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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

Buy one seat and get the second 50% OFF* with promo code “RAFT50”!
*additional seats at 25% off

On this exhilarating tour, you get:

  • 15 miles of exciting whitewater rapids
  • Professional river guides
  • ALL rafting and safety equipment
  • Delicious picnic lunch, river-side
  • “Gold Country” history and views
 

Retail price: $304 adult/$294 child*

Web price: $294 adult/$284 child*

Internet savings: $10

 
BOOK NOW

 

*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!

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 15 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 LunchIn the middle of your exciting day whitewater rafting, you’ll pull to shore and kick back with a delicious picnic lunch by the river’s edge (included). Finally, in the afternoon, you’ll head back to base camp to dry off 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
Tasty river-side picnic lunch
Not Included: 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: We 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.
We stop for a quick snack/breakfast in the Central Valley (not included). Famous for its rich volcanic soil, the Central Valley is a booming agricultural region known for almonds, grapes, tomatoes, peaches and strawberries. Then we continue our journey up through the cattle and horse ranching foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains to 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. You will be given a short pre-trip briefing by your trip-leader, which will cover what to bring and what not to bring on the raft. You can ask lots of questions as well so you get a better understanding of what to expect on your rafting trip. Then you’ll be given a lifejacket, helmet and paddle, and your guides will make sure your gear is a proper fit. They will then give you a detailed safety talk and show you how to sit in the raft and how to paddle.
12:00-2:00pm: This South Fork rafting trip starts off with a slower pace consisting of mostly Class 1 and 2 rapids, great for warming up before getting into the bigger Class 3 whitewater. So sit back on the boat, enjoy and soak up the sun. After about an hour and half of mellow rafting and enjoying the scenery, it’s time to get fueled up with a hearty lunch. This yummy lunch includes several choices of meats, cheeses, vegetables, PB&J, finger food, condiments and cookies; you will definitely not go hungry.
2:00pm-5:00p: After lunch, it’s time to get back on the river! Sit up and lock your feet in as you enter the Gorge Section on the South Fork with all the big rapids. Soon you will be getting very wet, paddling as well as laughing your way down rapids like Fowlers Rock, Triple Threat, Satan’s Cesspool, Hospital Bar. The few hours of rafting after lunch go by fast as you paddle from one exciting rapid to another. After all the enjoyment of whitewater rafting your trip will culminate with your rafts entry onto Folsom Lake. The last few miles of flat water are made effortless, as the raft is towed out by a Honda Jet Ski!
5:00pm-7:30pm: Back on land, you’ll dry off and hop back into the vehicle to head back to the city. The tour ends with a hotel drop off between 8:00 and 8:30 pm.

**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:

In April and May, the water is cold and the flow rate is higher. From June through September, the weather is hot and the water is refreshing. Generally wetsuits are not necessary, but are available for rent on cold days (additional cost).

  • Shoes you don’t mind getting wet (and that will stay securely on your feet). Soft-soled tennis shoes, sneakers, or river sandals are recommended. NO FLIP-FLOPS, “wet shoes” or “aqua shoes” are allowed.
  • Swimwear
  • Sun protection (sunscreen, well-secured hat that will fit under a helmet)
  • Dry change of clothes for after rafting
  • Towel for after rafting
  • T-shirt or long sleeve shirt/shorts if you are sensitive to the sun*
  • Water Bottle
  • Waterproof camera – something small that can attach to your lifejacket.
  • Any medications, inhalers, etc. that you require.

*Note: Please do not bring any cotton items on the river with you if you are concerned about staying warm. (This includes jeans and sweatshirts.) When cotton gets wet it robs your body of heat and is unsuitable for physical activity. Synthetic clothing, such as fleece, poly-pro, or capilene provides the best option for warmth retention.

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

5.0
2013-11-14T21:19:34+00:00
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
5.0
1

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