Home » American River Whitewater Rafting Tour with Wine Tasting

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  • Descend 8 miles of class II and III rapids on the wet and wild American River!

    Descend 8 miles of class II and III rapids on the wet and wild American River!

Whitewater Rafting Tour

On this exhilarating tour, you get:

  • 8 miles of exciting whitewater rapids
  • Professional river guides
  • ALL rafting and safety equipment
  • Delicious BBQ lunch, river-side
  • “Gold Country” wine/beer tasting

Retail price: $269 adult/$259 child*

Web price: $259 adult/$249 child*

Internet savings: $10



*child rates are 8-12 (children under 8 years or 80 lbs cannot participate in rafting). Rates for tours beyond this year may have adjusted pricing; see booking page for exact rates.

Whitewater raft the South Fork of the American River in the heart of the California Gold Country and try some local wine while you’re there!

Our Whitewater Rafting Tour tour takes you into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains for an exhilarating day on the water: you’ll descend 8 miles down the American River, navigating Class III rapids such as the Meat Grinder, Triple Threat and Troublemaker. During the trip you will also float past the historic gold discovery site of Sutter’s Mill. No prior rafting experience is required: you’ll have all the gear provided to you, and a professional river guide with you in the raft!

Whitewater Rafting Tour Barbeque LunchAfter an exciting day whitewater rafting, kick back with a delicious barbeque lunch by the river’s edge (included). Finally, in the afternoon, taste some local wine or beer in the “Gold Country” before heading back to the city by the bay.

**Note: Your safety is our main concern. A brief safety talk is given before anyone gets in the water. The South Fork of the American River is a Class III river system. This is ideal for beginners as well as intermediate paddlers. No prior whitewater experience is necessary, but participants are required to weigh at least 80 pounds and be at least 8 years of age to participate.**

Whitewater Rafting Tour Details:

Tours: Fridays & Sundays, May-Sept
Departs: 6-7 am pickup from most SF hotels
Duration: 1 full day (~12 hours)
Transport: Eco-friendly, comfortable transport in a biofuel mini-coach (14 passengers max)
Activities: Adventurous, Eco/Sustainable, Food & Wine, Once in a Lifetime, Wildlife & Nature
Includes: Complimentary pickup/dropoff from your San Francisco hotel
Full-time professional, knowledgeable guide
Transportation to/from the river in biofuel-powered mini-coach
ALL rafting gear (6-8 person raft, helmet, paddle, life vest, wetsuit/booties/paddle jacket)
Professional river guide for each raft
Some wine and/or beer tasting options
Tasty river-side picnic lunch
Not Included: Some additional tasting fees may apply
Professional photos taken of rafters (can be purchased during lunchtime)
Guide and river guide gratuities (optional)

PLEASE READ: Our terms/conditions and cancellation policy

Sample Itinerary

6:00am – 7:00am: Pick up from San Francisco hotels
7:00am – 10:00am: Head east across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which offers great views of the San Francisco skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and the East Bay. You’ll stop for a quick coffee/snack in the Central Valley, a booming agricultural region known for almonds, grapes, tomatoes, peaches and strawberries. Then you’ll continue up through the cattle and horse ranching foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains to reach the American River.
Approx. 10:00am: Arrive at the shores of the South Fork of the American River.
11:00am – 12:00pm: After checking in and getting changed, you’ll be shuttled to the put-in, where your professional river guides will give you a quick safety briefing and show you everything you need to know to be safe and have fun on the water.
12:00-2:00pm: The Class III whitewater action begins immediately with Meatgrinder rapids, followed by other exciting cascades including Racehorse Bend, Rock Garden, Triple Threat, and climaxing with a mad dash through the famed Troublemaker rapid.
2:00pm-3:00p: Our trip ends as we pull ashore back at camp where your guides prepare a tasty barbeque lunch. After lunch, there is time to play some beach volleyball and relax by the river.
3:00pm-4:00pm: We think it’s important to explore the Gold Country, so we will then be heading over to a local winery for some wine and beer tasting before heading back to the city.
4:00pm-6:30pm: Head back West out to San Francisco, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel accommodations.

**Sample Itineraries: Please note that due to the day’s conditions (special events, traffic) and the small size of our vehicles/groups, we can allow our guides the flexibility to tailor your itinerary to best suit the needs of the group. While we guarantee that we’ll do our best to provide you with all of the highlights within this itinerary (conditions permitting), we do not guarantee them in this specific order. **

All Season:

**note: In April and May, the water is cold and the flow rate is higher. Though the weather is warm, wetsuits and booties are provided. From June through September, the weather is hot and the water is refreshing, so wetsuits are not necessary.**

  • Camera (please only bring waterproof cameras ON the raft)
  • T-shirt or long sleeve shirt if you are sensitive to the sun
  • Swimwear
  • towel and dry change of clothes for after rafting
  • Comfortable soft-soled shoes or sandals (NO flip-flops) that you do not mind getting wet
  • Sunscreen/sun protection
  • Baseball cap or other cap with a brim that will fit under a helmet
  • Securely-fitting sunglasses
  • Photo ID for tasting wine/beer (you must be 21+ with a valid ID to participate in tastings).

Fun for Everyone! (Whitewater Rafting)

Fun for Everyone!

I had a couple of ladies that were unsure whether the whitewater rafting was something that they really wanted to do, but Heather reassured them and made them feel a little bit better about the trip. She really made us feel like she was part of the group and we had been friends for years.

- Debra Kitchens
Traveled June 2013
American River Whitewater Rafting

Fun for Everyone! I had a couple of ladies that were unsure whether the whitewater rafting was something that they really wanted to do, but Heather reassured them and made

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