Whitewater Action

You think theme park river rides are fun?
We’ve got the real thing!

Yes, you will get wet!

The South Fork American River is one of the most popular whitewater destinations in the United States. The 21-mile run from Chili Bar past American River Resort and on to Salmon Falls includes 20 named rapids and many waves in between. Depending on water conditions, rapids range in difficulty from Class I to Class III+.

In the upper gorge from Chili Bar to Troublemaker, the river descends an exciting 30 feet per mile, slows to 9 feet per mile through Coloma Valley, then 33 feet per mile through the lower gorge.

Hover Cam Over Troublemaker Rapid

Troublemaker Rapid runs right through American River Resort. In this video, our guests enjoy Troublemaker action from the rocky river bank.

A Thrilling Real-Life Whitewater Adventure

During your stay at American River Resort, we recommend taking your family or group on a guided river adventure they’ll never forget!

The American River is ideal for first-time rafters who take on its challenges with a trained river guide. Even youngsters and seniors can have a safe, exciting river-run experience. You can choose from several trip options ranging from 1/2-day to 3 days and also lower to higher challenge levels. There are even trips suitable for non-swimmers and kids as young as 6.

Professional Whitewater Outfitters

American River Resort is the home of American Whitewater Expeditions and American River Recreation, the leading whitewater outfitters in the Coloma Valley. We offer whitewater trips complete with raft and gear rental plus trained river runners who sit at the back to steer and shout rowing orders to the “crew.” We encourage you to contact us for more information and to book your river run. Camping and running the river with us is convenient and easy. You don’t have to drive anywhere!

Whitewater Action
Whitewater Action

Unless You’re a Pro, It’s More Fun With a Guide

If you’re not experienced, booking with a professional outfitter is the best choice over attempting to run the river with your own equipment and know-how. It’s not only the least troublesome choice—the company handles all the gear and details at both ends of the run—guides know the river intimately, know how to read its quirks and moods. They can take rafters through the most exciting parts of the rapids, knowing which angle of approach is best and safest.

This video shows a thrilling guided run on The American River’s Middle Fork.