WHITE WATER RAFTINGNear San Francisco Bay Area

Whitewater rafting trips near San Francisco and the Bay Area are as close as 2.5-3 hours away. The American Rivers provides the closest rafting trips. These are available April-September even in a drought!

Our American River trips have something for everyone. There are mild class 2 trips for kids from 4 yrs old. Exciting Class 2-3+ trips for beginners and return rafters. As well as some of the toughest whitewater for adventure seekers.

Come escape the city for a 1/2 day, 1 day trip, or overnight trip. River trip locations feature small town charm rich with gold mining history. There are a variety of accommodations, cuisine, and entertainment close to the rafting trips. Come for the day or make it a vacation. Families and groups will be sure to find the perfect itinerary. Overnight rafting trips include riverside camping and meals. Longer trips give you an opportunity to come spend a couple days on the water, sit back at our Riverside camp, and let us do the cooking for you!

Heading to Lake Tahoe? Our American River trips are convenient from I-80 and Highway 50!

Planning a rafting trip near San Francisco:

Whitewater rafting trips are convenient to the Bay Area. American River trips are the most popular from San Francisco. Your rafting adventure can be combined with several other opportunities. There are many outdoor activities including hiking, biking and horseback riding. For foodies there is an abundance of unique dining experiences. Wine and beer trials are a great addition to whitewater rafting for couples, bachelor and bachelorette parties…after your rafting trip! The area information page for each of the rivers provides links to visitor information for accommodations, restaurants and other places of interest.

Consider a San Francisco rafting trip for the following:

  • A family vacation with plenty of kid friendly sites including sporting events, trolley rides, zoos, and fun museums.
  • A sightseer / photographers paradise, points of interest include Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Pier 39.
  • Adventure seekers can enjoy rafting, wineries, group events, galleries, nightlife and endless possibilities when it comes to lodging and dining.

RIVER RAFTING ON THE South Fork American River

Dates: March
- October

The South Fork of the American River is located in Northern California, only 30 minutes from Sacramento. It is one of the major tributaries of the American River and flows through the Sierra Nevada mountain range before spilling into Folsom Reservoir.

The South Fork is known for its scenic beauty and is a popular destination for outdoor recreation, including white water rafting, kayaking, hiking, and camping. The river passes through areas in El Dorado County, providing access to the diverse landscapes of the Sierra Nevada region.

  • Three rafting sections with six diverse white water trip experiences
  • Several specialty rafting trip options including winetasting, ropes course, a live band, a creative workshop and a yoga retreat.
  • Take 50% off kids on mid-week whitewater rafting trips. (Mondays through Thursdays.) Learn more. 
  • River trips include the popular Gorge Run and Chili Bar sections
  • Variety levels to choose from – Class II to Class III+
  • Rafting for kids as young as 4 and  accommodations for guests of varying abilities and needs
  • Long season – provides great rafting and white water the entire summer and through Labor Day weekend
  • Camping is available before or after any South Fork American River rafting trip at our private campground
  • Close to major cities such as Sacramento and San Francisco
  • Professional photography companies shoot at the major rapids on the river. You can view your photos online after your trip

RIVER RAFTING ON THE Middle Fork American River

Dates: June
- September

The Middle Fork is one of the main tributaries of the American River located in Northern California.  The proximity of the American River to Sacramento and San Francisco makes the Middle Fork American River accessible for day trips or weekend getaways.

  • Fast paced, fun and challenging Class IV rapids
  • Renowned “Tunnel Chute,” a man-made marvel from the Gold Rush Era with a 90-foot rock tunnel and a 6-foot drop
  • Ability to camp at our private campground right on the river
  • Raft the Wild & Scenic River section

RIVER RAFTING ON THE Lower Middle Fork American River

Dates: April
- September

The Lower Middle Fork of the American River is a picturesque and ecologically significant waterway located in Northern California. Flowing through the Sierra Nevada foothills, this segment of the American River west towards Sacramento this section of river is a  perfect day trip or weekend getaway.

  • Perfect river rafting trip for young families and older generations
  • Great rafting introduction for children
  • We are one of the few outfitters that offer this section of river
  • Available all summer long, perfect for summer breaks
  • Inflatable kayaks available for rent
  • Mellow section of the American River
  • Small group sizes


Dates: April
- October

The Truckee River is located in the western United States originating in California and crossing into Nevada. It flows approximately 121 miles from Lake Tahoe through the Sierra Nevada mountains and into Pyramid Lake in Nevada.

Our guided Truckee River whitewater rafting trips leave from Truckee which is north of Tahoe City by 20 miles. Travel time is approximately 1.5 hours from South Lake Tahoe, 30 minutes from Reno and 10 minutes from Truckee.

  • Truckee River rafting trips are available all summer from mid-May to end of September
  • Perfect summertime activity for families ages 7+ while visiting Lake Tahoe
  • We white water raft two different sections depending on river flows – Boca run and Verdi run
  • Unique Tahoe scenery with a volcanic canyon and craggy cliffs
  • Note that our our guided rafting trips run even when the Tahoe City raft rentals do not
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