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Chili Bar 1-Day

Upper South Fork Rafting Trip Lunch Included!

Our most popular American River rafting trip starts with a bang & has something for everyone. Highlights of our Chili Bar 1-Day trip include Surfing Chili Bar Hole, continuous rapids, opportunities to swim in the river, floating through 1 of the most historic areas in California, the birthplace of the Gold Rush, taking in the scenery of the golden Sierra Nevada Foothills, & the delicious riverside lunch you get to enjoy along the way. A perfect rafting trip for beginning & intermediate rafters alike!

River Miles
Min Age
Major Rapids



You are about to embark on a life-changing journey. You’ll meet us at 9:30 AM, where you can take your first steps towards adventure, at the beautiful Camp Lotus. You’ll meet your friendly and skilled river guide who will take care of all the details including outfitting you with all the tools for success: paddles, PFD, and helmets as well as answering any questions you might have.

The Trip: 

You’ll enjoy some of the most fun rapids and beautiful views the American River has to offer. Along the way, we will stop for a gourmet deli lunch served riverside with breathtaking scenery as your backdrop!


You will be returned to your starting point between 2 and 3 PM. There, you will have the opportunity to purchase photos of your adventure and utilize Camp Lotus’s showers and other amenities. Should you wish to camp at Camp Lotus the night before or after your rafting trip, simply book online or call us beforehand. Be sure to ask about our delicious meals available as add-ons as well.


Upper (Chili Bar)

Drax showing off his guiding skills through the Trouble Maker rapid on the South Fork of the American River

Upper (Chili Bar)

Our most popular day trip begins with you meeting us at 9:30 at the private Camp Lotus campground. We shuttle you up to the top of the river canyon, providing you with everything you need to enjoy your trip, including paddles, personal flotation devices (lifejackets), helmets, a safety orientation and professional guides. Here the river starts out with thrills right from the start. After practicing our paddling and getting comfortable in the raft you will have the opportunity to surf a hole at Chile Bar rapid, if you choose, before tackling exciting rapids like Meatgrinder, Triple Threat and culminating in the most challenging and exciting rapid on the river, Trouble Maker. Yet even in this stretch our guides have the ability to play with the features giving you additional thrills or guide you safely and serenely back home, depending on what you are looking for. Along the way we will stop for a gourmet riverside deli lunch skillfully prepared by your guides. After which you can enjoy the calming stretch through historic gold discovery state park in Coloma and back to your cars where we first meet, between 2:00 and 3:00. Once back at your car, you will have the opportunity to relive your experience by watching a slideshow of photos taken by professional photographers, relax on the grass fields or take a hot shower before you leave. You also can choose to camp at our camp before and/or after your trip with a gourmet breakfast and/or dinner if you choose. Simply book online or call us to ahead of time.


Most frequent questions and answers
  • Secure footwear; old tennis shoes or sturdy sandals with heel straps such as Tevas, Keens, and Chacos. NO FLIP FLOPS OR BARE FEET!
  • Swimsuit or shorts and T-shirt to wear on the rafts.
  • Sunglasses with neck strap (Please be sure to bring a neck strap for any glasses you plan on wearing on the raft.)
  • Sunscreen and lip ointment
  • Water bottle
  • Waterproof camera (optional)
  • Light cap or visor (optional)
  • Any medicines you require (please contact us beforehand to ensure we can accommodate any needs)
  • One professional, talented, and possibly humorous river guide
  • White water raft (Crewed by your provided guide at all times)
  • Personal Flotation Device (Life-jacket)
  • Helmet
  • Paddle
  • Other required safety equipment
  • Wetsuits an paddle jackets may be required at additional cost during cooler months and are available upon request in warmer months.

Please feel free to bring whatever items you would like to leave in your car for retrieval after the trip. Camp Lotus features hot showers available for your use.

  • Optional gratuity for your hardworking guides
  • Dry Clothing
  • Water or other beverage
  • Dry towels 
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Tent (optionally we can provide tents at a small cost)
  • Warm clothing for the evening.
  • Personal care items (Toothbrush, deodorant,  hair care products, etc.)
  • Flashlight or headlamp

Yes! We love rafting with friends, family, and coworkers! Discounts on rafting are as follows;

  • 5%: 6-11 Rafters
  • 10%: 12-17 Rafters
  • 15%: 18-23 Rafters
  • 20%: 24+ Rafters

Note that discounts are not applied to other “add-ons” such as camping and photo/video packages.

Take a Closer Look

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Things to Do and Blog Post

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5461 Bassi Rd, Lotus, CA 95651

The meeting place for this trip is our private campground partner, Camp Lotus. Please take the time to download and print directions as cell phone service can be spotty.

Drive Times:

Sacramento Area: Approximately 45 mins

San Francisco: Approximately 2 hours