These Intermediate / Adventurous California & American River rafting trips are suitable for families with active teens & first time adventurous groups with swimming abilities. They are primarily Class 3-4 river trips.
This is a good level for groups like adventure scouts, and some corporate and bachelor / bachelorette parties. Also good for those with previous Class 3 experience looking for a bit more excitement. Minimum age is 13 years old for kids (possibly 12 with previous Class 3 experience).
If you are not too sure about being ready for Class 4, the American River 2 & 3 day combo trips are great choices. These allow you to warm up on Class 3 the first day so you will be more prepared for the Class 4 rapids on the 2nd day. You can ask your river guide after the first day if you have any concerns.
Good swimming skills are required to participate in most of these trips. Your Personal Flotation Device (PFD aka: Life Jacket) will assist help you stay afloat, but it will not necessarily save your life. So this level of rafting requires that you can take some personal action if you fall in the river. For example, you may have to swim in faster moving water to avoid some danger. You will be pulled back into the raft very quickly in most situations, but that is not always the case. Your mental attitude can be as important as your swimming skills. If you think you might panic if you fall in, then consider an easier trip.
Some people may be better picking a Class 3 trip when river levels are higher (usually due to a large snow pack). These trips will certainly be more challenging when the river is 2-3 times its normal flow. Be sure to ask for our advice on what the expected conditions are when you plan on rafting.
See below for the trips that fall into this Intermediate / Adventurous category. If you have kids under 13 years and anyone who is not a reasonable swimmer, then see easy beginner trips. If everyone has previously rafted, are strong swimmers and looking for even more excitement then see intermediate/more difficult trips.