American River Rafting Trips

A side-by-side comparison of California's two most popular rivers, the South Fork & Middle Fork American

The South Fork American & Middle Fork American rivers are the two most popular destinations for white water rafting in California. Their close proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento and Lake Tahoe areas provide quick day trips and overnight escapes for adventurous participants of all ages and experience levels.

South Fork American River

South Fork American River Rafting


The South Fork of the American River has something for everyone! It is the most popular introductory whitewater rafting river in the Western United States, yet it is also thrilling enough to satisfy experienced rafters. This classic river offers diverse scenery in the beautiful Sierra foothills; narrow rocky gorges, peaceful stretches of calm water, and over 50 Class II & III rapids!

The river is divided into two sections: the Upper (Chili Bar Run) and the Lower (Gorge Run), providing All-Outdoors guests with an exclusive variety of trip options. Whatever experience you desire, there is an All-Outdoors South Fork trip for you!

More About the South Fork

Location

40 miles east of Sacramento near Placerville off Hwy 49.

Level of Difficulty

Beginner - Intermediate / Class III+

Trips Options

Express, 1-Day and 2-Day Trips

Usual Minimum Age

8 years old

Complete South Fork Details


I had a blast rafting with friends and family on the South Fork! Our guide was incredible, kind, funny and very knowledgeable. My best friend was apprehensive about rafting at first and later told me it was the most fun he’s had in a really long time! Two others that went with us booked another trip that same day to run the lower half of the South Fork because they had so much fun. I highly recommend this company and getting yourself outdoors to enjoy the splendor of this beautiful river!
- Laiana


Top 5 Rapids on the South Fork American


The South Fork is easy to get to, has a long season, and a whole lot of fun whitewater which actually makes choosing the 5 best rapids difficult! Listen and watch the countdown of the top 5 drops on this iconic river.

   View Time: 2.5 mins

Middle Fork American River

Middle Fork American River Rafting


The Middle Fork of the American River is perfect for the experienced rafter or for the more adventurous first timer! Participants should be reasonably athletic, in good physical condition, and are required to know how to swim. It is a true wilderness river...dazzling, clear water flowing through a backdrop of green, densely forested canyon walls, rising 2000' overhead.

Side streams form natural pools and waterfalls to play in and enjoy on multi-day trips. Spectacular scenery combines with numerous Class III and Class IV rapids in this secluded canyon to create a California river experience that is hard to match.

More About the Middle Fork

Location

50 miles east of Sacramento off I-80 near Auburn.

Level of Difficulty

Intermediate / Class III-IV

Trips Options

1-Day, 2-Day and 3-Day Trips

Usual Minimum Age

12 years old

Complete Middle Fork Details


This was about my 9th trip on the Middle Fork but my first 2-day trip. It's a great mix of big rapids and a long stretch of tranquility with time to enjoy the river. On the two-day trips, they offer a chance to share an inflatable kayak with another rafter. The 2-day trips also allow time for hikes, swims, and a cliff jump if you wish. I also love spending a night under the stars with the sounds from the moving river. The dinner and breakfast served on the 2-day trip were exceptional.
- Sam


Top 5 Rapids on the Middle Fork American


One of the best wilderness rafting rivers in California, the Middle Fork of the American features world-famous Class 3 and 4 rapids inside a 2000-foot deep canyon.

   View Time: 2.5 mins

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If you need help deciding which American River Rafting trip is most appropriate for you or your group, don't hesitate to contact us at (800) 247-2387.

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