2 Day Raft and Camp Wilderness Trip

Prices Starting At

$389 Adults (all ages 14+)


Meet Tributary in the heart of Gold Country, California for an unforgettable 2-day. 2-day rafting and camping adventure you won’t forget! The Middle Fork of the American River tumbles down from California’s Sierra Nevada, carrying with it a storied history that echoes the state’s deep Native American history and transformative Gold Rush era. Now a seemingly remote river canyon home only to wildlife, during the California Gold Rush, the Middle Fork American River had two mining camps and over 10,000 people living in the area. While remnants of that history are still visible along the river corridor, the Middle Fork American River is now a recreational paradise, attracting anglers set on catching a trophy trout and whitewater rafters looking to test themselves on rapids like Kanaka and Tunnel Chute rapid. 

Our 2-day, 2-night rafting trip starts with a relaxing night at our own private campground on the American River. Then, the real fun begins as we take on a challenging 18-mile section of the Middle Fork American River. Day 1 of rafting starts off strong, with 6 miles of Class III and Class IV rapids, including Last Chance, Submarine Hole, Kanaka, and the incredible American River Tunnel Chute. After a thrilling start, we’ll ease back the pace so you can enjoy the beauty of the lush, forested canyon and hopefully spot some wildlife. Extra time on the river means that there will be plenty of opportunities to hike and explore side creeks, waterfalls, and other natural wonders. 

We’ll spend our second night together camped on a remote, riverside beach. Enjoy swimming and fishing as your guides cook you a delicious meal, and then enjoy a night under the stars. The next day, we’ll get back on the river and test our mettle on the tricky Class IV Ruck-A-Chucky rapids (also known as Chunder) before portaging around Ruck-A-Chucky Falls (a mandatory portage for all clients). We’ll hike above the rapids so you can watch your brave and talented river crew guide the boats down the 20-foot drop and through a gauntlet of huge boulders. Below the rapid, you’ll hop back into the boat to tackle the rest of the river! 

At the end of the second day, we’ll say our goodbyes at the take out. You can also extend your trip, and spend another night at our incredible South Fork American River campground!

The Middle Fork American River rafting is a challenging, advanced river with numerous Class IV rapids. It’s suitable for kids ages 14 and up, and all guests must be able to swim.


  • Most popular California river trip for first-time rafters and experienced paddlers!
  • Navigate exhilarating Class III rapids like Last Chance and Submarine Hole before testing your skills on the formidable Class IV Ruck-a-Chucky and Kanaka rapids.
  • Camp in the wilderness under a beautiful starry sky.
  • Experience the renowned Tunnel Chute American River, a man-made marvel from the Gold Rush, with a 90-foot rock tunnel and a 6-foot drop.
  • Some of the best fishing in California! Try our hand at hooking a native trout or target stocked rainbow trout, brown trout, or Kokanee salmon.
  • Fed by snowmelt all summer long, with rafting available from June to September.
  • Rafting through one of the deepest river canyons in California, with walls over 2,000 feet tall

River Map

Trip Itinerary

We’ll begin our adventure at our South Fork American River campground in Lotus, California. Please arrive the night before, between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Dinner is not included this first night, but there are plenty of local restaurant options. If you don’t feel like setting up your own tent, you can upgrade to one of our glamping canvas tents, complete with sleeping cots and chairs.

Day 1

Breakfast at Camp: Wake up to the sound of the river and enjoy a selection of coffee and tea, as well as a continental breakfast, right in camp. We’ll head to our put-in at Oxbow Reservoir. There, your guides will lead you through an orientation and safety talk before you get on the river.

Full Day of River Excitement: We’ll practice some on-river paddling and then, our adventure begins! Enjoy a day on the beautiful, exciting Middle Fork American River, tackling rapids like Tunnel Chute and Kanaka right off the bat. There are also several side hikes we can explore throughout the day!

Dinner and Night Under the Stars: We’ll pull into camp in the early evening, and you’ll be free to swim, fish, and explore the riverside while your guides prepare appetizers and dinner. Enjoy a night of storytelling around the campfire (if permitted by the fire danger level and State Parks), and head back to your tent for a cozy night’s rest.

Day 2

Morning by the River: The guides will have coffee, tea, and hot drinks ready for you at sunrise, with breakfast served shortly after. After breakfast, you’ll pack and clean up camp and get ready for a second day of rafting.

More Rafting: Back on the river, we’ll navigate a stretch of calmer Class II rapid, before getting back into the thick of Class IV rapids. You’ll navigate Chunder, and then portage around the infamous Class V+ Ruck-A-Chucky Falls.

Arrival at Take-Out: After rafting all day, we’ll reach our take-out and head back to your car and wish each other a fond farewell until next time, or you can continue your adventure with another night of camping at our spacious private campground.

Traveling to the

Where to Meet

Tributary Outpost & Private Campground on the American River

6500 CA-49
Lotus, CA 95651

Where To Stay


  • Tributary Campground – Lotus, CA
    Many of our multi-day American River trips include camping at our private campground, located directly on the South Fork of the American River. Extend your trip and camp with us at our private riverside campground before or after your rafting adventure.
  • Consumnes River Ranch – Plymouth, CA
    One of our preferred partners! This is an amazing private property on the Consumnes River with tent camping, glamping cabins, stone barn for weddings and more.


Hotel Options

What Should I Bring

For Rafting

  • Required Items
    • Re-usable 20oz or more water bottle
    • Shoes (no flip flops)
  • Suggested Items
    • Sunglasses (with a strap)
    • Baseball hat
  • Do Not Bring
    • Cell Phones
    • Wallets
    • Expensive jewelry

For Camping, Night One

  • Linens
    • Blankets
    • Pillow
    • Sleeping bag
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Flashlight/Headlamp
  • Change of clothes
  • Towel
  • Camp chair

For Camping, Night Two

  • Linens
    • Blankets
    • Pillow
    • Sleeping bag
  • Flashlight/Headlamp
  • Change of clothes
  • Towel
  • Camp chair


Click here for a full detailed list of what to wear and what to bring.

Rafting shuttle services and fees included. For more information on trip shuttles click here.

What Does Tributary Provide

Included with Rafting

  • PFD (Personal floatation device / aka life jacket)
  • Paddle
  • Helmet
  • Professional raft guide for each raft

Included with this Overnight River Rafting Trip

  • 2 nights camping
  • 5 meals
    • Day 1 – breakfast, lunch & dinner
    • Day 2 – breakfast & lunch

Included on Night Two

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Cot
  • Dry Bag for your gear

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