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California Whitewater River Rafting Trips

South Fork American River | Middle Fork American River | North Fork American River
Upper Klamath River | Kaweah River | California Salmon River | View Rivers By Location


Rating: Class 3
Distance: 1/2 Day: 7 miles | One Day: 14 miles | Full River: 21 miles
Season: April-Early October
Location: 8 Miles north of Placerville, CA

American River White Water Rafting in the heart of the Gold Rush country. The South Fork of the American River is the most popular river in California, and for good reason. Ideal for groups, families or first-timers, exciting class 3 rapids alternate with calm stretches for practicing new skills or enjoying a swim. Cascading its way from the Sierras and flowing through the town of Coloma, where gold was discovered in 1848, the river tumbles through beautiful scenery rich with history and wildlife. After your rafting adventure, enjoy volleyball, horseshoes, gold panning and excellent fishing. Or, simply relax along the river at our secluded 40-acre camp complete with an outdoor dining area, restrooms, hot showers and changing facilities.

Click thumbnails below to view American River White Water rafting images.

South Fork 2-Day Experience - 1st Day

The Gorge - The Gorge of the American River is our class III, located at the South Fork of the river. This portion of the river is a great learning location for beginners and intermediate. Though, never a dull moment for the experienced. Between dodging boulders, and turbulent waves, this exhilarating adventure is guaranteed to give you that desired adrenaline rush; yet, moments of peace to enjoy nature's beautiful surroundings. This is a great experience for those of all ages.

Camping - Why stop at your rafting adventures, continue your outdoor experience by nestling by the river for the night. Enjoy some smores by the fire while you reminisce with your friends and family about your escapades. We offer an all-inclusive camping rendezvous which includes: tents, freshly laundered sleeping bags, sleeping pads, chairs, and firewood. Wake up to the ultimate experience of the great outdoors.

Dinner - With any of our relaxing camping trips, we offer the option of a soul satisfying Barbecue dinner. The dinner includes tender marinated tri-tip steaks, succulent barbecued chicken, sweet corn on the cob, decadent dessert, and complimentary beer and wine.

South Fork 2-Day Experience - 2nd Day

Breakfast - The next morning we will have coffee and tea to help you get up and moving. Our filling breakfast consists of fluffy pancakes, tasty scrambled eggs, juicy bacon, and flavorful muffins. Definitely a meal to fill your belly and get you going on your adventurous day!

The Chili Bar -
The Chili Bar of the American River is our class III, located at the South Fork of the river, above the Gorge. This 10 mile run is known for its vigorous rapids, followed by tranquil pools where you can bask in the beauty of your surroundings. With 9 named rapids such as, "Meatgrinder" and "Troublemaker", there are bound to be unlimited thrills and awesome memories to last a lifetime. This is a great trip for the whole family.


One-Day River Rafting Trips - 14 miles

Our one-day trips consist of a full day of rafting on the "Gorge" section, a hearty lunch on the river, and ice cold refreshments at the end of the day.


Full River - One-Day River Rafting Trips - 21 miles

Full river trips combine our one-day and half-day trips into 21miles of whitewater excitement. This trip is recommended only for those who don't mind a "lot" of paddling.
We recommend this as a Spring run trip.


Half-Day River Rafting Trips - 7 miles

These trips take place on the "Chili Bar" section and are for those who desire a short, "no frills" whitewater adventure. Lunch is not included.


Family Discount River Rafting Trips

American River White Water Rafting is a terrific opportunity for families to share in an outdoor adventure. On these specially scheduled family trips, each full-paying adult can take one youth on the South Fork of the American River for half-price (age 7-16). No other discounts apply on these trips. Families with more than one child per adult must contact our office prior to reserving space. Trips are available on the following dates:


Shared Parenting River Rafting Trips

For those parents who wish to enjoy a couple days of American River White Water Rafting and camping but have children too young to raft, Whitewater Connection offers a program that provides a practical solution. Available on the South Fork of the American, one parent pays full price for a two-day trip and the other parent pays $46.50 for camping and meals (children included). Mom rafts the first day, Dad the second, with each parent spending "quality" family time at our riverside camp fishing, swimming or exploring the adjacent Marshall Gold Discovery State Park. The whole family is together at each meal except the first day's lunch. Call our office for more details.

Youth River Rafting Trip Discounts

Children under 16 and accompanied by an adult receive a 10% discount. This does not apply to the transportation portion of trips.

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