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 / North Fork American River - 2 Day Rafting Trip

Lotus, CA /


  • $319 – adult
  • $299 – youth (13-17)
  • $349 – adult
  • $329 – youth (13-17)
2 Day South Fork / North Fork American River Rafting Combo

This 2 day rafting trip is usually only available in the Spring when the Middle Fork American River flows are still too high for rafting trips. Join us at our Lotus, CA campground located on the banks of the South Fork American River. Camping & meals are included with this trip as is transportation from the campground for rafting.

Raft on Class 2-3+ rapids on the South Fork American River day 1, followed by the more challenging Class 4+ North Fork American River on Day 2! Swimming skills are required to participate in this trip. If you have any non-swimmers who want to come with you, we suggest the 2 day South Fork American river trip which is suitable for non-swimmers.

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.

The North Fork is known throughout the boating community as “The little T” for it’s smaller, but just as challenging, resemblance to the Tuolumne. Don’t miss out on this trip – it’s rare and it’s special!


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 at our established South Fork American River campground in Lotus, CA with showers, and flush toilets (additional nights are at this location)
  • The perfect trip for experienced paddlers
  • Great guides: skilled and ready to provide a safe and fun outdoor adventure
  • Two full days of fun, relaxation and excitement in two beautiful river canyons

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 North Fork American River!
  • 9:00AM Arrive @ Iowa Hill put in where the boats are launched. There is another pre-trip safety talk as we are about to tackle more challenging rapids today.
  • The Class 4+ action starts right as we get on the river with back to rapids like Slaughter’s Sluice, Chamberlain Falls and more. There is a brief moment to enjoy the beautiful scenery before more back to back class 4 rapids. 
  • After Bogus Thunder, Staircase and a few other challenging drops we stop for a riverside lunch around noon
  • The trip usually takes out at Ponderosa Bridge and we head back to camp
  • Arrival back to camp around 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 – North Fork American River

  • Most kids ages 14 and up
  • Strong Swimmers
  • All participants must be in good physical condition for challenging rapids and side hikes

Spring Rafting

  • Wetsuits or drysuits are required during this trip
  • We provide a wetsuit, splash top and (if needed) a fleece
  • You may also bring your own personal wetsuit or drysuit
  • Learn more about our  wetsuit/splash tops here
  • DO NOT WEAR COTTON! We suggest you wear polypro and wool materials



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 Location: Raft California South Fork American River Campground – 6500 Hwy 49, Lotus, CA 95651

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.