California Whitewater Rafting Trips near San Francisco and Lake Tahoe
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Half Day South Fork American River Rafting Trip-Chili Bar

Half Day South Fork American River Rafting Trip-Chili Bar

Half Day South Fork American River Rafting Trip-Chili Bar

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Departures: Daily, May through mid-September

MEET TIME: 8:30am – approximately 1:30

Trip Difficulty: Beginner, Class II-III

Who Should Go: Novice & experienced, Ages 7-97

Type of Raft: Paddle boat, 6-8 paddlers plus a professional guide

Price Range:

    Adult: $119
    Youth: $109
    Adult: $99
    Youth: $89
  • plus 8% River Use Fee
  • Group rates are available.

Not Included: 8% River Use Fee, gratuities, meals

    1/2 Day Chili Bar
    Sunday, September 4: $60.00 (8% River Use Fee included).

     Available to Rent: Wetsuits if needed (usually spring & early summer), tents, sleeping bags & pads (for campers)
  • Overview

    Located between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe in Coloma, California, the Class II-III South Fork of the American River is the most popular river in California.

    The Half Day, morning adventure on the South Fork American River Rafting Trip-Chili Bar is perfect for those of you looking for a short morning rafting trip on the river. Our meet time is 8:30am so you will be ready to depart for your next destination by approximately 12:30-1:00pm.

    If you are looking to extend your adventure after your Half Day South Fork American River Rafting Trip-Chili Bar, please consider camping with us an extra night. If we already have a dinner or breakfast on the schedule you are welcome to join us for an additional fee.

    Download: South Fork Half Day Chili Bar Trip DIRECTIONS and PACKING LIST.

    • Trip Includes

      • LENGTH OF RIVER: 10.5 miles, Chili Bar to Mariah Camp, fun, safe whitewater rafting
      • TIME ON RIVER: 3 hours
      • MEALS:  No meals
      • AMENITIES: Hot water showers, flush toilets, ping pong, volleyball, horseshoes
      • GUIDES & EQUIPMENT: Professional fun guides & instruction, river equipment & river shuttles
      • CAMPING: CAMPING THE NIGHT PRIOR TO YOUR TRIP IS INCLUDED. You may arrive anytime after 5:00pm.
      • Day 1

        8:30 AM: Meet, greet, and sign in with your river guides.

        9:00 AM: We board our river vehicles for the 30 minute drive to the Chili Bar Put-In.

        10:00 AM: Launch our 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.  Then enjoy 5 miles of relaxing Class I-II rapids, & beautiful scenery.

        12:00-1:00 PM: Arrive by river to the Mariah Campground where you can shower and purchase a souvenir t-shirt.  On your way out of town, at the photographers’ studio, view & purchase photos of you and your boat going through rapids.

        1:30 PM: Depart for your next destination.

        Trip Orientation is always very instructional; your head guide takes at least 30 minutes to discuss safety features of the trip and demonstrate paddle techniques. He/she will demonstrate and explain everything you need to know in order to enjoy a safe, as well as fun, experience. You will gain a healthy respect for the river as well as feel secure. You will meet the other rafters on your trip and meet your own guide.

        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, located outside of Placerville. 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 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 1:00-1:30pm.

      • 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 built on platforms and most include deluxe cots, foam pads and deck chairs. Each houses between 2-5 persons.
      • View River Rapids Map

        Chili Bar South Fork River Map

      The Evening Before Your Trip!
      Camping at the Mariah’s South Fork of the American River Campground this night is included in the price of your trip. 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.