First timers, weekend warriors, and families alike have made the South Fork of the American River one of the most popular rivers in North America. You get just the right mix of all the things people love about California whitewater rafting – exciting rapids, beautiful scenery, interesting history and a location close to the San Francisco Bay Area, Lake Tahoe and Sacramento.
The South Fork American River truly does offer something for everyone. Depending on what suits your fancy, the South Fork offers half day river trips, full day river trips and even overnight river trip options. Browse through all of our South Fork rafting trips to determine which trip best fits your style of adventure.
Gorge Run- Class III
New for 2021- Boatload Booking saves you $50/person: Just $590/boat for a maximum of 6 rafters in our 4-thwart, custom designed, 8-person rafts. This provides for greater social distancing and allows you to hand pick your crew in advance! No fees or other costs. One low price for both weekends and weekdays. Simple, safe, affordable and FUN!
Meet time: 12 noon
Duration: 10 miles and 4 hours of whitewater. Shuttle returns to camp at approximately 5:30
Food: Eat before you come, or pack a lunch and arrive early and picnic at our beautiful camp!
The Gorge Run begins with mellow Class II rapids and builds to a thrilling crescendo of whitewater. This enables paddlers to hone their paddling skills and grow accustomed to being on the river. As the trip continues the river canyon narrows into the granite-walled ‘Gorge’ where guests will experience a series of continuous Class III rapids including Fowler’s Rock, Satan’s Cesspool , Satan’s Sister, Scissors, Elevator Shaft, Hospital Bar, and Recovery Room! Your day is finished when you reach Folsom Lake, where our shuttles will greet you with a cold beverage and a ride back to the River Center. Minimum age is 8 years old.Request a Date
Chili Bar Run- Class III+
Price: $130 (M-F) // $156 (Sat, Sun)
Meet time: 8:15 AM
Duration: 11.5 miles
Food: Eat a hearty breakfast before you arrive! We will plan to be back to camp around 1 pm but “river time” is unpredictable. You can picnic at our camp, or pamper yourself and enjoy local restaurants, wineries, pizza parlors or delis after your trip.
Action on this stretch of river starts immediately with Class III Meatgrinder, the longest, most technical rapid on the South Fork American River. Continuing through the canyon you meet more challenging rapids such as Racehorse Bend, Triple Threat and finally the river’s most difficult rapid of all, Class III+ Troublemaker! Suddenly the river mellows as you have a relaxing float through the historic Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. During this section you can have a chance to learn to guide the raft, swim in the river or just enjoy the conversation with your raft-mates. Chili Bar is a morning trip and we are usually off the river by 1 pm. Minimum age is 10 years old.
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Family Float- Class II
New for 2021: Boatload Booking at $360/boat for up to 6 rafters. Our custom designed 4-thwart, 8-person rafts provide a full thwart of distance between you and the guide and more social distancing for the crew.
Meet time: 1 pm
Duration: 2-3 hours and 4 miles of mellow Class II whitewater.
Availability: Sundays and most weekdays
Food: Please remember to eat before you arrive.
Not looking for big Class III whitewater rapids but still want to enjoy being on the South Fork of the American River? Want to visit where Marshall discovered gold in 1848? Our Family Float Trip is the perfect experience for you! This trip has class I-II rapids and offers loads of opportunities to swim, play, and take in the beauty of the river. Recommended minimum age is 8 years old. Strong swimmers as young as 6 have been accommodated.
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