Named by Sunset Magazine as one of “The Top Ten River Trips In The West”, Adventure Connection is the only professional river outfitter in California offering one day of rafting combined with a day of chauffeured wine tasting at some of California’s finest award winning wineries. El Dorado County has earned a reputation for producing extraordinary varietals, and we’ve been compared to the Napa and Sonoma Valley regions of decades past. In other words, our region and our wines are largely undiscovered gems just waiting for you to enjoy them.”
We begin all of our trips at 9:00 AM on day one by introducing ourselves and all of you to each other though, like our other offerings, you have the night prior camping/breakfast on day one option available to you. Our trips usually include anywhere from 6 to 20 people. We’ll spend that first day visiting 4 to 6 wineries and, often, even a micro-brewery. We’ll stop along the way for a delicious lunch at one of our local bistros and finish the day back our camp where appetizers and a hearty meal await you. We encourage you purchase the wines you enjoyed during the day, and if you’d like us to keep them in safe storage we’ll put them away for you in our refrigerated walk-in until your departure….or you can choose to partake in them that evening along with the wines and beer that we’ll provide. Day two is spent running the upper Chili Bar section of the river – a solid Class III intermediate thrill. You’ll have breakfast that morning and finish with a late lunch in the afternoon, after which you can bid farewell to your new-found friends. All our wine tasting adventures begin on either Thursdays or Saturdays, and you must be 21 years of age to join them.
Each of our wine tasting trips includes whitewater rafting on either day one or day two and wine tasting the day we are off the river. That choice is dependent upon numerous factors including weather, permit restrictions, size of trips, etc. If you have a preference please let us know in advance and we will always attempt to accommodate your wishes. Please note that our meeting time is 9:00 on day one for either option and you can, if you choose, spend the evening prior and enjoy breakfast with us for a nominal fee.
On the morning of your day on the river we’ll meet for a river orientation and safety talk. Then you and your other crewmembers will board your boat at our campsite put-in and practice basic paddle strokes with your guide before setting out to raft the lower thirteen miles of the river known as the “Gorge Run”.
Before lunch, the river winds through rolling hills and the rapids are fun and easy – a good chance to warm up and get to know your crew and guide. We’ll stop midday for a delicious deli-style lunch on the riverbank, and then it’s off to the bigger rapids in the lower section of the Gorge run. By the end of the day, you’ll have rafted some of the greatest rapids in California.
We’ll drive back to camp where you can shower, relax, and play while your guides prepare dinner. After dinner we’ll gather around a roaring campfire to end the evening in the glow of a day well spent.
Available: daily, Mid-April through October
Class III+ (Intermediate: Medium Intensity Whitewater)
11 Miles of Rafting!
6400 Hwy 49, Coloma, approximately 1 hour east of Sacramento on Hwy 49, about 3 hours from the Bay Area.
Take Hwy I-80 or Hwy I-5 to Sacramento, then Hwy 50 east towards Placerville/So Lake Tahoe. In about 30 miles take the Ponderosa Road exit in Shingle Springs. Turn left over the freeway, then make an immediate right at the light onto North Shingle Road. That automatically becomes Lotus Road at mile 4.5. At mile 11.3 turn left at the stop sign onto Hwy. 49, and follow 2+ miles to the Rivers Bend/Raft California signs at 6400 Hwy 49. Turn right into the lower parking lot and use the footpath to get to camp.
Get ready for two great days on the river!
Join us the evening before your trip at our South Fork camp. The first morning we gather and depart for the El Dorado County Wine region. After visiting 2 to 3 wineries, we stop and enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch, after lunch we will visit another 3-4 wineries and head back to camp for a delicious Chicken and Tri-Tip Barbecue dinner. We’ll have time to enjoy the peace of the river over dinner (including soda, wine & beer), and campfire.
The next day, after a delicious breakfast, we shuttle to the top of the river for exciting rapids, which include Meatgrinder, Triple Threat and the infamous Troublemaker. Our trip concludes with a big barbecue lunch back at camp. You’ll head home with fond farewells about 3 p.m., relaxed and full of memories from a great river trip experience!
What a unique and rare opportunity your company provides. We were completely taken by the quality of the wines, the hospitality of the winery personnel and, in particular, the knowledge and expertise exhibited by our guide — Ray — as he took us on Saturday to the wineries and on Sunday down the river. We’re bringing our friends next summer.
–Bob and Laurie M., Mountain View, CA
This is the best California river rafting trip for first-time rafters as well as experienced paddlers, families with kids, groups of friends, and company team building outings. Whilst we truly believe that the more time you spend on a river the happier you’ll be…this trip is a gem!