Tom Sawyer Float Trips Through Coloma

Beginner Class I - II

River & Trip Options
Gentle and relaxing float trips. 2018 Season: June through October. more

Difficulty & Scenery
  • Easy Beginner Class I-II
  • Gentle rapids & calm pools
  • Open, foothill canyon

Who Should Go
  • Families with small children 
  • Usual min. age: 5

Trips Include
  • Pro guide & instruction
  • Equipment & shuttle
  • Inflatable kayaks
  • Fun games for kids
  • Picnic lunch


The Lower Middle Fork American

Select a Tom Sawyer Float Trip Option

1-Day Trips - $144


THE RAPIDS: Smooth and easy Class I-II rapids make for a fun and relaxing day

Tom Sawyer Float Trips do exactly that...they float an easy 5 mile section of the South Fork American River through the Coloma Valley. This section of the South Fork American River is the perfect float trip for families with small children. The river is gentle and forgiving, with just enough excitement to delight a young child and hold an adult's interest. Most of the time, the whitewater is more "riffle" than "rapid," allowing lots of time for reverie.

USUAL MINIMUM AGE: 5 years of age


As the South Fork traverses the Coloma Valley, it passes between high rolling hills and gentle meadows that were homesteaded in the early 1800s. The river meanders slowly by oak tree groves; alder and cottonwood trees grow right out of the riverbed. In late summer, wild blackberry bushes dot the riverside, offering a delicious time-out for paddlers. The valley is not densely populated, but remains home to local people who reside in this quiet community. As we float down the river, homes are usually buffered from our view by thick river foliage.

THE RIVER LOCATION: 50 minutes east of Sacramento, 20 minutes north of the town of Placerville, 1 ½ hours west of South Lake Tahoe

Because the South Fork is so close to many metropolitan areas, it's easy to go on a rafting trip yet still arrive back home with plenty of time to relax. You'll begin rafting and kayaking early afternoon, have lunch, then raft and kayak some more before ending between 3 pm - 4 pm.

TYPICAL RAFTING SEASON: Sun-Fri, June - October*

The South Fork American is a dam-controlled river. Because the river's flows are regulated, its levels are dependable and extremely consistent. Tom Sawyer Float Trips are offered during warm weather months, typically June through October. In high water years the beginning of the season may be delayed until the river flows drop to normal levels.

* Season length, river flows, and days of water releases may vary. For this year's flow predictions and real-time water levels go to the River Flows page.

MEALS: Freshly prepared feasts

On Tom Sawyer trips we stop at the All-Outdoors River Center to enjoy a family-style picnic lunch. A healthy variety of sandwiches, fruit, chips, drinks, and desserts will energize trip members for more miles of fun and exploration!

If you have special dietary requirements, we encourage you to tell us at the time of your reservation. We will do our very best to accommodate your needs.

GUEST INVOLVEMENT: How You Participate in Getting Down the River

All-Outdoors uses oar-paddle assist rafts on this trip. With this type of raft you can sit and enjoy yourself while the guide does all the work with their oars, or you can choose to assist them with your paddle. During the trip you can also have the option of paddling in one- or two-person inflatable kayaks. Guides will provide kayak instruction and close supervision while you guide your kayak downstream. All guests who would like to kayak should be able to swim.

THE NEXT STEP: Explore Trip Options or Begin the Booking Process

To learn more about our South Fork Tom Sawyer rafting trips, explore our 1-Day trip options. If you want to start booking your trip now, you can call our office at (800) 24-RAFTS during business hours or check for available space online.