whitewater rafting on South Fork American RiverThe South Fork of the American River offers lively, exciting whitewater rapids from April through Labor Day. The South Fork is California’s most popular whitewater rafting river. It’s wild, wet and fun for all ages!

Commercial whitewater rafting outfitters offer a wide variety of river experiences. Looking for wilderness camping? Bed and breakfast? Budget brown bag lunch? Fine wines and gourmet meals? Half-day or two-day overnight? Bus from Sacramento, the Bay Area, South Lake Tahoe, Reno, or even Los Angeles? Prices vary a lot depending on the amenities, so shop until you find what best suits your group. Please contact the outfitters directly to get more information and make your reservations.

What you can expect from any outfitter is to provide experienced guides and all the necessary equipment, including rafts, paddles, and life jackets. You’ll need to bring sunscreen, rugged “wettable” clothes, old tennis shoes, a hat that can be tied to your head, and a gung-ho attitude. See our Gearing Up page for more information.

After your day on the water make sure to visit one of our photography companies to see your action shots.

Whitewater Rafting Outfitters

  • Raft California
    Offering whitewater adventures on over 13 rivers including the forks of the American River. From Mild to Wild, ages 4+! 1/2 day,  1 day and overnights trips available March- September. 530-626-7385
  • Coloma Shuttle
    The Coloma Shuttle is a private boater shuttle service on the South Fork of the American River funded by a grant from the El Dorado County Air Quality Management District. Our low-cost membership fee $10.00 per boater picks up you and your gear. 530-303-2404
  • Sierra Whitewater Rafting
    Family-operated whitewater rafting company running thrilling half and full-day adventure trips for all ages on all three forks of the American River. Fun-filled and safety-oriented. Best value. 530-368-9027
  • The River Store
    The River Store
    Kayaking-Rafting-Camping. Sales, rentals & World Class Kayak Instruction. Clothing, snacks, drinks, sundries and outdoor accessories. Visitor’s info, local experts, maps & books. Over 32 years in Lotus! info@theriverstore.com 530-626-3435
  • American Whitewater Expeditions
    Offering fun, exciting, rafting adventures on 3 Forks of the American River since 1980. Best value guaranteed! 1/2 , 1 and 2 day trips include camping, pool and Wi-Fi. Generous Discounts. americanwhitewater.com 800-825-3205, 530-642-0804
  • Earthtrek Expeditions American River Rafting
    EarthTrek Expeditions
    Mild to wild whitewater rafting trips on the American River since 1977. Beautiful private river front camp with nice landscaping, game area and large deluxe tent cabins. Ask about our group discounts. www.earthtrekexpeditions.com 800-229-8735
  • Whitewater Excitement
    Since 1978, Whitewater Excitement, Inc. has offered 5-star river rafting adventure on the American River. Family operated and family friendly with trip for kids as young as 4. Experience the difference. whitewaterexcitement.com 800-750-2386
  • River Runners
    Relax and enjoy the thrill of whitewater rafting without being rushed. We are a boutique company that provides high quality customer service, amazing meals and expert guides for your adventure. www.riverrunnersusa.com (530) 622 5110
  • Rock-N-Water-Christian Camps
    Specializing in adventures for families and Church youth groups. Our Christian staff will take you rafting, rock climbing and hiking on 1 to 5 day fully customizable adventures. 800-738-0555 www.rocknwater.com rocknwater.com 800-738-0555
  • All Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting
    All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting
    One of California’s few original outfitters with over 50 years experience rafting ten California rivers. More people choose All-Outdoors making us the largest, most experienced outfitter on the American Rivers. AOrafting.com 800-247-2387
  • OARS American River Rafting
    First-class whitewater rafting on the South, Middle, and North Fork of the American River, Tuolumne, Merced, and North Fork of the Stanislaus since 1969. Book online and save! 855-541-4792
  • WET River Trips
    Operating since 1978, choose WET for personalized, quality, customizable, half-day to multi-day trips. We have the most experienced guides with an average of 10+ years boating. Small company, Big Thrills. 10% Discount code “ELDO” 888 RAFT-WET
  • American River Recreation logo
    American River Recreation
    Providing high quality rafting trips since 1979. We offer trips for all skill levels. Family friendly floats start at just $49. Same day reservations welcomed. 1/4-day to 3-day trips available. arrafting.com 800-333-7238, 530-622-6802
  • Hotshot Imaging
    Hotshot Imaging, Inc.
    California’s largest whitewater rafting photography company taking over 1 million pictures per summer on the South & Middle Forks of the American River. All images are posted on our website each day for viewing/purchasing. 530.621.0400 530-621-0400 www.hotshotimaging.com   530-621-0400
  • ARTA River Trips
    ARTA River Trips
    Friendly guides, healthy food, family style non-profit since 1963. We run fantastic river trips on the best rivers in the West. 1-3 day trips in California. arta.org 209-962-7873
  • Action Whitewater Adventures
    We have new gear, an amazing international staff, and we love what we do. Youth specialists. 1-7 day excursions. actionwhitewater.com 888-922-8466
  • Whitewater Connection
    Whitewater Connection offers exciting 1/2-day, one-day and 2-day whitewater trips for beginners to advanced paddlers. Beautiful scenery, best river front campground in the valley! An abundance of FUN! Family operated and family friendly with trips for kids as young as 4. whitewaterconnection.com 800-336-7238
  • Mother Lode River Center
    Mother Lode River Trips
    Enjoy rafting combined with our Challenger Rope Course at the premier west coast, multi-sport River Center. Celebrating over 45+ years of Safety, Leadership, and Stewardship on the American River. malode.com 530-626-4187
  • Beyond Limits whitewater rafting
    Beyond Limits Adventures
    Our fabulous riverfront camp resort provides the most deluxe rafting experience in the west. We specialize in custom itineraries. Prices start at $65 pp, groups of 6 or more get a 20% discount. rivertrip.com 800-234-7238
  • H2O Adventures

    Let our 1st class company show you an experience of a lifetime. 530-277-3433 www.Raft-H2O.com

    info@raft-h2o.com 530-277-3433
  • Junior Guides Raft Camp
    An Educational non-profit summer camp providing youth aged 6-16 with river safety and rafting education. 916-616-2317 juniorguides.org 916-626-2317
  • Sierra Nevada Photos

    We take pictures of all whitewater fun, if it happened on the river we have it. 530-401-0088


whitewater rafting on the South Fork American River