About Tributary Whitewater Tours

Chamberlain Falls - North Fork American River Spring 1984

Dan Buckley guiding a raft thru Class IV Chamberlain Falls Rapid – North Fork American River Spring 1984

Tributary Whitewater Tours was founded by Dan Buckley in 1978. He wanted to share the excitement, wonder, and natural beauty that rivers have to offer with others. Since then he has been an integral player in the development of Whitewater Rafting in California.

In March of 2018 Dan sold the company to a young river guide who holds similar aspirations. Jeremiah Copper purchased not only Tributary Whitewater Tours, but also Adventure Connection (who had purchased Mariah Wilderness Expeditions in 2017). Combining the 3 companies was no easy task, but we have re-branded as Raft California. 

Jeremiah Copper with his sons Rolla & Ezra (and friend Tao) on the South Fork American River – Summer 2019

Both Dan and Jeremiah are fathers and have taken their kids on the river before their first birthdays. In the 40+ years of running river trips, we have learned first hand about taking children on the river. Although Tributary offers some of the toughest whitewater in California, we have a deep understanding about family rafting trips.

We believe that rafting trips bring out the best in people. We feel that people respond to the beauty and challenge of the river, and in doing so, discover the best in themselves. In this hectic world, it becomes even more important to “get away from it all”. Come and experience the the best California has to offer in a way you will never forget. No road can take you where we do, your cell phone may not be able to either! Our trips can take you deep into the splendor of the forests and mountains, just like the tributaries of rivers. Let Raft California show you a better way while you forget about work, traffic, emails, and crowds.

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Our Great California Rafting Guides:

Our owner and our guides often spend their vacation time exploring other rivers. Their love for rafting and being on the river is infectious. They share their enthusiasm for the rivers and their knowledge of surrounding environments and ecology on our trips. Raft California prides itself on the excellence of its well-qualified and personable employees. Click here for more detailed information about our wonderful river guides and other employees. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo and Pinterest for more from clients, our guides, and management.

We were “Green” before it was fashionable:

Tributary has always practiced the reuse, recycle mentality, and Raft California is continuing to progress in ways to protect our environment. Here are many of the efforts we are making to stay green:

  • No single use water bottles – we encourage our guests to bring their own insulated water bottle, if they don’t have one they can purchase one from our store or borrow one from our stash
  • Reusable dishes & utensils – plastic plates and metal utensils are used to all our river trip
  • Digital waivers – we try and avoid printing paper waivers and urge or guests to utilize our online waivers that can be signed prior to your rafting trip
  • Less paper in the office – employee schedules and time cards are digital and we offer direct deposit  


Since its inception in 1978, Tributary has been actively involved in conservation and environmental issues. Our business & professional affiliations and memberships include America Outdoors, California Outdoors, Sierra Business Council and many Chambers of Commerce and Visitors Bureau’s. We support the following organizations and urge our guests to follow and give when you can. 


We are dedicated to our staff and like to keep their work consistent throughout the season. We are members of numerous conservation and environmental groups. Every season we donate nearly $10,000 in gift certificates for fundraising events hosted by Rotary, Big Brothers & Sisters, Kiwanis, March of Dimes, and many other philanthropic organizations. 

California Rafting Permits:

Tributary Whitewater Tours / dba Raft California operates under permits from:

  • Bureau of Land Management (South Fork American River, East Carson and Upper Klamath River)
  • United States Forest Service (Klamath, Six Rivers, Shasta-Trinity, Tahoe and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests for the North Yuba River, Klamath, Cal. Salmon, Scott River, Upper Sacramento, Burnt Ranch Gorge, Trinity and Truckee River)
  • CA Dept. of Parks & Recreation (Middle, North and South Fork American Rivers)
  • Nevada County (Truckee River)
  • El Dorado County (South Fork American River).


Tributary Whitewater Tours / dba Raft California is an Equal Opportunity Service Provider.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information is also available in languages other than English.

To file a complaint alleging discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provided in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.