California Whitewater Rafting Trips near San Francisco and Lake Tahoe
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2 Day Middle Fork American River Whitewater Rafting Trip

2 Day Middle Fork American River Whitewater Rafting Trip

2 Day Middle Fork American River Whitewater Rafting Trip

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Departures: Saturday, Monday, Thursday. May through September 13, 8:00 am-3:00 pm

Trip Difficulty: Beginner Class II-IV.

Who Should Go: Enthusiastic beginner, intermediate & experienced, Ages 12-97

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


Price Range:

  • Weekend: Adult $339
  • Weekend: Youth $324
  • Weekday: Adult $309
  • Weekday: Youth $294
  • plus 8% River Use Fee

Not Included: 8% River Use Fee, gratuities, wet suits if needed.

Available to Rent: Wet suits if needed, sleeping bag w/liner


Located near Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, and Auburn, the 2 Day Middle Fork American River Whitewater Rafting Trip is a popular adventure for the intermediate level rafter looking for an overnight wilderness camping trip in California. Plus, we bring along a couple of Inflatable Kayaks!Minimum of 6 persons, so get a group of your friends together for this beautiful river adventure.

If you are looking to extend your adventure after enjoying your 2 Day Middle Fork American River Whitewater 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: Middle Fork 2-day Rafting Trip DIRECTIONS and PACKING LIST.

  • Trip Includes

    • 18 miles of river
    • Class II – IV+ whitewater rapids
    • 2 days of whitewater rafting
    • One night of Wilderness camping (the night during)
    • Four meals (LD/BL)
    • Professional fun guides & instruction, river equipment & shuttles
    • 2-pax tent & pads
    • Day 1

      8:00 am: Meet, greet, and sign in with your head guide in Auburn.

      8:30 am: Board Mariah Vehicles for the 45-min. drive down to Oxbow Reservoir Put-In.

      9:30 am: Launch your boats and begin your river journey. Encounter the Tunnel Chute rapid.

      12:00 am: Enjoy a hearty picnic lunch on the river.

      12:30-3:30 am: Enjoy an afternoon of Class II-IV rapids, & beautiful scenery.

      3:30-4:00 am: Arrive at your overnight riverfront campground.

      5:00 am: Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, camaraderie.

      6:00 pm: Dinner, dessert, campfire, more camaraderie.

      Whenever you want: Fall asleep under the stars, in your own tent or in rented tent.

      (Quiet hours start 10:00 pm)

      The day begins at 8:00 am when we meet you in Auburn, sign-in, and pack personal gear into our waterproof dry bags; your guides will give you detailed packing instructions, and even a demonstration. About 9:00 AM we board our river shuttle vehicle for the 45-minute drive to the put-in below Oxbow Reservoir. The drive takes us through the small gold-rush town of Foresthill, through beautiful scenery, and down a steep grade to where the river begins its flow.

      By 9:30AM we should be at our put-in just below Oxbow Reservoir. We gather together for a thorough 30-minute presentation given by your Head Guide to discuss the safety features of the trip and demonstrate paddle techniques. After, you’ll meet your own guides, then launch boats from camp to begin rafting a fun day of rafting. Today we raft about 10 miles of the Middle Fork. We’ll be on the river early, running the Tunnel Chute and lots of other exciting rapids as well as floating and paddling the calmer stretches of the river.

      We stop for a picnic lunch along the way on a large, sandy beach. You will have the opportunity to relax, take a short stroll, and gather energy for the afternoon run.

      After lunch there are several good-sized rapids right away: Thread The Needle (Class III+) and Kanaka (big Class IV) will get your adrenalin pumping. While in the calm stretch of river that leads to our overnight camp you may observe lots of birds, including a possible sighting of a golden eagle, and completely forget about your life in the city.

      Mid-afternoon we arrive at our wilderness campsite. You will feel like you are in the state of Idaho, this area of the canyon is really beautiful. The guides will set up our kitchen while the guests set up their tents (with help from the guides) and get comfortable. There is plenty of time to take a stroll, pull out your binoculars, take photos, read, or just relax. The evening is spent enjoying a delicious dinner and spinning tales around the campfire.

    • Day 2

      8:00 am: Enjoy your breakfast prepared by your river guides.

      9:00 am: Enjoy peaceful time at camp, pack your gear, oar boat takes all overnight gear to the take-out.

      10:00 am: Board rafts and continue downriver enjoying many more rapids and picnic lunch.

      2:30-3:30 pm: Arrive at Take-Out, load boats, drive back to your cars in Auburn.

      The day begins at 8:00AM with a delicious breakfast, including fresh fruit, cereal, juice, fresh coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

      After a leisurely morning, we board our boats and continue downriver.There are many rapids to run, more beautiful scenery to admire. 

      We will have you back at your cars in Auburn about 3:00pm-ish.

    • 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 include deluxe cots, foam pads and deck chairs.Each houses between 2-5 persons with cots, foam pads and deck chairs.
    • 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 PM. Our Camp Hostess 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/ess will be on duty from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM; however, you may come after 9:00 PM, 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/ess 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.