Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Rating: Class 3-4+
Minimum Age: 13-16 years
Length: 22 miles
Time: 10:30am day 1 - 4:30/5:00pm day 2
Price: Starting at $319 [ VIEW PRICES ]
4 meals and 1 night camping included.
[ AREA INFORMATION ] Motels, Camping, Restaurants & More
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This early season South Fork / North Fork American River Rafting trip is an ideal choice for those wanting to warm up on some Class 3 rapids, before stepping up to some exciting Class 4 action on the 2nd day. The spring time flows on the South Fork American River are often at higher water levels than during the summer, which makes for additional excitement. Great overnight trip for adventurous first time rafters who are looking for an early season spring run.
The first morning we meet at our camp and transport you to the put-in at the Hwy 49 bridge, Here you receive pre-trip instruction and your equipment before launching the rafts. Please ask if you would like to arrange to come into camp the night before your trip.
The South Fork American River “Gorge” rafting trip starts fairly gently, with 4 miles of Class 2 rapids to warm up on. 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 cold drinks as you are returned by bus to the meeting location/camp.
Our overnight camp at Rivers Bend is an exclusive camp site not open to the general public. It has flush toilets, hot showers, a 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. This 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. Be sure to purchase any photos of the South Fork on Day one, as they are not available online.
On the second morning, awake to the sound of the river and the aroma of coffee brewing. Personal gear should be packed while the guides prepare a great breakfast. Departure time from camp varies depending on the allocated start time we have on the North Fork American. So be sure to check with your guides and know where they want you to be and at what time. We will usually depart from camp no later than 9:00 am for our second day of more challenging rapids on the North Fork American River rafting. Usually we caravan to Auburn and then we transport you to the put-in near Colfax.
On the North Fork American, the challenge starts right from the beginning. You negotiate a Class III-IV gorge with a series of boulder slalom rapids called Slaughter Sluice. Less than 1 mile in the Class 4+ Chamberlain Falls! Soon after come more Class 3-4 rapids named Tongue & Groove, Zig-Zag, Achilles Heel, Bogus Thunder, Grand Slalom. The three river wide ledges of Staircase complete the 4 miles of intense Class 4 action. You will be glad to take a breather. There is a possible picturesque side hike up Indian Creek to a waterfall and a welcome lunch stop. After lunch it is a bit more mellow, with frequent Class 2-3 rapids. You can enjoy floating through this scenic, tranquil and peaceful canyon. Take the opportunity to admire the beautiful, clean water, polished granite and spring wild flowers frequent the river banks.
The season for this South Fork / North Fork American River Rafting trip does depend on the snow pack run-off. For trips from mid-June into September in most years, the South/Middle American River Combo would be the trip of choice.