AT-A-GLANCE FACTS

Best Spring Rafting!
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Rating: Class 4-5
Minimum Age: 13 for Class 4 / 16 for Class 5
Length: 9-28 miles, 1-3 days
Season: April - July depending on snow pack
Elevation: 2320-3350 Ft
Price: Starting at $138 [ VIEW PRICES ]
Location: Highway 49 Between Downieville and Camptonville, Ca – Near Indian Valley Campground
[ MAP & DIRECTIONS ]

North Fork Yuba River Rafting

North Fork Yuba River - Maytag Rapid - Class 5

AT-A-GLANCE FACTS

Best Spring Rafting!
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Rating: Class 4-5
Minimum Age: 13 for Class 4 / 16 for Class 5
Length: 9-28 miles, 1-3 days
Season: April - July depending on snow pack
Elevation: 2320-3350 Ft
Price: Starting at $138 [ VIEW PRICES ]
Location: Highway 49 Between Downieville and Camptonville, Ca – Near Indian Valley Campground
[ MAP & DIRECTIONS ]
More Resources:
[ AREA INFORMATION ]
[ RAFTING PHOTOS ]
[ RAFTING VIDEOS ]
[ WHAT TO BRING ]

North Fork Yuba river rafting trips provide some of the best Class 4 & 5 spring whitewater in California. They offer both veterans and active first-timers, a variety of whitewater rafting thrills on over 28 miles of river. Raft trips from 1 – 3 days can be combined for varying levels of difficulty. At higher flows previous paddling experience is recommended. However  people who are competent swimmers, athletic and adventurous can enjoy some of these runs when the peak snow melt is over. Even at lower flows, the North Fork Yuba River offers exciting rafting in smaller boats.

Despite the most popular section including the infamous Class 5 “Maytag” rapid, it occurs towards the end of the run. We always scout this. Anyone who does not want to run it after seeing it can opt to hike around.  You can watch other participants brave the big drop and not come away disappointed.

Though a bit further to drive from the Bay Area than the American River, we can guarantee its well worth that extra mileage. Despite its closeness to Sacramento and San Francisco, rafting on the North Fork Yuba river is a special experience. This uncrowded gem has just 3 permitted outfitters. Tributary is one of two outfitters who pioneered this river for commercial rafting in 1981 and we are the only company still operating under the same ownership. It is a very special river to us, and we would love to have you join us.

The North Fork Yuba River travels through the scenic Tahoe National Forest, and is fed by the snow-melt from the majestic 8000+ peaks of the Sierra Buttes. It is located at the north end of the fabled Mother Lode highway (Hwy 49). The nearby mining towns of Downieville and Sierra City provide rustic charm and great history. There is plentiful camping, a good selection of restaurants, cozy cabins & motels, saloons and historic landmarks.

Great opportunities are available in the area for hiking, fishing and mountain biking. For those travelling from the Bay Area or Sacramento, the towns of Grass Valley and Nevada City are conveniently on your way. They provide unique experiences and accommodations to extend your stay.

Tributary Whitewater Tours operates under permit from the Tahoe National Forest Yuba River Ranger District and is an equal opportunity service provider.

North Fork Yuba River rafting trips are subject to snow melt. The snow pack can change quickly and we have had Miracle March before so don’t give up! Check out our Predictions page for the latest updates, or call us.

North Fork Yuba River Rafting Trip Options

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 ]

Class 5 Springtime Challenge!

Difficulty: Advanced
Rating: Class 5
Minimum Age: 16 years
Length: 10 miles
Time: 9:30am – 4:30pm
Price: Starting at $139

Lunch included. Very strong swimming skills and previous Class 4 paddling experience required. Wetsuits and camping available. Season varies depending on snow pack.

This Class 5 North Yuba River rafting trip is suitable only for those with solid Class 4 paddling experience. It requires excellent swimming ability. If you are up for the challenge it offers an intense free flowing spring run. In …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

2 day Class 4 Action on the Yuba!

Difficulty: Adventurous Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 4
Minimum Age: 13 years (normal flows)
Length: 17 miles
Time: 9:30am day 1 – 4:00 pm day 2
Price: Starting at $369

4 meals and 1 night camping included. Good swimming skills required. Wetsuits and additional nights camping available. Season varies depending on snow pack.

This North Fork Yuba River Maytag & Bullards Bar 2 day raft trip combines 2 great Class 4 runs. Camping is at our exclusive, private campsite area near Indian Valley campground, nestled among the pines and firs of the Tahoe …[ 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 3 day Spring Whitewater!

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Rating: Class 4-5
Minimum Age: 16 years
Length: 23-28 miles
Time: 9:30am day 1 – 3:30/4:00pm day 3
Price: Starting at $388

7 meals and 2 nights camping included. Strong swimming skills required.

By far the best way to experience whitewater rafting on the Yuba River! A 3 day adventure filled with Class 4-5 rapids and some of the best spring runs Northern California has to offer. This is a challenging rafting trip …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Rarely Run Wild Plum!

Difficulty: Advanced
Rating: Class 5+
Minimum Age: 16+ years
Length: 8 miles
Time: 9:30am – 4:30/5:00pm
Price: Call for pricing

Lunch included. Very strong swimming skills and previous Class 5 paddling experience required.

The North Yuba River Wild Plum Run is  only available as a custom trip. Previous paddling experience with Tributary is required for this trip or for those with verifiable solid Class 5 previous experience with another California rafting outfitter. From …[ FIND OUT MORE ]