Our Most Popular River Trips

Our most popular river trips are listed below and they are obviously those that have a long guaranteed season. Those on the American River near Sacramento and the Truckee River near Lake Tahoe are popular choices due to their ease of access. They also happen to provide some of the best whitewater in the USA. Trips can be for just a few hours, but multi-day overnight adventures are also available.

Tributary offers a wide variety of California Whitewater rafting trips and offering different levels of difficulty. Some of these can be suitable for the most timid, but we also have something for those seeking a wilder adventure. All of our trips have a professional river guide in each raft to get you down the river safely. You will however participate in the fun!

On our easiest (Class 2) trips, our minimum age for kids is 4 years old. For older kids from 7-8+ our Class 2-3+ options are usually suitable. Teenagers 13+ with strong swimming skills can tackle Class 4 intermediate/beginner trips. We even offer some of the toughest Class 5 runs in California like the Cal Salmon and Burnt Ranch Gorge! 

California Rafting Season

Our California Whitewater Rafting season runs from April through September. The available river options vary depending on time of year. Rafting trip options that are dam controlled, have longer seasons. These flows are more predictable and usually guaranteed. Some river trips have flows that only run when the snow from the mountains is melting – these are typically only available in the spring to early summer. Due to this they may not make the most popular river trip list. However, be sure to check them out when we have a big snow pack year! See here for all of our rivers!

Choosing your River Trip

You can also view the many choices of river trip by level of difficulty and location, suitable for different groups and best for families with children. Please be sure to give us a call or email If you would like help in finding the best option for you. We look forward to you joining us on one of our most popular river trips or any of our wonderful runs!

Our Most Popular River Trips Options

The best Class 3 rafting trip for most groups

Difficulty: Beginning to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 7-8 years
Length: 11 miles
Time: 11:00am – 4:30pm, 5.5 hours
Price: Starts at $99

Includes Lunch, Riverside camping available

The South Fork American River Gorge “Lower” 1 day raft trip is the best rafting option for most participants as it includes a “warm up” on easier rapids. It also has some of the best rapids on the river. This …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Class 4 Summer Action! Swimming skills required.

Difficulty: Adventurous Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 3-4+
Minimum Age: 13 years
Length: 17 miles
Time: 8:30am - 5:00/5:30pm
Price: $129-$169

Lunch included, camping available nearby

The Middle Fork American River is a great trip for the active and adventurous rafter (first timers OK) as long as you have good swimming ability. It’s a long but satisfying day that begins with an early rendezvous. Make sure …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Closest Rafting near Lake Tahoe!

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 7 years (10 yrs at higher flows)
Length: 7 miles
Time: 9:15am – 12:30pm or 1:30-4:45pm
Price: $74-$79

No food served, drinks at take-out only. 

YES THERE IS RAFTING ON THE TRUCKEE RIVER! We often hear that people were told there was no Truckee River rafting. This can be due to high or low water near Tahoe City. The raft rentals only get water from …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

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 ]

Best spring Class 3 for adventurous group

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 8 years
Length: 21 miles
Time: 8:00am - 4:30/5:00pm
Price: Starting at $139

Lunch Included, Riverside camping available

The entire South Fork American River is usually run in 2 days, but we also offer this as a long 1 day option as the South Fork American “Whole River” 21 mile trip. It includes both sections of the river …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

American River Family Combo Trip!

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 6 years
Length: 20 miles
Time: 1:30pm day 1 - 4:30/5:00pm day 2
Price: Starting at $249

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

The Lower Middle Fork & South Fork American Gorge 2 day overnight combo trip is a great first time trip for younger children. Also those who may be a bit nervous about tackling Class 3 rapids, will appreciate the Class …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Class 3 Overnight Adventure! Huge discounts on Family dates.

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 7-8 years
Length: 21-25 miles
Time: 10:30am day 1 - 2:00pm day 2
Price: Starting at $279

4 meals and 1 night camping included.

Spend 2 days whitewater rafting on the South Fork American River Overnight trip and camp at our Riverside campground! On these 2 day trips, we run the Lower Gorge run on day 1 and the Upper Chili bar on the second …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Great overnight for active and adventurous. Swimming ability required

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-4+
Minimum Age: 12-13 years
Length: 30 miles
Time: 10:30am day 1 - 4:30/5:00pm day 2
Price: $299-$349

4 meals and 1 night camping included.

This South Fork / Middle Fork American River Rafting combo overnight trip is an ideal rafting trip for those wanting to warm up on some Class 3 rapids, before stepping up to the more exciting Class 4 action on the …[ FIND OUT MORE ]