california rafting trips & vacations

South Fork American 1/2 Day PM Gorge Run

North Fork American River is a GO this Spring

50% Off Kids on Weekdays

South Fork / Middle Fork American River - 2 Day Rafting Trip

Lotus, CA /


Weekdays Mon/Tues & Thurs/Fri 
  • $339 – adults (all ages 14+)
Weekends Sat/Sun
  • $369 – adults (all ages 14+)
American River Overnight Combo!

This South Fork / Middle Fork American River Rafting combo overnight trip is an ideal rafting trip for those wanting to warm up on some Class 3 rapids, before stepping up to the more exciting Class 4 action on the Middle Fork American River on the 2nd day.

Double down on 2 amazing sections of white water rafting on the American River! This trip is close to Lake Tahoe, Sacramento and San Francisco. Teens are welcome on this adventure (ages 14+), this is a popular trip with groups where are participants know how to swim.

Enjoy 2 nights of camping at our South Fork American Riverside Camp in Lotus, CA. We will transport you to/from the rivers as needed and provide 5 tasty meals! There are 4 person Glamping Canvas Tents available to rent at this location, they usually sell out so be sure to reserve well in advance.


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 rafting companies operating under Permits from the County of El Dorado.


  • 2 days of white water rafting (covering 21 miles)
  • 5 delicious meals
  • 2 nights riverside camping (different locations each night, additional nights available as an add on)
    • Your first night of camping is at our established South Fork American River campground in Lotus, CA with showers, and flush toilets (additional nights are at this location)
    • The second night of camping out on the Middle Fork American River Canyon
  • Combine two great California Rivers— the perfect trip for very adventuresome first-time rafters as well as experienced paddlers

Once you arrive as our guest please know you are now what we consider “River Time”. This means we try and stick to a schedule, but times are merely a guideline and may not be exact once we start our adventure. Times below may vary, but not much!

The night before your rafting adventure begins:

Day 1

  • 7:00AM Coffee, tea and drinks are available in the kitchen
  • 7:30AM Breakfast
  • Mid-Morning (10:00am ish) Load shuttle for a short ride up to the put in
  • Lunch around Noon
  • More Rafting after lunch on the Gorge section of the South Fork American River. You will blast thru several Class 3+ rapids including Satan’s Cesspool & Hospital Bar Rapids!
  • Arrive @ take out around 4:00pm where we load the gear up and shuttle everyone back to camp.
  • Back at camp, there is time for showers and some riverside relaxation while your guides prepare your appetizers. Drinks are also available. 
  • Dinner is served around 6:30PM followed by campfire and riverside chats (campfire not guaranteed due to possible high fire danger)
  • 10:00PM Quiet Hours begin until 7:00AM the following morning, that just means no loud partying, music or noises…it’s not a bedtime!

Day 2

  • 7:00AM Coffee, tea and drinks are available in the kitchen
  • 7:15AM Breakfast 
  • 8:00AM Load shuttle to the Middle Fork American River!
  • 9:00AM Arrive @ Oxbow Reservoir put in where the boats are launched just below the release from the dam. There is another pre-trip safety talk as we are about to tackle more challenging rapids today.
  • Once on the water the river starts to meander back and forth and there are some fun Class 2-3+ rapids to start with. We make sure everyone is in sync and ready for the Class 4+ Tunnel Chute rapid that we encounter in the first mile of the trip! Many Class 4-4+ rapids follow and the river mellows out for an afternoon of Class 2’s, swimming, lunch as our guides share unique details about the river and it’s history.
  • Riverside lunch around noon
  • In the afternoon there are more Class 4 rapids like Chunder and Parallel Parking. Guests will portage the Class 6 Ruck-A-Chucky falls and join back with the guide for more action to take out.
  • We are usually on our way back to camp by 4:00pm which is about a 40 minute shuttle ride.
  • Back you are welcome to take a shower before you depart.

Camping for an additional evening is a popular option for folks after this trip and is available at the same South Fork Campground.

Day 1 – South Fork American River Gorge Run

Coming Soon

Day 2 – Middle Fork American River

  • Kids ages 14 and up
  • Strong Swimmers
  • All participants must be in good physical condition for challenging rapids

Included with Rafting

  • PFD (Personal floatation device / aka life jacket)
  • Paddle
  • Helmet
  • Professional raft guide for each raft

Included with this Overnight River Rafting Trip

  • 2 nights camping
  • 5 meals
    • Day 1 – breakfast, lunch & dinner
    • Day 2 – breakfast & lunch

For Rafting

  • Required Items
    • Re-usable 20oz or more water bottle
    • Shoes (no flip flops)
  • Suggested Items
    • Sunglasses (with a strap)
    • Baseball hat
  • Do Not Bring
    • Cell Phones
    • Wallets
    • Expensive jewelry

For Camping

  • Linens
    • Blankets
    • Pillow
    • Sleeping bag
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Flashlight/Headlamp
  • Change of clothes
  • Towel
  • Camp chair


Meeting Place: Raft California 6500 State Highway 49 Lotus, CA 95651-9764

Please note that cell phone reception in our remote area is not guaranteed, although it is getting better. Therefore we suggest you print out the directions or save for offline on your phone. Please be sure to check drive times when booking your rafting trip and allow for additional time on Holidays and weekends.  

Truckee Trips end August 1st

Don't worry, We're not gonna do what everyboy thinks we're gonna do and freak out man... All we wanna know is, who's coming with us... to the American river that is.