California Rafting – Intermediate/More Difficult

Intermediate rafting trips on the American and other California Rivers feature primarily Class 4 and occasional Class 5 rapids. For the suitably qualified, they offer challenge and excitement. However these river trips are not for everyone!

Usually previous Class 3 or 4 experience is required. This is more critical at times when the rivers are running higher due to heavy rain or snow melt. Some first timers in a group may be considered if they are adventurous and active individuals who are extremely comfortable on the water (like a surfer or diver). Strong swimming abilities are definitely recommended (NO NON-SWIMMERS). The minimum age for youths is normally 14 years.

Many of the best of these intermediate whitewater trips are free flowing rivers that are not dam controlled. These flows depend on the mountain snowpack so their season will vary each year and it will be longer when the snowpack is above average. See River Flow Predictions page for more detailed information.

Water levels do impact the level of difficulty at times. We are always glad to assist you in making a decision that considers the current conditions, so please feel free to give us a call for our advice.

For easier options see Intermediate/Active First Time and for more difficult options see Most Difficult California Raft Trips.

California Rafting – Intermediate/More Difficult Options

Spring Adventure on the American River!

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Rating: Class 4+
Minimum Age: 14 years
Length: 9 miles
Time: Varies, 8:00-10:00am meet – 3:00/5:00pm return
Price: Starting at $139

Lunch included. Strong swimming skills required.

This North Fork American River 1 day rafting trip is a challenging Class 4-4+ early season snow melt river run. As with any Class 4 run, good footwear is essential. Due to cold snow melt water and the technical nature …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Our guides favorite spring trip!

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Rating: Class 4-4+
Minimum Age: 13 years (normal flows)
Length: 9 miles
Time: 9:30am – 3:30/4:00pm
Price: Starting at $139

Lunch included. Strong swimming skills required especially during higher flows. Wetsuits and camping available nearby. Season varies depending on snow pack.

The North Fork Yuba River Maytag run can be suitable for the active and adventurous first-timer when flows are not too high. It also provides an ideal step-up for the Class 3 paddler or for a first-time Class 4 run. …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Class 4/5 Springtime Challenge!

Difficulty: Advanced
Rating: Class 5
Minimum Age: 16 years
Length: 14 miles
Time: 9:30am – 4:30/5:00pm
Price: Starting at $139

Lunch included. Strong swimming skills and previous Class 4 paddling experience required. Wetsuits and camping available, season varies depending on snow pack.

This is a custom trip that is sometimes available for experienced groups – previous paddling experience is required for this trip as is starts upstream on a Class 5 section. We meet at our Tributary camp off Highway 49 near …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Challenging Spring Overnight!

Difficulty: Adventurous Beginner to Advanced
Rating: Class 4-5
Minimum Age: 16 years
Length: 18 miles
Time: 9:30am day 1 – 3:30/4:00pm day 2
Price: Starting at $369

4 meals and 1 night camping included. Strong swimming skills required.

This North Fork Yuba River 2 day raft trip is great for those wishing to step up the game and tackle some Class 5 rapids. We combine the “Maytag” run and upstream Class 5 runs for 2 incredible days of …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Spring Class 4 Excitement!

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Rating: Class 4+
Minimum Age: 14 years
Length: 18 miles
Time: 9:30 am day 1 – 3:30 day 2
Price: Starting at $369

4 meals and 1 night camping included. Strong swimming skills required.

This North Yuba and American River rafting trip provides spring and early summer whitewater excitement and is one of our most popular early season Class 4 overnight trips. We combine two classic and outstanding runs starting with the “Maytag” run …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Best Summer Class 4!

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Rating: Class 4+
Minimum Age: 13 years
Length: 11-17 miles
Time: 8:00am – 5:30/6:00 pm
Price: Starting at $189

Includes Lunch

This Upper Klamath River raft trip is best tackled by those who have at least some Class 3 paddling experience, and does require strong swim skills. We get an early start on this 1 day rafting trip, due to a …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Hells Canyon Twice!

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Rating: Class 4+
Minimum Age: 13 years
Length: 23 miles
Time: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Price: Starting at $389

Includes 4 meals and 1 night camp. Camping equipment NOT included but available for rent.

This Upper Klamath River 2 day rafting trip has some long Class 4+ rapids, and is best tackled by those who have at least some Class 3 paddling experience. It does require strong swim skills. We get an early start …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

S. California Spring Time Adrenaline Rush!

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Rating: Class 4+ to 5
Minimum Age: 14 years
Length: 10 miles
Time: 9:00am – 3:30/4:00pm
Price: Starting at $189

Includes lunch

The Kaweah river can be really challenging at higher flows, and previous Class 4 paddling experience is required, with strong swimming skills a must. We meet you in the town of Three Rivers for your Kaweah River rafting trip, which …[ FIND OUT MORE ]