California Whitewater Rafting Trips near San Francisco and Lake Tahoe
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North Fork American River 1-Day Whitewater Rafting Trip

north fork american river whitewater rafting

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Departures: Daily  8:00am-4:00pm (Time varies depending on day of week – Check your invoice), April through June. Length of season depends on snow pack & how fast the snow melts.

Trip Difficulty: Intermediate-Advanced Class IV-IV+

Who Should Go: Novice & experienced, Ages 14-97

Type of Raft: Paddle boat, 6 paddlers plus a professional guide

Price Range:

    Adult $169 | Youth $154
    Adult $139 | Youth $124
  • plus 8% River Use Fee
  • Group rates are available
    • Every 6th person 1/2 free
    • Every 12th person free
  • Wetsuits & booties (required) are free

Not Included: 8% River Use Fee, gratuities


NOTE: We are excited about the predicted El Nino giving Northern California enough snow and precipitation to be able to welcome back this absolutely beautiful and challenging river trip for the 2016 white water rafting season.  It has been three years since we have been able to raft the North Fork because of the lack of sufficient snow.

An hour north of Sacramento, on your way to Reno, the Class IV North Fork of the American River has some of the best technical whitewater rafting in California.

This 1 Day North Fork American River Rafting Trip is perfect for those of you looking for a one-day trip on a Class IV-V  river.

If you are looking to extend your adventure after the North Fork American River Rafting Trip please consider camping with us an extra night, either before or after your trip. If we already have a dinner or breakfast on the schedule you are welcome to join us. The additional camping and meals are for a small add-on price.

Download: North Fork 1-day trip Rafting Trip DIRECTIONS and PACKING LIST.

  • Trip Includes

    • LENGTH OF RIVER: 10 miles of river, Iowa Hill Bridge to Ponderosa Bridge, fun, safe whitewater rafting
    • TIME ON RIVER: 2-4 hours, depending on river flow, with time for lunch on the river
    • MEALS: Lunch
    • GUIDES, EQUIPMENT, AMENITIES: Professional, highly experienced, fun guides, instruction, river equipment & shuttles to/from Auburn
    • Wet suit & booties (which are required on all North Fork trips), plus a spray jacket — a savings of $20
    • Day 1

      8:00 AM: Meet, greet, and sign in with your river guides in the town of Auburn. NOTE: Meet Time can vary. CHECK YOUR INVOICE.

      8:30 AM: We board our river vehicles for the 45 minute drive to our Put-In at Iowa Hill Bridge.

      9:30 AM: We will launch our boats and begin our river trip.

      NOON: We’ll enjoy a hearty picnic lunch on the bank of the river.

      AFTERNOON: After rafting about 3 hours we will arrive at the take-out, board the Mariah vehicles, and depart for Auburn where your cars are, a 45-minute drive. The entire trip takes about 6 hours, from the time we meet you behind Raley’s Supermarket in Auburn until we return you to your cars at the end of the trip.

      MEET TIME: Our Meeting Time for the 1 Day North Fork American River Rafting Trip varies from day to day; it depends on when our designated “start time” is, and that varies daily, though you will be told when you register for the trip what time we meet you, and your start time will be on your invoice.

      You will leave your cars at the meeting place in Auburn, board our shuttle vehicles, and depart for the Iowa Hill Put-In, a 45-minute drive through a beautiful, and isolated section of the canyon.

      PUT-IN, IOWA HILL BRIDGE: At the Put-In, Iowa Hill Bridge, you will receive a thorough, 30-minute presentation given by your Head Guide. He/she will go over the safety features of the trip, and demonstrate paddle techniques. You will be introduced to your guides, get your wetsuits and helmets, and launch your boats into an short, easy stretch of river, giving you a chance to warm up and practice your paddling.

      The first 5 miles are non-stop Class IV-V rapids. Slaughter’s Sluice, Chamberlain Falls, Tongue and Groove, Bogus Thunder, and Staircase just a few of the names of the class IV-V rapids you will describe to you and teach you how to safely run them.

      About noon, you will be very hungry, so we will beach the boats and enjoy a hearty lunch. Lunch includes a variety of deli meats, cheeses, breads, condiments, vegetables, fruit, chips, cookies, lemonade, ice tea, and water.

      TAKE-OUT: will be about 6 hours after we pick you up in Auburn. You will board the Mariah vehicles and we will drive you back to where your car is in Auburn. About two days after you return home you can go online to where you will be able to view and purchase a photo of yourself rafting through one of the rapids.


    • Our Campground

      We have a beautiful campground, large and spacious.There are lots of trees which means that there are many sites that can accommodates groups of all sizes. Very unique to Mariah are our Tent Cabins which are all built on platforms and most include deluxe cots, foam pads and deck chairs. Each houses between 2-5 persons.
    • View River Rapids Map

    The Evening Before Your Trip!
    Camping at the Mariah’s South Fork of the American River Campground this night is not included in the price of your trip. However, we invite you to join us for a small additional fee. If you camp with us the night prior to your trip, we request that you come anytime after 5:00pm. Our Camp Host will greet you, give you any rentals you have reserved, and show you where you may camp. There are several nice restaurants nearby where you may enjoy a lovely dinner. Our Camp Host will be on duty from 5:00pm – 9:00pm; however, you may come after 9:00pm, just have your flashlight handy. A lantern will be lit next to our large campground map so you can see where you are. Also, if you have not arrived by the time the host goes off duty, they will write you a welcome note which will be posted on the big white board next to the big camp map. The note to you will give you appropriate instructions regarding camping and any rentals you have.