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

North & South Fork American River Rafting Trip

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Departures: Departures: Saturday, Monday, Thursday. April through June, 9:00am-3:00pm (Length of season depends on snowpack & snow melt).

Trip Difficulty: Intermediate-Advanced Class III-IV

Who Should Go: Novice in good physical condition & experienced, Ages 14-97

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

Price Range:

  • Saturday: Adult $329 Youth $314
  • Monday or Thursday: Adult $299 Youth $284
  • plus 8% River Use Fee

Not Included: 8% River Use Fee, gratuities, wetsuits if needed

Available to Rent: Wetsuits if needed, Tents, sleeping bags & pads


This 2 Day North and South Fork American River Rafting Trip is perfect for those of you looking for two days on two different rivers, the beginner-intermediate Class II-III South Fork American River and the advanced Class IV North Fork American River.  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. The South Fork is 2.5 hours from San Francisco.

If you are looking to extend your adventure after the 2 Day North and South 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.

  • Trip Includes

    • 21 miles of river
    • 2 days of whitewater rafting
    • 4 meals (LD/BL)
    • 1 night of camping (night during)
    • Raft 2 rivers: North Fork (10 miles), South Fork (11 miles)
    • hot water showers, flush toilets, ping pong, volleyball, horseshoes
    • Wine-tasting during hors d’oeuvres
    • Professional fun guides & instruction, river equipment & shuttles
    • Day 1

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

      10:0-10:30 am: Launch your boats and begin 3 miles of Class II rapids.

      12:00-12:30 pm: Picnic lunch on banks of the river.

      1:00 pm: Continue downriver, enter a narrow canyon with more Class III-IV rapids.

      2-3:00 pm: Take out and return to your cars in Auburn. Follow guides back to our South Fork Basecamp where you will enjoy dinner & camping.

      3:30-4:00 pm: Set up camp, shower, relax, play.

      5:15 pm: Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, wine-tasting, camaraderie.

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

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

      (Quiet hours start 10:00pm).

      MEET TIME: Our Meeting Time 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.

      You will leave your cars at the meeting place in Auburn, board our shuttle vehicles, and depart for the Put-In, a 30-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 easy stretch of river, giving you a chance to warm up and practice your paddling.

      The first 5 miles are non-stop Class IV rapids. Slaughter’s Sluice, Chamberlain Falls, Tongue and Groove, Bogus Thunder, and Staircase just a few of the names of the class IV-IV+ rapids you will hear your guides talking about. 

      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. You will be able to purchase a photo of yourself rafting through one of the rapids. 

      Back at camp you may choose to shower, play volleyball, horseshoes, ping-pong; walk our unique Nature Trail, sit by the river, read, relax, socialize with old and new friends or shop in the Mariah camp store for a souvenir t-shirt. Around 5:15 pm, hors d’oeuvres are served and in the Beverage Garden a nice wine-tasting presentation is given by the staff. There is plenty of fruit juice and fresh water available, also. Please feel free to bring your own favorite beverages.

      The dinner bell rings about 6:00 pm. BBQ steak and chicken, hearty salad, potatoes, garlic bread, coffee, tea, juice and water are served by your guides. Following dinner is the evening slide show, dessert, and campfire. Then it’s off to sleep under the stars or in one of the great Mariah tent-cabins available to rent.

    • Day 2

      8:00 am: The breakfast bell rings, calling you to breakfast.

      9:00 am: Promptly at 9AM we board our river vehicles for the 30 minute drive to Chili Bar.

      10:00 am: Launch your boats and begin 5 miles of Class II-III rapids.

      12:00 pm: Conquer Troublemaker Rapid, the biggest of the river! Have your photo taken as you come through the rapid.

      12:30-1:00 pm: Enjoy 5 miles of relaxing Class I-II rapids, & beautiful scenery.

      1:00-1:30 pm: Arrive by river to the Mariah Campground and enjoy a BBQ lunch, & slide show.

      2:30-3:00 pm: Depart for your next destination.

      The day begins at 8:00AM with a delicious breakfast, usually pancakes, sausage, fresh fruit, cereal, juice, fresh coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. However, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are ready by 7:30AM in Mariah’s unique Coffee Corner.

      Promptly at 9:00AM we board our Mariah vehicles for the 30-minute drive to the Chili Bar Put-in, the top section of the river. Chili Bar is named after the Chileans who traveled up from Chili in 1849 to be a part of the Gold Rush of 1849! You already know your guide, and you are already an accomplished paddler, so we launch into the current. The river starts out with exciting rapids so be prepared for a thrill from the beginning. During the first 5.5 miles we will raft through fun and challenging rapids like Meatgrinder, Race Horse Bend, and the Triple Threats.

      At mile 5.5 we enter Troublemaker Rapid, the largest rapid on the South Fork; hold on to your hat!! After this fun rapid we’ll drift and paddle through gorgeous scenery, enjoying the scenic river and calmer rapids.

      At one point, we float past a replica of Sutter’s Mill, the site where that first gold nugget was discovered in 1848 that started the California Gold Rush of 1849.

      Arriving back at Mariah’s campground we enjoy a hearty barbecue lunch. You will have time to shop for souvenir t-shirts in our walk-in store, say goodbye to your guides and exchange email addresses with the other participants.

      You will be ready to depart exhilarated and refreshed for your next destination by 2:30-3:00PM.

    • 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.