River Tubing on the American River

Float down on a River Tube and Spend the Day in the Sun

Floating down the American River in a river tube is a great way to cool off on a hot summer day! Go with the flow of the water and ride your tube down the American River while taking in the beautiful scenery of tall oaks, pines, buckeyes and scenic river boulders. The stretch of river just below Troublemaker Rapid at the Resort is perfect for tubing in the months of May through September. Put your lifejacket on and slide your tube in the river at the Resort right below the Troublemaker Rapid and float the current all the way to James Marshall Park or to Henningsen Park in Lotus.

Tubing Safety: Tubers must always wear a life jacket and good footwear. Flip flops are not an appropriate shoe to wear while enjoying any river activity because they do not have a good tread on the sole, will not protect your feet, and often fall off, becoming river pollution. Never try to stand up in moving water! Your foot can get caught between rocks and cause a foot entrapment. If your foot gets caught between rocks, the pressure of moving water will push your body under water. People cannot breathe underwater!

River Tubing from American River Resort to James Marshall Park or Henningsen Lotus Park

This is a nice, relaxing, and sometimes exciting 1-mile to 2.5-mile section of river for a river tube float with some Class II rapids. You can walk back to the Resort and do it again without a shuttle. This section of river starts off in a straight path and just before Coloma the river makes a long oxbow, so the walk back is much shorter than the float. On the longer float, you have the option to walk back, stage a vehicle at the park or jump on the Coloma Shuttle, which at times offers a shuttle service between the Resort and Lotus Park. This run has increased in popularity over the years with tubers because of its easy access, and the float itself is great! You can get out at the bridge or continue to Lotus Park for a longer walk.

From the Resort to James Marshall Park the float is just around a mile, which at normal summer flows will take between an hour to an hour and half. You can then walk the 15 minutes back to the Resort with your tubes and do it again! This is where gold was discovered in 1848, so you should also spend time at James Marshall Gold Discovery Park doing a self-guided walking tour of the Gold Rush History.

The river tube float trip from the Resort to Henningsen Lotus Park is roughly 2.5 miles and takes anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, depending on the flow and river traffic. This is the most popular river tube float on this section of the American River. Once at Lotus Park, you can walk the 1.8 miles back to the Resort which takes around 30 to 40 minutes or you can even stage a vehicle at the Park and drive back. Check in with Coloma Shuttle for their daily shuttle schedules.

Floating in the water of the American River through historic James Marshall Gold Discovery State Park and the town of Coloma is a wonderful way to relax, relieve stress, and be outside with your friends. If you prefer to recreate at a lake, then head up to the many mountain lakes in the Sierras or drive down to Folsom Lake. Grab your paddle board or kayak and head up to Ice House Lake or Union Valley Reservoir for stunning mountain views and crystal clear lakes!

Safety First at American River Resort

The powerful and swift American River has many moods. If at times it can seem serene, it also has its forceful raging side. Whatever it’s mood, the river can be dangerous to those who forget to respect the water and keep a cautious head, watching out for themselves and others.

Water Levels

Guests at American River Resort should be aware that water levels change significantly and quickly at various times of the day without warning. Water levels controlled at Chili Bar Dam are kept low during nighttime and morning hours, then allowed to rise for optimal recreation use. Please, always be aware of potential rising water levels. You can get a good idea of water level patterns by seeing the release schedules and graphs provided by Dreamflows.

The “Swimming Hole”

In Spring 2012, we cleared brush and trimmed trees along the river edge to widen the river access area for our guests. This “swimming hole” is the safest place for wading and playing in the shallows of the river. Wading or swimming out into the river from here or at any point along the shore is not recommended.

Rugged Shoreline

Natural rock formations are part of the river’s awesome natural beauty. Take care as you and your children climb on them. Rocks near the water are wet and can be slippery. We encourage you to enjoy the rocky shoreline. It provides many great spots for sitting and enjoying the river, having a picnic or watching whitewater rafting action.

Be Responsible! Have Fun!

Caution in using the river for enjoyment, recreation or sport is your responsibility. We know you love the outdoors and are already aware of the risks and how to be careful. Bring the family and ENJOY THE WILD!