Experience the thrill of whitewater rafting on an 15-mile stretch of the American River in the heart of California's historic gold country. No whitewater experience is necessary! After, enjoy a riverside picnic lunch.
What to Expect
The day begins with a pick-up from your lodging between 6:00 and 7:00. Head east across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and enjoy the great views of the San Francisco skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and the East Bay.
Stop for a quick snack/breakfast in the Central Valley (not included). Famous for its rich volcanic soil, the Central Valley is a booming agricultural region known for almonds, grapes, tomatoes, peaches and strawberries. Then, continue your journey through the cattle and horse ranching foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the American River.
Hear a short pre-trip briefing by your trip-leader, which will cover what to bring and what not to bring on the raft. Get all your questions answered and gain a better understanding of what to expect on your rafting trip. Then, let your guide kit you out with a lifejacket, helmet and paddle, making sure your gear is a proper fit. Then, listen to a detailed safety talk and learn how to sit in the raft and paddle.
This South Fork rafting trip starts off with a slower pace consisting of mostly Class 1 and 2 rapids, great for warming up before getting into the bigger Class 3 whitewater. So sit back on the boat, enjoy and soak up the sun. After about an hour and half of mellow rafting and enjoying the scenery, it’s time to get fueled up with a hearty lunch. This yummy lunch includes several choices of meats, cheeses, vegetables, PB&J, finger food, condiments and cookies; you will definitely not go hungry.
After lunch, it’s time to get back on the river! Sit up and lock your feet in as you enter the Gorge Section on the South Fork with all the big rapids. Get ready to get wet, paddling as well as laughing your way down rapids like Fowlers Rock, Triple Threat, Satan’s Cesspool, Hospital Bar. The few hours of rafting after lunch go by fast as you paddle from one exciting rapid to another. After all the enjoyment of whitewater rafting your trip will culminate with your rafts entry onto Folsom Lake. The last few miles of flat water are made effortless, as the raft is towed out by a Honda Jet Ski!
Back on land, dry off and hop back into the vehicle to head back to the city. The tour ends with a hotel drop off between 20:00 and 20:30.
- Pick-up and drop-off from most San Francisco hotels
- All safety equipment and gear
- Riverside picnic lunch
- Transport by biofueled van
- Fuel surcharge
What's Not Included
- Breakfast (available for purchase)
- Gratuities (optional)
Know Before You Go
No prior whitewater experience is necessary, but participants are required weigh at least 80 pounds and be at least 8 years of age (younger, lighter children will be permitted to join the tour with parental consent).
In April and May, the water is cold and the flow rate is higher. Although the weather is warm, wetsuits and booties are provided. From June through September, the weather is hot and the water is refreshing, so wetsuits are not necessary.