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Upper (Chili Bar)

Lunch Included!

Our most popular American River rafting trip starts off with a bang! Surf Chili Bar Hole and enjoy our favorite rapids, including Meatgrinder, Triple Threat, and the famous Trouble Maker. All the excitement is followed by one of the best parts- floating through Marshall Gold Discovery State Park in Coloma, the birthplace of the California Goldrush.

River Miles
Class
+
Min Age
Major Rapids

Itinerary

Departure:

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’re going to stop for a gourmet deli lunch served riverside with breathtaking scenery as your backdrop!

Return: 

At the end of the trip you will be return to your starting point between 2 and 3 PM. There, you can use Camp Lotus’s showers and other facilities, If camping is more your style you can reserve a spot.\ directly will us. Be sure to ask about our delicious meal available as add-ons as well.

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 prior to or after your rafting trip, simply book online or call us ahead of time.

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.

FAQ

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)

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
  • 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.

Take a Closer Look

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Splashing around in the Chili Bar Hole on the South Fork of the American River

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Float along the South Fork’s Class 2 section and take in scenic views of  golden rolling foothills, before the canyon narrows into a granite gorge where you will plunge through thrilling Class 3 rapids like Satan’s Cesspool, Bouncing Rock and Hospital Bar, to name a few. A customer favorite, this trip is perfect for any size and type of group.

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Upper (Chili Bar – Class III)

Our most popular day trip boasts rapids right from the start. Surf a hole at ChilI Bar Hole and enjoy favorite rapids, including Meatgrinder, Triple Threat and Trouble Maker, the river’s most challenging and exciting rapid. These rapids are followed by a relaxing float through Marshall Gold Discovery State Park in Coloma.

Learn More

Things to Do and Blog Post

Water flowing through the rocks on the South Fork of the American River

Guide to Floating the American River Parkway – Stay safe on the water!

Floating the Lower American River, the “Sunrise Float”, is a venerable right of passage for anyone living in the Sacramento Area. This Summer time diversion is perhaps one of the most popular diversions with the river being chocked full of people during the hot Sacramento weekends. Making sure you are prepared can ensure that your float is safe and f

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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