Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-4+
Minimum Age: 12-13 years
Length: 44 miles
Time: 10:30am day 1 - 4:30pm day 4
Price: Starting at $548 [ VIEW PRICES ]
10 meals and 3 nights camping included.
[ AREA INFORMATION ] Motels, Camping, Restaurants & More
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Spend 2 days on both the South Fork and Middle Fork American Rivers for a 4 day combined adventure! Camp at our established Rivers Bend campground the first 2 nights and spend the 3rd night in the Middle Fork American River wilderness canyon (limited amenities). This American River Rafting trip is great for adventurous first time rafters and suitable for families with teenagers.
The first morning we meet you at camp and transport you to the put-in at the Hwy 49 bridge for your South Fork American River “Gorge” rafting trip. You receive pre-trip instruction before launching. The pace is fairly gentle to start, with 4 miles of Class 2 rapids to warm up on, before we pull into camp for a delicious riverside lunch spread. After lunch the excitement builds on the remaining 9 miles – the rafts enter the ‘Gorge’ where the rapids occur frequently, with many Class 3-3+ rapids like ‘Fowler’s Rock’, ‘Satan’s Cesspool’, ‘Bouncing Rock’, and ‘Hospital Bar’. There are numerous milder and fun rapids along the way. The raft trip ends at Folsom Lake where you are served ice cold drinks as you are returned by bus to the meeting location/camp.
You will spend the night at our exclusive camp site at Rivers Bend, which has flush toilets, hot showers, volleyball net and horseshoe pits. If you did not arrive the night before, you will have time to set-up camp. Then time for swimming, volleyball, Frisbee or other games, or simply relax with a cold drink. In the early evening, appetizers are served and a delicious 3 course dinner is prepared by your guides and is accompanied with a moderate amount of beer, wine, and soft drinks. After dinner, the day’s photos will be available to view in camp and you can relax around the camp fire.
On the second morning, awake to the sound of the river, the aroma of coffee brewing and breakfast being prepared by your amazing river guides. We will usually depart from camp by 9:00 am for our put-in on the “Chili Bar” run which begins quickly with the Class 3 ‘Meatgrinder’ rapid and continues for the next 5+ miles with ‘Racehorse Bend’, ‘Rock Garden’, ‘Triple Threat’, the infamous Class 3+ ‘Troublemaker’ and others. Another great riverside lunch is usually served at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, so clients can check out some of the exhibits or the museum while lunch is prepared. After lunch the river slows and we raft either to the 49 bridge or back into camp where you are greeted with ice cold drinks before departing on your homeward journey (or stay another night by arrangement).
You will spend another night at our Rivers Bend Camp with dinner and more relaxation.
On the morning of day 3, an early start from camp around 7:30 am is necessary. Personal gear is packed up while the guides prepare a continental breakfast. We caravan to Auburn where your gear will be transferred into dry bags. All the food, kitchen, personal gear, camping equipment is loaded on separate oar rafts to be taken down the river, so plan on travelling light! We transport you through Foresthill to the put-in below Oxbow Reservoir. The famed ‘Tunnel Chute’ is encountered early in the trip and we stop to scout this rapid, this is followed by numerous Class 3 rapids and the Class 4+ ‘Kanaka’. We are really on “River Time” out in this wilderness canyon, lunch is served riverside and our guides will bring you on side hikes to secret locations, the fishing on this river is excellent and you are welcome to bring poles with you (be sure to have a hard case and license). We will pull into one of the wilderness camping locations in the afternoon and set-up camp, cold drinks, appetizers and fun continue until dinner. Our guides really love these trips as they are really able to bond with our clients in a more intimate camping scenario – many stories are shared around the campfire in the evening.
Waking up in the canyon is amazing with the sun taking its time to crest the canyon walls. Guides again prepare a tasty breakfast – this last morning of your trip is leisurely and there is opportunity to hike around and fish again as we wait for the dam released water to reach us downstream. Gear is again packed onto the oar raft and we continue down river on some mellow rapids just below the entrance of Canyon Creek the Class 4 adrenaline rush kicks back in with the Ruck-a-Chucky rapids. ‘Upper Ruck-A-Chucky’ (AKA ‘Chunder’) is the first in this series followed but the falls – a 20′ drop through a sieve of huge boulders is a mandatory portage for clients. ‘Lower Ruck-a-Chucky’ (AKA ‘Cleavage’) immediately follows and is a fun “surf” spot. We make our way thru a 2 mile gorge laced with numerous Class 3-4 rapids such as ‘Parallel Parking’ and ‘Catapult’ (AKA ‘101 Airborne’). We take out at Drivers Flat Road (old Greenwood Bridge site) and you are served cold drinks before you load up for your return to Auburn.