South Fork American River

2-Day South Fork American River Trips

Two days on California’s most popular whitewater river.
Lower “Gorge” section the first day and Upper “Chili Bar” section the second day.

Class II and Class III each day
21 miles
Lunch, dinner, breakfast, lunch

South Fork American
2-Day Trip Pricing

$359 Monday - Thursday
$399 Friday, Saturday, Sunday

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Sample Itinerary

DAY ONE: Lower "Gorge" Section

  • Meet mid-morning to late morning in Lotus
  • Sign-in, instruction
  • Class II warm-up rapids
  • Riverside lunch
  • Class III rapids, the "Gorge"
  • Take-out in Folsom Lake, shuttle
  • Set up camp, shower, relax
  • Dinner, campfire, dessert, revelry!
  • Fall asleep under the stars

Your trip begins with easy Class II rapids, the perfect warm-up for the Class III whitewater that waits downstream. Before we get to the big stuff, we break for a delicious riverside lunch. After lunch, we're back in the rafts, paddling the Class III whitewater of the "Gorge".

Our Class III challenge begins with Fowler's Rock Rapid and culminates with rapids like Hospital Bar and Recovery Room. Any trip through the rapid-filled "Gorge" is an eventful one! Reaching Folsom Lake in the late afternoon, we float to our take-out. At night you’ll relax camping at Camp Lotus along the South Fork of the American River and enjoy a freshly prepared meal.

DAY TWO: Upper "Chili Bar" Section

  • Coffee, lounging
  • Breakfast, break camp
  • Shuttle to put-in, board rafts
  • Class III rapids
  • Riverside lunch
  • Class II rapids, take-out in early to mid-afternoon

Just around the corner from put-in, the Class III whitewater begins with Meatgrinder Rapid. The Class III whitewater keeps coming at a fast pace until we reach our last Class III rapid of the day--Troublemaker. After Troublemaker, we break for lunch in the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park. Having filled our bellies, we raft the final three miles through an easier Class II section to our take-out in Lotus.

The itinerary above may be altered due to a range of variables, including river flow levels, water release schedules, time of year, and other factors. Contact us if you have any questions.


South Fork American River Rafting Map

What a great first rafting experience!!!

"Came to AO on the recommendation of a co-worker and so glad we did! Our guide was Sophie and she was absolutely amazing, entertaining, knowledgeable and demonstrated confidence that she was in control of the situation at all times!! She was great in prepping us for each Class III run so we knew what to expect and how to respond if things went south. This definitely helped alleviate any anxieties we might have had. The food was really good too!! Not what you'd expect for camping! Very impressed with the friendliness of the staff."

Joa-hana from Pasadena, CA

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Deals & Discounts

Start here to find the best possible deal for your next California whitewater rafting adventure. Please note that only one discount can be applied per person and must be mentioned at the time of reservation.

Group Discount

There are a variety of discounts for group rafting trips. All types of groups are welcome!

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Youth Discount

Youth 17 years or younger receive a 10% discount on any trip on any date!

Frequent Floater Program ®

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