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 feature Canvas Tent Rentals, free showers, and flushing toilets! We have great options for large groups! We are close to Sacramento, San Francisco, and Lake Tahoe!

  • 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 American River Full River – 21 Mile Raft Trip

  • 8:00AM – 4:30PM
  • BBQ lunch included
  • 21 miles
  • Ages 7+
  • Non-swimmers welcome
  • Full Day American River rafting trip
  • Starts at 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 day 1 / 11 miles day 2
  • Ages 7+
  • Non-swimmers welcome
  • 2 Day American River rafting and camping adventure

Our same 2 day South Fork American River Rafting trip offered on Mondays and Thursdays. Ridiculous discounts for kids under 18! 50% off kids with every full paying adult rafter!

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!

South Fork American River Class 4 Slab Creek Spring Run

This trip is not always available and we anticipate to have several options to come join us on this rarely available Spring Rafting Adventure!

2 Day – Middle Fork American / 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

2 Day – South Fork American / Middle 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

Combine our classic Class III South Fork trip with the truly adventurous Class IV North Fork American. Only available during spring run-off, this is a challenging run for experienced boaters only. You must have run at least a class III river, and we cannot take non-swimmers on this adventure. Minimum age for this trip is 14
though, like our other trips, water levels and other factors may force a higher age
threshold.

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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