AT-A-GLANCE FACTS

Rafting for all ages!!
Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 6-8 yrs for Class 3, 4 yrs for Class 2 (at regular summer flows)
Length: 4-25 miles, ¼-3 days
Season: April-September
Elevation: 500-930 Ft
Price: $89 and up [ VIEW PRICES ]
Location: Lotus-Coloma (CA Highway 49 between Auburn and Placerville)
[ MAP & DIRECTIONS ]

South Fork American River Rafting

AT-A-GLANCE FACTS

Rafting for all ages!!
Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 6-8 yrs for Class 3, 4 yrs for Class 2 (at regular summer flows)
Length: 4-25 miles, ¼-3 days
Season: April-September
Elevation: 500-930 Ft
Price: $89 and up [ VIEW PRICES ]
Location: Lotus-Coloma (CA Highway 49 between Auburn and Placerville)
[ MAP & DIRECTIONS ]
More Resources:
[ AREA INFORMATION ]
[ RAFTING PHOTOS ]
[ RAFTING VIDEOS ]
[ WHAT TO BRING ]

South Fork American River rafting trips are some of the most popular in California and for very good reasons.

This river has served as an introduction to California whitewater rafting for countless beginners. It is also exciting enough to lure many back year after year. There are trips suitable for everyone, including families, corporate groups and youth groups. Raft for just a few hours or spend 2-4 days. See below for all your rafting options.

There are many memorable rapids as the river winds its way through the scenic green and gold foothills of California’s Gold Rush Country. It passes through the historic town of Coloma and the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park.

When other California rafting trips have dried up, the South Fork American River is still providing an exciting and fun time. Great water releases are guaranteed past Labor Day weekend.

All South Fork American River rafting trips meet at our camp in the Coloma-Lotus area. Each rafting trip starts with an orientation and a safety talk. Personal flotation devices are fitted and paddling instruction is given. A professional, skilled river guide is on board every raft to help steer you safely down the river, as you power the raft with your paddle.

Camping can be arranged before or after any of our South Fork American River trips. Multi-day trip options include 1-2 nights camping.

Professional photography companies shoot at the major rapids on the river. Usually photos are ready to view at the end of your trip, either at our camp or in their Coloma offices. It is important to order your South Fork American River Rafting photos BEFORE you leave the area, as they are not available on line. Ask your guide or shuttle driver for a coupon.

NOTICE: Water flows in the South Fork American River result from releases from hydroelectric facilities located upstream. Such water releases are not subject to the control of El Dorado County or commercial rafting companies operating under permit from the County of El Dorado.

South Fork American River Rafting Trip Options

Exciting Morning 1 day Trip!

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 8 years
Length: 11 miles
Time: 8:00am - 1:00pm
Price: Starting at $99

Includes Riverside Lunch. Camping available. 

The South Fork American River Upper Chili Bar run is a morning whitewater rafting trip. It is best suited for those who are comfortable with getting Class 3 action right out of the gate! This “Upper Chili Bar” rafting trip …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Best spring Class 3 for adventurous group

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 8 years
Length: 21 miles
Time: 8:00am - 4:30/5:00pm
Price: Starting at $139

Lunch Included, Riverside camping available

The entire South Fork American River is usually run in 2 days, but we also offer this as a long 1 day option as the South Fork American “Whole River” 21 mile trip. It includes both sections of the river …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

The best Class 3 rafting trip for most groups

Difficulty: Beginning to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 7-8 years
Length: 11 miles
Time: 11:30am – 4:30pm
Price: Starts at $99

Includes Lunch, Riverside camping available

The South Fork American River Gorge “Lower” 1 day 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 …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Class 3 Overnight Adventure! Huge discounts on Family dates.

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 7-8 years
Length: 21-25 miles
Time: 10:30am day 1 - 2:00pm day 2
Price: Starting at $279

4 meals and 1 night camping included.

Spend 2 days whitewater rafting on the South Fork American River Overnight trip and camp at our Riverside campground! On these 2 day trips, we run the Lower Gorge run on day 1 and the Upper Chili bar on the second …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Wine Tour and American River Rafting Overnight Trip!

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 21 years
Length: 11 miles of rafting day 2
Time: 9:00am day 1 - 2:00pm day 2
Price: $309-$349

4 meals and 1 night camping included.

Join us in El Dorado County for a 2 day wine tasting and whitewater rafting adventure! Spend your first day being chauffeured around sipping wine from local vintners. On day 2 enjoy a whitewater adventure on the South Fork American …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Class 3 Wilderness Overnight Adventure!

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 8 years
Length: 21 miles
Time: 8:00am day 1 - 4:30/5:00pm day 2
Price: Starting at $349

4 meals and 1 night camping included.

This 2 day trip is “wilderness style” camp trip, which maybe preferred by those looking to get away from it more, rather than being in a road accessible campsite with more facilities. It is a great rafting and outdoor experience …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

1 day trip Includes Camping!

Difficulty: Beginning to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 7-8 years
Length: 13 miles
Time: 10:30am – 4:30/5:00pm, 6-6.5 hours
Price: Starts at $149

Includes Lunch, Riverside camping and breakfast!

The South Fork American River Gorge “Lower” 1 day 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 …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Perfect Overnight for Young Kids!

Difficulty: Beginner
Rating: Class 2-2+
Minimum Age: 4 years
Length: 11 miles
Time: 1:30pm day 1 - 1:00pm day 2
Price: Contact us

3 meals and 1 night camping included. Inflatable Kayaks available day 1.

This Class 2 American River Overnight Rafting trip is one of the few trips suitable for families with youths younger than 7 years. Due to the water release on the Lower Middle Fork American River, the first day must start after lunch. …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

American River Family Combo Trip!

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-3+
Minimum Age: 6 years
Length: 20 miles
Time: 1:30pm day 1 - 4:30/5:00pm day 2
Price: Starting at $249

3 meals and 1 night camping included. Inflatable Kayaks available day 1.

The Lower Middle Fork & South Fork American Gorge 2 day overnight combo trip is a great first time trip for younger children. Also those who may be a bit nervous about tackling Class 3 rapids, will appreciate the Class …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Great overnight for active and adventurous. Swimming ability required

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-4+
Minimum Age: 12-13 years
Length: 30 miles
Time: 10:30am day 1 - 4:30/5:00pm day 2
Price: $299-$349

4 meals and 1 night camping included.

This South Fork / Middle Fork American River Rafting combo overnight trip is an ideal rafting trip for those wanting to warm up on some Class 3 rapids, before stepping up to the more exciting Class 4 action on the …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Great 3 day overnight for active and adventurous. Swimming ability required

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Rating: Class 2-4+
Minimum Age: 12-13 years
Length: 38 miles
Time: 10:30am day 1 - 4:30/5:00pm day 3
Price: Starting at $429

7 meals and 2 nights camping included.

This 3 day combo trip starts with 2 days on the South Fork American River before stepping up to the more exciting Class 4 action on the Middle Fork American River on the 3rd day. This American River Rafting trip …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Over 40 miles of American River! 4 day extravaganza.

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

10 meals and 3 nights camping included.

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 …[ FIND OUT MORE ]

Adventurous Spring Overnight! Strong swimming skills required.

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

4 meals and 1 night camping included.

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. …[ FIND OUT MORE ]