California Rafting – Easiest/Young Children

The easiest California & American River rafting trips are usually suitable for younger kids, (ages 4-8) or more timid children. Also seniors, expecting mothers and special needs may find this level of rafting the most suitable. These easier rafting trips do not feature any rapids over a Class 2+. They can be a great alternative to Class 3 trips for non-swimmers particularly when water levels are higher.

Certainly these trips are also enjoyable for many adults and older youths as well. We can add inflatable kayaks to satisfy more adventurous participants, so they can be suitable for diverse groups. Many offer more wilderness surrounds, less people and more wildlife. Other unique aspects can make these trips appealing to all, like the natural hot springs on the East Fork Carson River overnight raft trip. The beautiful wilderness canyon where the half day Lower Middle Fork American River trip wanders thru is a surprise so close to Sacramento.

Also check out our weekday overnight Family Rafting Specials where youths raft for 20-50% off (with each full paying adult).

See below for selections of the easiest California & American River rafting trips. Be sure to call or email if you have questions or concerns about taking young children, seniors or special needs on the river. We also feel that these trips are suitable for pregnant ladies, but obviously check with your doctor. 

We can customize some trips in the Class 2-3 category for the less adventurous. Class 3 sections on the South Fork American are offered on some of the combo trips, so different aged kids can enjoy rafting together until after lunch on the 2nd day. Also different sections of the Lower Klamath and Trinity Rivers are more suitable for some younger kids. 

Tributary Whitewater Tours has been operating safe and fun whitewater rafting trips since 1978. We know our stuff and will take great care of you and your family!

California Rafting – Easiest/Young Children Options

American River Wilderness Rafting for Young Kids!

Difficulty: Beginner
Rating: Class 2-2+
Minimum Age: 4 years
Length: 7 miles
Time: 1:30pm – 6:00/6:30pm
Price: Starting at $89

Lunch NOT influded. Inflatable Kayaks available.

The Lower Middle Fork River is a perfect first trip for young kids and ideal for families. Due to the water release on this section of the American River, we can only run the Lower Middle Fork American in the …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Perfect Overnight for Young Kids!

Difficulty: Beginner
Rating: Class 2-2+
Minimum Age: 4 years
Length: 11 miles
Time: 1:30pm day 1 - 1:00pm day 2
Price: Contact us

3 meals and 1 night camping included. Inflatable Kayaks available day 1.

This Class 2 American River Overnight Rafting trip is one of the few trips suitable for families with youths younger than 7 years. Due to the water release on the Lower Middle Fork American River, the first day must start after lunch. …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Hot Springs at lunch!

Difficulty: Beginner
Rating: Class 2-2+
Minimum Age: 7 years
Length: 21 miles
Time: 9:30am – 5:30/6:00pm
Price: Starting at $128

Includes lunch, Inflatable Kayaks maybe available

The East Fork Carson River is a free flowing spring and early summer trip, with spectacular views of the snowcapped peaks of the Sierra’s. Our 1 day wilderness rafting trip on the East Fork Carson River includes a stop at …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Wilderness Camping & Hot Springs!

Difficulty: Beginner
Rating: Class 2-2+
Minimum Age: 4 years
Length: 21 miles
Time: 9:30am day 1 – 4:30/5:00pm day 2
Price: Starting at $274

Includes 4 meals, dry bags for gear, and 1 night camp. Inflatable Kayaks possible.

An overnight East Fork Carson River rafting trip is by far the best way to experience this unique free flowing river. It takes full advantage of the hot-springs, scenery and wilderness surroundings. On the first morning we meet near Hangman’s …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Perfect for Young Kids!

Difficulty: Beginner
Rating: Class 2
Minimum Age: 4 years
Length: 4 miles
Time: Camping (night before rafting) arriv. after 4:00pm10:30am - 1:00pm
Price: Starting at $129

Lunch Included, combine with our 1 day Gorge Run for mixed ability groups

The South Fork American River Lotus Run is a rafting trip suitable for younger kids, older seniors and timid rafters. Its an easy guided river trip which contains mild Class 1 & 2 rapids. It can be coordinated with a more …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Northern California adventure!

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 6 years
Length: 22 miles
Time: 10:00am day 1 – 4:30/5:00pm day 2
Price: Starting at $379

Includes 4 meals and 1 night camp, Inflatable Kayaks available

On this Lower Klamath River rafting 2 day trip, you will enjoy its large sandy beaches for camping and play in its warm waters. There are many fun Class 2 and 3 whitewater rapids. The Lower Klamath River is known for its …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Easier spring trip, semi wilderness!

Difficulty: Beginner
Rating: Class 2-2+
Minimum Age: 6 years
Length: 9.5 miles
Time: Meets in Auburn: 10:30am weekdays & 8:00 am weekends
Price: Starting at $104

Includes lunch. Inflatable Kayaks maybe available at lower flows.

This Lower North Fork American 1 day rafting trip is a very scenic and easier going Class 2-2+ spring run. Most suitable for families with younger children or those looking for a wilderness scenic float. It is a great alternative …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Easy spring run, wilderness canyons

Difficulty: Beginner
Rating: Class 2-2+ (some 3 at higher flows)
Minimum Age: 5+ years (higher age at high flows)
Length: 16.5 miles
Time: 8:00 am, 10:00 am or 1:30pm meet on day 1 – 4:30pm day 2
Price: Starting at $249

Includes 3 0r 4 meals and 1 night camping. Inflatable Kayaks possible lower flows.

This is a spectacular spring family rafting overnight trip, suitable for younger kids. Availability of both rivers makes it a rarely run trip, but it can be available in seasons where higher water flows occur due to a large snow …[ FIND OUT MORE ]