Whitewater River RaftingNews & Blog

Discover Downieville and Raft on the North Yuba River

World renowned white water rafting & small town charm

What better way to experience the North Yuba River, than combining your whitewater adventure with a stay in the beautiful town of Downieville, CA. This little town is well known for its epic downhill mountain biking, which starts in the Spring and continues until the snow covers the trails. The enormous snowpack has delayed the high elevation biking (for just a bit), but will provide the river with a robust rafting season. Pairing your Yuba river adventure with a stay in Downieville makes for a great getaway, road trip stop or extended vacation! Be sure to pick up a copy of the Mountain Messenger while you’re there, it’s  California’s oldest weekly newspaper!

Where is Downieville?

  • Located in Sierra County, CA
  • Elevation of almost 3,000 feet 
  • Less than 4 hours from San Francisco
  • Within 2 hours of Lake Tahoe & Reno, NV

Places to Stay in Downieville

There are 2 hotels in Downieville that offer rooms overlooking the Downie river! As well as additional (and really cute we might add) short term rentals in the heart of town. 

Riverside Mtn Lodge

Every single room at the Riverside has a balcony overlooking the Downie River. This place is pet friendly and offers plenty of parking. There are family suites and smaller rooms to accommodate everyone’s needs including kitchenettes and WiFi!

Family suite 

Riverfront patio with chairs and hammocks

Carriage House Inn

Each room in this Inn has it’s own name and unique features. The attention to the small details really show, and there are options for all budgets and travelers here.

Agate suite 

Yuba suite amenities

Places to eat in Downieville

You are going to be surprised at how many amazing options there are for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desert, drinks and even more in this high sierra town. Some of these are seasonal so be sure to check out their hours of operation if you have your heart set on a certain offering. There are always options and the staff at the hotels are very friendly and can help recommend the available options. 

Class IV & V Rafting Trips on the North Yuba

The North Yuba River has been a staff and guest favorite for decades…since we first received a commercial rafting permit in the early 1980’s. These trips are free flowing which means that we run them when the snow is melting, so when there is lots of snow, we get to run this river more! There are several sections of rafting on the Yuba including the Goodyears Bar run, Moss Canyon and Rossosco Ravine. 

Bring the family & invite your friends!

This town is very family friendly, although the rafting trips on the North Yuba are not suitable for younger kids (min age of 14+) this makes for a great place for families to meet, play and stay for a while. Invite the grandparents, family and friends – they will all be bummed they missed out on the fun when you return.