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 American River – 2 day Wilderness Rafting Trip

Lotus, CA /

Monday – Thursday

Adults (14+) $339
Kids $339 Half Off! $169

Friday – Sunday

Adults (14+) $379
Kids $339

Wilderness Rafting and Camping Great for Kids

This is the perfect 2 day American River rafting trip for youth groups, scout groups, and corporate groups looking for a wilderness rafting trip. We are conveniently located close to Sacramento, San Francisco, and Lake Tahoe!

Rafting the South Fork American River from top to bottom in 2 days. Not every outfitter offers this wilderness rafting trip option. Wilderness camping is always a memorable experience, for campers of all ages. Guests usually sleep under the stars and wake to the amazing sounds of the river and her beautiful nature surrounding in the morning.

There are 2 nights of camping included with this trip, the first being at our established South Fork American River Campground the night before your rafting trip begins. This location has outdoor showers and flushing toilets for the first night of camping. You will want to bring your own tent and sleeping pads or Rent a Canvas Tent from us. RVs and campers are also welcome at this location, parking is in our main parking lot.

The white water rapids are rated class 2-3+ on the South Fork American River. On the first morning the excitement starts early with Class 3+ rapids like Meatgrinder, African Queen, the Triple Threats and Troublemaker. You float past the Historic Marshall Gold Discovery Park and thru some more fun Class 2 rapids. We arrive back at our established camp for lunch and packing up for a night on the river.

The 2nd night is spent at a more primitive location with a beautiful beach (there are no showers or flushing toilets on night 2). We can provide 2 person tents and sleeping pads for this night if you need (no additional cost).

The second morning is quite leisurely as we enjoy our coffee/tea/juice with breakfast and watch the water flows start to rise. This is a dam controlled river so the following evening you will have seen a major drop in the river levels. We launch mid-morning and travel down a few Class 2 rapids before lunch. After lunch we head into the Gorge section of the South Fork American River for several Class 3 rapids including Satan’s Cesspool & Hospital Bar. We end in Folsom Lake, load the gear up & shuttle back to camp. There is time to shower if you like before departing, you can also join us for another relaxing evening by the river after your trip.

There are 5 meals included with the trip as well, all prepared and cooked by your amazing river guides! With this trip we do take all the gear on the river with us for the 2nd night of camping in the wild. There is an extra guide (sometimes 2) rowing a boat with all the equipment.

If you do have younger of more timid members of your group, we offer a 2 day that starts with more Class 2 rapids, but also on the South Fork American River.


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 is primitive located on BLM property, no showers and vault toilets

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

Your guides will hand out dry bags for your personal & overnight camping gear

  • 7:00AM Coffee, tea and drinks are available in the kitchen
  • 7:15AM Breakfast
  • 8:00AM Load shuttle to put in for the Chili Bar Run
  • 8:30AM Safety talk and put in and start rafting
  • Class 3 rapids begin early in the trip and you will encounter Meatgrinder, Maya, Troublemaker and more.
  • 12:30 Lunch @ our Riverside Camp
  • 2:00pm Back to rafting – time on river varies as gear boats join us after lunch.
  • A few miles of Class 2 rapids
  • 4:00pm Land at our overnight camp where we unload the gear from the rafts as a communal team (guests included)
  • Free Time to hike, play and explore! We also suggest you set up your overnight sleeping accommodations (tent, hammock, under the stars) before dinner.
  • 6:00PM Riverside appetizers
  • 6:30PM Dinner
  • 8:00PM 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

Day 2

  • 7:00AM Coffee, tea and drinks
  • 7:30AM Breakfast
  • Explore, play or relax as we wait for the river flows to rise. We also take this leisurely morning to pack up all our gear again to take down the river.
  • Noon Lunch
  • Lots of Class 3 rapids like Fowlers Rock, Satan’s Cesspool & Hospital Bar
    4:30PM Take out and head back to our campground where your cars are parked
    5:30PM usual departure time if guests are going somewhere else for the night. Or an additional night at our riverside camp in a Canvas Tent is a great end to the vacation.
  • Kids ages 7-8 and up
  • non-swimmers
  • great for groups & families

Included for the rafting:

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


Included with this overnight vacation package:

  • 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 South Fork American River @ BLM camp
  • 5 meals
    • Day 1 – breakfast, lunch & dinner
    • Day 2 – breakfast & lunch
  • Dry Bag for your gear on the 2nd night


Required Items:

  • Re-usable 20oz or more water bottle (filled with ice water)
  • shoes (no flip flops)
  • sunscreen


Suggested Items:

  • sunglasses (with a strap)
  • baseball hat
  • Cell Phone (at your risk, it will sink)



  • Wallets
  • Expensive jewelry


FOR CAMPING (both nights)

  • sleeping bag
  • pillow
  • flashlight/headlamp
  • change of clothes
  • towel


For camping Night #1

This night is at our established campground on the South Fork American River


For camping Night #2

This night is at the BLM campground

  • tent & sleeping pad (Raft California will also provide)
  • duffel with personal gear that can easily be packed into our large Dry Bag


6500 State Highway 49 Lotus, CA 95651

Please note that cell phone reception in our remote area is not guaranteed, if you do not have Verizon we suggest you save the directions.

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.