California Whitewater Rafting Trips near San Francisco and Lake Tahoe
Mariah Wilderness Expeditions Official Logo

South Fork American River California Whitewater Rafting

South Fork American River offers perfect California whitewater rafting for families, youth groups, corporations, singles, and groups of friends. The South Fork American River is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in northern California, just an hour drive from Sacramento. This river has become California’s most popular Class II-III whitewater rafting river is enjoyed by our guests once, twice, sometimes three times each summer.

The South Fork American River flows through the Coloma-Lotus area which is famous as the site of the famous Sutter’s Mill where the first gold nugget was discovered in 1848 launching the huge California Gold Rush of 1849. The South Fork American River flows through Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, a popular California tourist attraction. THE GUIDES ARE PROFESSIONAL, EXPERIENCED, AND HAVE WORKED FOR MARIAH FOR MANY YEARS. THEY DO EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO PROVIDE YOU WITH A SAFE AND FUN ADVENTURE. DID I MENTION THAT THEY ARE ALSO GOOD COOKS.

We offer several different types of California whitewater rafting on the South Fork American River: ½-Day Chili Bar, 1/2-Day Gorge, 1-Day Chili Bar, 1-Day Gorge, and 2-Day trips with wine-tasting during hors d’oeuvres. Our campground and our unique tent-cabins help make your overnight adventures memorable.

South Fork American River

Two Day Whitewater Raft Trips – South Fork

Raft the historic Class III river where the California Gold Rush of 1849 began! Enjoy two days of moderate, yet exciting white water, delicious meals with wine-tasting during hors d’oeuvres, comfortable camping, and peaceful reflections as you gaze at a star-studded night sky. THIS TRIP WILL BE OFFERED EVERY MONDAY-TUESDAY, THURSDAY-FRIDAY AND SATURDAY-SUNDAY.

Duration
2 Days/1 Night
4 Meals

Season
May-September 17

Length
21 miles

 

South Fork American River California Whitewater Rafting

Wine Tasting & South Fork Whitewater Rafting

Navigate the fun rapids of the South Fork American River for two days of whitewater rafting. During evening hors d’oeuvres in the indulge in Mariah’s showcase of locally grown, El Dorado County, red and white wines. THIS TRIP WILL BE OFFERED EVERY MONDAY-TUESDAY, THURSDAY-FRIDAY AND SATURDAY-SUNDAY.

Duration
2 Days/1 Night
4 Meals

Season
May-September 17

Length
21 miles

South Fork American River California Whitewater Rafting

Lower Gorge Run South Fork Whitewater Rafting

This mid-morning to mid-afternoon run is one of our popular 1-day trips. Starting at the Mariah Campground and ending at Lake Folsom, the rapids start out mellow gradually getting more exciting after our hearty picnic lunch on the river. You may swim a couple of the easy rapids. THIS TRIP WILL BE OFFERED DAILY.

Duration
1 day
(10:00-4:00)/Lunch

Season
May-September 17

Length
11 miles


South Fork American River California Whitewater Rafting

Upper Chili Bar South Fork Whitewater Rafting

This 1-day, early-mornng to early-afternoon trip starts out with exciting rapids culminating with Troublemaker Rapid, the biggest rapid on the river. The last 5 miles are calmer and very scenic. We will enjoy a BBQ lunch back at camp or a picnic lunch on the river. THIS TRIP WILL BE OFFERED DAILY.

Duration
1 day
(8:30-2:30)/Lunch

Season
May-September 17

Length
10 miles

South Fork American River California Whitewater Rafting

Entire South Fork American River in 1 Day

We combine the upper “Chili Bar” and lower “Gorge Run” sections of the River for a very full day of exciting rapids, beautiful scenery, and a hearty lunch on the river. A group of six-eight paddlers is required for the necessary paddle power to negotiate all 50+ rapids safely! THIS TRIP WILL BE OFFERED DAILY.

Duration
1 day
(8:30-4:30)/Lunch

Season
May-June, depending on water level

Length
21 miles

South Fork American River California Whitewater Rafting

PM Half-Day Gorge Trip South Fork American River

Are you short of time and/or are you looking for an afternoon run? The Gorge Run starts at the Mariah Campground and ends at Lake Folsom . The rapids start out easy and gradually become more exciting after about 3 miles. You may swim a couple of the easy rapids. THIS TRIP WILL BE OFFERED DAILY.

Duration
1/2 day
(1:00-4:00)

Season
May-September 17

Length
11 miles

South Fork American River

AM Half-Day Chili Bar Trip South Fork American

Another trip for those of you short on time. This morning trip gives you lots of fun and exciting rapids including Troublemaker, the biggest rapid on the river. The last 5 miles are calmer and give you a chance to appreciate the beauty of the river. THIS TRIP WILL BE OFFERED DAILY.

Duration
1/2 day
(8:30-1:30)

Season
May-September 13

Length
10 miles

California Whitewater Rafting

Combo – South & Middle Fork Whitewater Rafting

Spend two days whitewater rafting 27 miles on two different rivers, one night camping at the South Fork, and four meals. The South Fork’s Class III rapids are a good warm-up for the Class IV Middle Fork. We also do this trip in reverse, depending on river conditions and number of participants. THIS TRIP WILL BE OFFERED MONDAY-TUESDAY, THURSDAY-FRIDAY, AND SATURDAY-SUNDAY.

Duration
2 Days/1 Night
4 Meals

Season
May-September 12

Length
27 miles

South Fork American River California Whitewater Rafting

Combo – South & North Fork Whitewater Rafting

Combine ONE DAY on the South Fork with ONE DAY on the Class IV North Fork of the American River with its many Class IV rapids. This trip can be run in reverse depending on water conditions and number of participants. Dinner & camping at our South Fork Campground. THIS TRIP IS OFFERED MONDAY-TUESDAY, THURSDAY-FRIDAY, SATURDAY-SUNDAY.

Duration
2 Days/1 Night
4 Meals

Season
May-June depending on the amount of snow-melt.

Length
20 miles