Whitewater raft the South Fork of the American River in the heart of the California Gold Country. This Whitewater Rafting day tour takes you into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains for an exhilarating day on the water! Descend 15 miles down the American River, navigating Class III rapids such as the Meat Grinder, Triple Threat and Troublemaker, and float past the the historic gold discovery site of Sutter's Mill! All rafting gear, training, and professional guide are provided! Halfway through your journey, stop for a delicious picnic lunch by the riverside. After an exciting day of whitewater rafting, dry off and head back to the city by the bay.
Start the day and head straight east across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which offers 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 in tour price). Famous for its rich volcanic soil, the Central Valley is a booming agricultural region known for almonds, grapes, tomatoes, peaches and strawberries. Then continue our journey up through the cattle and horse ranching foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains to the American River.
Enjoy a short pre-trip briefing by your trip-leader, which will cover what to bring and what not to bring on the raft. You can ask lots of questions as well so you get a better understanding of what to expect on your rafting trip. With a life jacket, helmet and paddle, and your guides will make sure your gear is a proper fit. Then listen to a detailed safety talk and show you how to sit in the raft and how to 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 and 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. Soon, get very 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.
All our card payments are protected by thawte to give you peace of mind.
Pick-up from Select San Francisco Hotels
Drive to the American River (3 hrs)
Admire the San Francisco skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Alcatraz Island and the East Bay as you make your way across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Have breakfast at your own expense in Central Valley before continuing towards the Sierra Nevada mountains and the American River.
Safety Briefing & Instructions (1 hr)
Prepare for your activity as your trip leader briefs you about the do's and don'ts about white water rafting such as what to bring, what to expect, how to properly wear your provided safety gear, how to sit in the raft and how to paddle.
Class III White Water Rafting (2 hrs)
Go on a thrilling 8-mile white water rafting adventure at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Navigate through Class III rapids of the Meat Grinder, Triple Threat and Troublemaker along with a professional river guide.
Lunch & Free Time (1 hr)
White Water Rafting in the Gorge Section (2 hrs)
Enjoy another exciting white water rafting adventure through the Gorge Section of the South Fork. Maneuver through big rapids such as Fowlers Rock, Triple Threat, Satan’s Cesspool and Hospital Bar with a professional river guide.
Drive to San Francisco (2 hrs)
Drop-off at Select San Francisco Hotels
Price & Options
Please note that age restrictions may increase up to 12 years during extremely high flow where rapids are more vigorous. The activity provider will notify guests as soon as possible if restrictions go into effect.
Guests who are pregnant are not permitted to participate in this activity.
Guests with neck, back or joint problems are not permitted to participate in this activity.
This activity is not wheelchair accessible.
Children 8 years old and above can participate in this activity.
Guests must be at least 80 lbs (36 kg) to participate in this activity.
Water shoes / sports sandals
Clothing that can get wet
Wear swimsuit under clothing
Change of clothes
Sweatshirt / light jacket
Motion sickness preventative
Participants are required to sign a liability waiver at the time of check-in.
The activity schedule is subject to change or cancellation due to weather or traffic conditions.
The activity provider does not assume any responsibility for your valuables and/or personal belongings.
The tour guide has full discretion to refuse service to customers based on attire, behavior, physical fitness and condition.
Gratuity is not included in the price.
You can book a maximum of 13.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any cancellations made between 4 business days (06:00:00 local time) to 3 business days (06:00:00 local time) prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 20% of the total amount.
Any cancellations made between 3 business days (06:00:00 local time) to 1 business days (06:00:00 local time) prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 50% of the total amount.
Any cancellations made within 1 business days of your activity (after 06:00:00 local time) will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount.
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