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Yosemite Whitewater Rafting

A comparison of three California rivers closest to Yosemite National Park

Merced River

South Fork American River Rafting


35 miles west of Yosemite Valley off Hwy 140

Level of Difficulty

Intermediate Class III-IV

Trip Options

1-Day Trips (April - July)

Usual Minimum Age

12 years old

More About the Merced

The Merced River flows through the Park in cascading waterfalls before gathering strength to create memorable roller-coaster-like Class III-IV rapids downstream.

Complete Merced River Rafting Details

Tuolumne River

Tuolumne River Rafting


40 miles west of Yosemite Valley off Hwy 120

Level of Difficulty

Intermediate - Advanced Class IV+

Trip Options

1-Day, 2-Day and 3-Day Trips (April - September)

Usual Minimum Age

Summer: 13 years old, Spring: 15 years old

More about the Tuolumne

The Tuolumne River showcases what's best about rafting near Yosemite Valley: a beautiful Sierra Foothill canyon and challenging Class IV+ whitewater.

Complete Tuolumne River Rafting Details

Cherry Creek

Cherry Creek Riover Rafting in California


40 miles west of Yosemite Valley off Hwy 120

Level of Difficulty

Advanced Class V

Trip Options

1-Day Trips, Multiday Combos (July - September)

Usual Minimum Age

17 years old

More about Cherry Creek

Class V rafting right outside Yosemite National Park - many say that no other commercial river trip in the United States is more challenging than Cherry Creek.

Complete Cherry Creek Rafting Details

Also see:

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

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Rafting FAQ's

Get all the answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQ's) regarding minimum age, how to choose a river, what to wear, trips costs and more...

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