South Fork American River – Lower Gorge raft trip


The best Class 3 rafting trip

Difficulty: Beginning to Intermediate

Rating: Class 2-3+

Minimum Age: 7-8 years

Length: 11 miles

Time: 11:30am – 4:30pm

Price: $99-$129 [ VIEW PRICES ]

Includes Lunch, Riverside camping available


[ AREA INFORMATION ] Motels, Camping, Restaurants & More




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The South Fork American River Gorge Lower raft trip is the best rafting option for most participants as it includes a “warm up” on easier rapids. It also has some of the best rapids on the river. This section is between the Hwy 49 bridge in Coloma, CA and Folsom Lake.

On our 1 day, 11 mile Gorge rafting adventure, we meet at our camp for a BBQ lunch. Here you will be given the usual pre-trip instruction and issued the proper gear.

You will get a few miles of warm up before you enter the steep granite canyon known as the ‘Gorge’ where the rapids occur more frequently. There are many Class 3-3+ rapids like Fowler’s Rock, Satan’s Cesspool, Bouncing Rock, and Hospital Bar. Also numerous milder and fun rapids along the way and safe places in parts for swimming.

When Folsom Lake levels are high, we get a tow out with jet skis, rather than paddling flat water to the take-out. The rafting trip ends at Folsom Lake where you are served cold drinks and we bus the group back to the meeting location.



South Fork American River Gorge Rafting Video

Please note that the flows in this video are a little higher than our typical summer flow.