River Rafting on the American River
Rafting Adventures Departing Daily – Offering Mild to Wild River Whitewater Rafting Trips for Ages 6 to 106!
During your stay at American River Resort, we highly recommend taking your family or group river rafting because it’s an adventure they’ll never forget!
The American River is ideal for first-time rafters looking for a safe, fun, and relaxing experience as well as those looking for a high adventure river rafting experience. We offer beginner, intermediate, and high adventure trips that range in time from a few hours to multi-day trips, all departing daily from the American River Resort. Rafting experiences on the American River are primarily spread out over two forks of the American River.
The South Fork of the American is where the Resort is located and provides Class 2 and 3 rafting experiences and these are ideal for first-time rafters, families as well as large groups. The South Fork offers fun rapids with lots of time to relax and play in the water. We have half-day and full-day trips on the South Fork with daily morning and afternoon departures.
The Middle Fork is an intermediate experience suitable for adventurous first-timers as well as seasoned rafters. The Middle Fork trip has you rafting down world-class rapids in a gorgeous wilderness setting. Trips depart for the Middle Fork at 7:30 AM and these trips are full-day experiences so you will be returning to the Resort around 4 pm.
Professional Rafting Outfitters
American River Resort is the home of American Whitewater Expeditions and American River Recreation, the two leading whitewater outfitters in the Coloma Valley. They offer whitewater trips complete with raft and gear rental plus professional river guides who sit at the back to steer and shout rowing orders to the “crew.” We encourage you to contact us for more detailed information and you can book your river rafting trip directly with us at the same time you book camping. Camping and rafting the American River with us is convenient and easy. You don’t have to drive anywhere and parking is free!
Book a river adventure plus camping, RVing, or cabin lodging by making one easy reservation! Give us a call at 530-622-6700 or Book Online below.
Half-Day 8:30 AM Chili Bar Trip – 6 Miles
Our 6-mile Chili Bar trip is the perfect action-packed experience for those with limited time or those wanting a short but thrilling ride down the river.
Half-Day 12:00 PM Gorge Express Trip – 15 miles
Our 15-mile afternoon Gorge Express is one of our most popular trips!
Day Trip 8:30 AM Whole River Trip with Lunch – 21 miles
Experience the entire South Fork American River from Chili Bar Dam to Folsom Lake!
Day Trip 10:00 AM Lower Gorge Trip with Lunch – 15 miles
The Lower Gorge rafting trip is a perfect day filled with fun, thrills, and relaxation.
Day Trip 7:00 AM Middle Fork Trip with Lunch – 18 miles
The Middle Fork is a world-class rafting day trip in a gorgeous wilderness setting filled with evidence of Gold Rush history. As a matter of fact, Tunnel Chute rapid was formed by miners diverting the river so they could mine the riverbed for gold.
Two Day South Fork Trip with Meals – 21 miles
A perfect two-day trip with a mix of whitewater thrills and river relaxation.
Two Day South/Middle Fork Trip with Meals – 33 miles
Start your rafting adventure by spending a day warming up on the South Fork and then step it up on your second day on the Middle Fork with its world-renowned rapids!
The Three Forks of the American River
The South Fork begins in the El Dorado National Forest south of Lake Tahoe and runs 90 miles before joining the North and Middle Forks at Folsom Lake. The South Fork has mostly private property along its banks. American River Resort is private. The river flows past it in a wide bend.
In 1848, the South Fork of the American River captured the world’s attention when gold was discovered in its stream bed just downstream from American River Resort at Sutter’s Mill. This discovery sparked the California Gold Rush of 1849, the largest human migration since the Crusades. Eventually, miners used powerful hydraulic pumps to move layers of rocks and silt along the river, creeks, and streams adjoining the American River. Today you can still find huge trenches and mounds of rocks created by miners 150 years ago.
The American River is known for its scenic vistas, verdant canyons, forested ridges, massive rock formations, trails, backcountry adventuring, fishing, and white water rafting. The efforts of government agencies and public and private organizations combine to protect the American River, preserve its water quality, natural habitats, and recreational lands.