Lake Tahoe making it a perfect weekend or summer vacation getaway!

  • Class 2-3+
  • 11:30AM – 4:30PM
  • BBQ lunch included
  • 11 miles
  • Ages 7+
  • Non-swimmers welcome
  • Best trip for beginners
  • 8:00AM – 2:00PM
  • BBQ lunch included
  • 11 miles
  • Ages 7+
  • Non-swimmers welcome
  • Fun American River rafting trip

South Fork Full River Trip

  • 8:00AM – 4:30PM
  • BBQ lunch included
  • 21 miles
  • Ages 7+
  • Non-swimmers welcome
  • Full Day American River rafting trip

South Fork American River 
Class 4 Slab Creek Spring Run

  • 8:00AM – 2:30PM
  • Lunch included
  • Challenging Class 4 Spring Run
  • Ages 14+
  • Previous Rafting & Swimming Skills Required
  • Unique Class 4 California Rafting Trip – Bucket List Worthy!
  • Gorge Run Day 1 / Chili Bar Run Day 
  • Includes 2 nights camping at our South Fork American River Campground
  • We will provide 5 delicious meals starting with breakfast on day 1
  • 13 miles day 1 / 11 miles day 2
  • Ages 7+
  • Non-swimmers welcome
  • 2 Day American River rafting and camping adventure
  • 50% off kids with every full paying adult rafter on Monday & Thursday trips!

2 Day Wine Tasting & Whitewater Rafting Trip

  • Arrive the night before your rafting trip between 4:00pm-8:00pm
  • We will provide 5 delicious meals starting with breakfast on day 1
  • Fist day we bring you to some of the best wineries in El Dorado County
  • Day 2 is spent rafting the Upper Chili Bar Run on the South Fork American River
  • Includes 2 nights camping at our South Fork American River Campground
  • Must be 21 to participate
  • Non-Swimmers welcome

2 Day Wilderness South Fork American River Rafting Trip

  • Arrive the night before your rafting trip
  • Fist day of white water rafting is on the Upper Chili Bar section
  • Day 2 of rafting is on the Lower Gorge Section
  • 8:00am Day 1 to 4:30PM Day 2
  • Includes 2 nights camping (different locations)
  • We will provide 5 delicious meals starting with breakfast on day 1
  • 21 miles of rafting
  • Ages 7+
  • Great for Youth and Scout Groups!
  • Spring Overnight rafting adventure!
  • Arrive the night before your rafting trip
  • Enjoy the Class 3 rapids on the South Fork American River Gorge Run Day 1
  • Day 2 of rafting is on the Class 4+ North Fork American River
  • 8:00am Day 1 to 2:30PM Day 2
  • Includes 2 nights camping at our South Fork American River Campground
  • We will provide 5 delicious meals starting with breakfast on day 1
  • 13 miles of Class 2-3+ day 1 / 9 miles of Class 4+ day 2
  • Ages 14+
  • All participants must swim
  • Experienced paddlers only in high water run off 

2 Day South Fork / Middle Fork American River Rafting Trip

  • Arrive the night before your rafting trip
  • Start with the South Fork American River Class 3 rapids on Day 1
  • Tackle the Class 4 Middle Fork American River Day 2
  • Includes 2 nights camping at our South Fork American River Campground
  • We will provide 5 delicious meals starting with breakfast on day 1
  • 13 miles of Class 2-3+ day 1 / 18 miles of Class 4 day 2
  • Ages 14+
  • All participants must swim

2 Day Middle Fork / South Fork American River Rafting Trip

  • Arrive the night before your rafting trip
  • Fist day of white water rafting is a full day on the Class 4 Middle Fork American River
  • Day 2 of rafting is on the Class 3 Upper Chili Bar Run on the South Fork American River
  • 8:00am Day 1 to 2:30PM Day 2
  • Includes 2 nights camping at our South Fork American River Campground
  • We will provide 5 delicious meals starting with breakfast on day 1
  • 18 miles of Class 4 day 1 / 11 miles of Class 3 day 2
  • Ages 14+
  • All participants must swim
  • 2 Day American River rafting and camping adventure
ABOUT RAFT CALIFORNIA

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!.

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