2 Day Raft and Camp Wilderness Trip

Dates:
Prices Starting At

$389 Adults (all ages 14+)

TRIP OVERVIEW

Meet Raft California in the heart of Gold Country for a 2 day / 2 night rafting & camping vacation on the Middle Fork American River. The Class 4 action starts early on the first day of rafting as you will encounter the biggest and longest Class 4+ “Tunnel Chute”. We stop to scout this iconic rapid which was created during the California Gold Rush by miners who blasted thru the river rock in the search for gold. The Tunnel creates a unique experience to guests to raft thru a tunnel (only one of 6 in the world!).

There is no road access between the put in (Oxbow Reservoir) and the take out (Ruck-A-Chucky Campground) so the really great thing about this trip is the beauty and solitude of the canyon – no cars, no traffic, no wi-fi … and no worries! We’ll be rowing all your gear down the river and you’ll get that all-to-rare chance to escape from everyday life. We will take the extra time we have on this 18 mile section of river to explore side creeks to waterfalls and natural wonders. This is a true wilderness adventure!

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Most popular California River for first-time rafters as well as experienced paddlers, families with kids, groups of friends, and company team building outings
  • Two days rafting (covering 18 miles)
  • Wilderness Camping, camp under the stars!
  • Experienced guides: skilled and ready to provide a safe and fun outdoor adventure
  • Two days of excitement, fun and relaxation in a beautiful river canyon

River Map

Trip Itinerary

Once you arrive as our guest please know you are now what we consider “River Time”. This means we try and stick to a schedule, but times are merely a guideline and may not be exact once we start our adventure. Times below may vary, but not much!

The night before your rafting adventure begins.

4:00-8:00PM Check-in

Arrive the evening before the rafting begins at our private South Fork American River Campground. There are several restaurants if you are passing thru Auburn or Placerville, as well as a few tasty local places within 2 miles of camp. Dinner is not included for this first evening. We suggest renting one of our Canvas Tents, the first day of rafting is an early one and if you set up your own tent, you will need to break that down by 7am.

Day 1 of your river rafting trip.

In the morning you awake to the sound of the river and the nature around you. There are coffee, teas, and beverages are available in the kitchen shortly after sunrise followed by a continental breakfast. We board our vans and head to the river about an hour drive thru Foresthill. At the river launching site, your guides will present orientation and safety information and you will receive your river gear including a paddle, a helmet and a life jacket. Your guides will hand out dry bags for your overnight gear for camping tonight as it will be in a different location

We will launch our boats, practice paddling skills with our guides, and head for the excitement and fun of the Tunnel Chute and Kanaka Falls!
  • 7:00AM Breakfast, coffee, tea and drinks are available in the kitchen
  • 8:00AM Load shuttle to the Oxbow Reservoir put in for the Middle Fork American River
  • Safety talk @ put in
  • Rafting lots of Class 4 rapids
  • Once we are on the river there are several side hikes we can go on as well as enjoy our riverside lunch. Once we are thru the Class 4 action the river mellows out and we can sit back to to enjoy the splendor of the Middle Fork American River Canyon. Side hikes could include to Darnell’s Waterfall/canyon, it’s an amazing and unique place
  • We will pull into camp early evening, usually around 4:00PM. Upon arrival at our wilderness camp there is time to enjoy the peace of the remote canyon, fishing, more exploration and fun. Your guides will prepare appetizers and a moderate amount of beer and wine is provided followed by a delicious dinner.
  • There is plenty of time for exploring, swimming, fishing, or just kicking’ it by the river!
  • You will also see the river flows drop in the afternoon, this is because this is a dam controlled river with the “power switch” literally turned on every morning and off shortly after.
  • We will include a campfire if permitted by State Parks.
  • Evening Campfire and riverside chats (campfire not guaranteed due to possible high fire danger)

Day 2 of your camping and rafting vacation. 

The morning is leisurely as we wait for the river flows to rise.

  • Just as the sun starts to brighten the sky your guides will have coffee, tea and drinks for you as you enjoy the amazing morning in the canyon! Breakfast is served shortly after and the guides will start to pack up the kitchen area.
  • After breakfast you will pack up your personal gear to load back onto the gear boat(s). We get all the gear loaded & do a sweep of camp to make sure we didn’t miss any trash or personal items and we get back on the river!
  • There are a few miles of the calmer Class 2 rapids and some additional places to explore.
  • Noonish we stop for lunch and shortly after getting back on the river we get back into the Class 4 action!
  • Once we come thru Chunder Rapid (Class 4 usually with photographers to capture the action) we will pull over for the gear boat to unrig or it will get taken off river.
  • The next rapid on the river is the Class 6 waterfall called Ruck-A-Chucky. This is a mandatory portage (walk around) for our guests, sorry guides/staff only and you will get to watch from the looking perch while your trusty guide maneuvers the boat down a 28 foot waterfall and around a handful of rocks and undercurrents.
  • Back on the boat there are many more Class 4 rapids, including Cleavage a popular surfing spot as well.
  • We usually arrive at the take out at the bottom of Drivers Flat Road by 3:30 where we load the gear into the shuttles and head back to our campground on the South Fork American River
  • Fond farewells as you head home or to your next destination … OR maybe you would like to stay another night!

Traveling to the

Where to Meet

Tributary Outpost & Private Campground on the American River

6500 CA-49
Lotus, CA 95651

Where To Stay

Camping

  • 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

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Tent
  • Pillow
  • Flashlight/Headlamp
  • Change of clothes
  • Towel
  • Camp chair

 

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

 

For camping Night #1

This night is at our established campground on the South Fork American River

 

For camping Night #2

This night is on the Middle Fork American river at a primitive Campground

  • Tent & sleeping pad (Tributary will also provide)
  • Duffel with personal gear that can easily be packed into our large Dry Bag

What Does Tributary Provide

Included with Rafting

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

Included with this Overnight River Rafting Trip

  • 2 nights camping
  • Dry Bag for your gear
  • 5 meals
    • Day 1 – breakfast, lunch & dinner
    • Day 2 – breakfast & lunch