California Whitewater Rafting Trips near San Francisco and Lake Tahoe
Mariah Wilderness Expeditions - Coordinated by Raft California
3 Day Tuolumne River Whitewater Rafting Trip

Tuolumne River 3-Day California Whitewater Rafting Trips

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Departures: Daily May through mid-September, 8:30am – 5:30am

Trip Difficulty: Beginner Class III-IV

Who Should Go: Novice & experienced, Ages 12-97

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

Price Range:

  • Daily: Adults: $639 | Youth: $569


Not Included: 3% River Use Fee, gratuities

Available to Rent: Tent & Sleeping kit


The Tuolumne River is California’s Class IV+ premier white water river, rushing through one of the most spectacular canyons in the Sierra! Flowing from the high Sierra, the Tuolumne River creates the “Grand Canyon” of Yosemite as it spills into the Hetch Hetchy Valley behind the O’Shaughnessy Dam above our put-in at Meral’s Pool.

The 3 Day Tuolumne River Whitewater Rafting Trip is perfect for those of you looking for a multi-day trip on a beautiful Class IV river.

If you are looking to extend your adventure after your 3 Day Tuolumne 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.


Step up to the exciting thrills of a Class IV+ Tuolumne whitewater river! It’s a good idea to have rafted a Class III-IV river and be adventuresome and in good condition before moving up to the Tuolumne River. The Tuolumne river starts right out with a series of Class IV rapids with chutes, steep drops, holes and reversals to keep us on our toes. Tight, technical and steep describes rapids like Rock Garden, Sunderland’s Chute, and Ram’s Head, leading up to one of the biggest drops in the U. S., the Class V Clavey Falls! This dramatic staircase rapid takes us through two big drops and, hopefully, around a boat-eating hole and away from the left wall–enough exciting, adrenaline rush adventure for us all!

The Tuolumne River continues on another 12+ miles through pristine forest/canyon land and many more Class III, IV, and IV+ rapids to our take out at Ward’s Ferry.

Call our office for the Tuolumne River 3-Day Rafting Trip DIRECTIONS and PACKING LIST.

  • Trip Includes

    • 18 miles of river
    • Class II – IV+ whitewater
    • 3 days of rafting (or 2 days of rafting and 1 layover day)
    • Two nights of camping (2 nights during)
    • 7 meals Day 1: LD; Day 2: BLD; Day 3: BL
    • Wetsuits if needed
    • Professional guides & instruction, river equipment & shuttles
    • Day 1

      8:30 am: Meet, greet, and sign in with your head guide.

      9:00 am: Board company vehicles and drive 45-min. to put-in.

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

      Noon: Picnic lunch on banks of the river.

      1:00 pm: Continue down river, run lots of rapids.

      2:00 pm: Arrive at our sandy beach campsite on the banks of the river.

      2:30 pm: Set up camp, relax, play.

      5:15 pm: Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a small amount of wine, beer, juices, and camaraderie.

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

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

      (Quiet hours start 10:00 pm).

      rip 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 that you will be okay. You will meet the other rafters on your trip and meet you own guide. Climb into your wetsuit and board the boats because we are ready for rafting fun. Right away we enter Rock Garden, our first of many Class IV rapids. This is an indication of the fun and challenges we will have today. Our pace is quick as we have 18 miles to go. Take a look at the River Map for an indication of the Tuolumne River Whitewater fun to come!

      About noon we stop for a hearty and nutritious picnic lunch. We will need this break in which to energize ourselves with an excellent riverside lunch. We also welcome this break during which we can relax and enjoy the beautiful California scenery.

      After lunch, we re-board our boats and continue our trip. Clavey Falls, Class V, is our very biggest rapid of the day! Clavey is considered to be one of the 10 Big Drops in the U.S.

      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.

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

      (Quiet hours start 10:00 pm).

    • Day 2

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

      10:00 am: Launch your boats and begin rafting downriver.

      Noon: Enjoy a hearty picnic lunch.

      3:30 pm: Arrive at your next campsite on the banks of the river.

      2:30 pm: Set up camp, relax, play.

      5:15 pm: Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a small amount of wine, beer, juices, and camaraderie.

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

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

      (Quiet hours start 10:00pm).

      After breakfast and a leisurely hour or so at camp, we will board our boats and continue downriver. First thing we have Son of Clavey Class III+, then Gray’s Grindstone Class IV; Thread the Needle Class III+, Cabin Class IV, Hell’s Kitchen Class IV, The Alps Class III, and Pinball Class IV. You wonder where these names come from? Well, ask your guide.

    • Day 3

      8:00 am: Enjoy another delicious breakfast prepared by your guides.

      10:00 am: After a leisurely morning, launch you’re your boats and complete your river journey

      At the Take-Out, we all help the guides take the gear out of the river, grab a cold soda or water, and board the river vehicles for the 30-minute drive back to the Casa Loma Store. This is your opportunity to shop for a souvenir t-shirt and say farewell to the new friends you’ve made on your California’s Tuolumne River rafting trip. You should be ready to depart for your next destination by 5-6 P.M.

    • View River Rapids Map

    The Evening Before Your Trip!

    Camping the night prior to your trip is not included. Our meeting place for all Tuolumne river rafting trips is La Casa Loma Store, seven miles East of Groveland.

    From Groveland, drive East to Ferretti Rd. (Careful! Ferretti Rd. also joins Highway 120 just outside the town of Groveland. Drive the full seven miles from the Groveland city limit to the correct Ferretti Rd. exit). Turn left on Ferretti Rd. and then left again to get to the store. La Casa Loma store can be seen from Highway 120 but is located about 100 yards off the highway.
    Your car will be parked at the store for the duration of the trip and the river shuttle service will transport you to the river and back to your car at the end of the trip. There are nice restaurants nearby where you may enjoy a lovely dinner.

    See “Area Information” under “Resources” above.