Have some questions about your upcoming trip with us? Were happy to help! Take a look at some of our most frequently asked questions below.

Will there be enough or too much water?

Even in the driest of years, the American Rivers offer guaranteed flows (thanks to the dams upstream). During springtime however, participants should generally anticipate higher than normal flows.

Please contact us for more specific information about water level predictions. We are excited to assist you with selecting the best trip and time of year for your rafting adventure!

What does Class III, Class IV and Class V really mean?

The classification of rapids is based on the difficulty to safely maneuver through them and the risk of injury due to swimming. Here’s a breakdown:

Class III:
Ages: 7 and up

Novice to Intermediate

Moderate Physical Activity

Medium whitewater. Exciting and challenging, but suitable for first-timers. Great for large groups and families.

Class IV
Ages: 14 and up


Moderate Physical Activity

Medium to difficult whitewater containing more action and more intricate maneuvers. Great choice for adventurous kids and adults. Rapids have swift currents and bigger drops. Active paddling required.

Class V
Ages: 14 and up


Vigorous Physical Activity

Medium to very difficult whitewater requiring constant maneuvering, lots of action. Best for enthusiastic rafters seeking maximum excitement. Rapids contain steep, technical drops and long, fast wave trains.

What happens if I get sick or hurt?

Though unlikely, your guides will have the experience to deal with any ailments or medical situations that may arise. We carry comprehensive First Aid kits, communication equipment, and we have the ability to evacuate if we feel it is necessary.

What’s included with my trip?

Upon arrival, you’ll receive your personal flotation device, a helmet and a paddle. Wetsuits with paddle jackets can be also be rented for spring trips. We’ll also include an outrageously fun, experienced, entertaining and professional raft guide!

All trips (aside from our “Express” trips) include a deli lunch. For two-day trips, you’ll also receive dinner and breakfast.

Which trip is right for me?

If this is your first rafting experience, we’d recommend the South Fork American River. For those who want a bit more thrill, we’d suggest the Middle Fork or North Fork trip. Our combo trips are perfect for those wanting the most action and time on the water, and a Middle Fork two-day trip offers the true wilderness experience.

While we’re happy to advise you on which trip best suits your needs, the decision is ultimately up to you!

What is the minimum age limit?

Our minimum age limit on the South Fork trip is 7 years old. Middle Fork and North Fork trips have an age requirement of 14.

How experienced are your river guides?

We can assure you that all our guides are highly-trained professionals, with an average of at least 10 years of experience. In fact, we’ve long been known on the American River as the company with the most experienced guides. With certifications in Advanced First Aid, CPR and Advanced Swiftwater Rescue, you can feel confident that you are in great hands on your rafting adventure.

What should I take on the raft?

A water bottle, sunscreen, waterproof camera and any medications you may require.

That’s it!

Can I bring my own life jacket or helmet?

Unfortunately, we do not allow you to wear your own life jacket or helmet on our guided adventures. Our rafting safety equipment is specific to commercial use, and our liability does not cover personal safety gear. Your safety is our top priority!

Can I bring a camera or GoPro on the raft?

Feel free to bring a waterproof camera that can be fastened to your life jacket. However, we encourage you to keep in mind that you will be paddling in rapids – no time for pictures here! We have a professional photographer on most trips to capture all the action, and photos are available for purchase after the trip. While some of our helmets do have GoPro mounts, we advise you to use at your own risk.

Should I bring a towel or change of clothes on the raft?


What should I wear on the river and in camp?

Dressing appropriately is key to your comfort on the river. A swimsuit or shorts and a t-shirt will suffice, and we recommend bringing tennis shoes, river sandals or the equivalent. (No flip flops, wet shoes or aqua shoes!) A pair of dry shoes for after the trip is also encouraged. For chilly spring trips, we recommend any garments made of synthetic material, such as fleece, polypro or capilene to aid in warmth retention. Wetsuits and paddle jackets are always available for rent.

Please contact us for additional suggestions on items we encourage you to bring to camp.

What if I can’t swim?

Although knowing how to swim is not a prerequisite for our South or Middle Fork trips, we recommend you have a decent level of comfort with moving water for the North Fork trip. For safety, all of our guests are outfitted with the very best life jackets at all times. Our guides will always ensure that your personal flotation devices fit properly and are adjusted correctly.

How fit do I have to be?

No need to worry, there are no Olympic-like requirements for rafting! This activity welcomes all levels of fitness and ability.

Will my child fall out of the raft?

Because this answer is similar to the one above, it is important for any parent to understand what to expect on a rafting trip, and to choose the classification of river they are comfortable with. Children (7 years and older) can utilize the middle seats of our rafts for holding on through rapids, lessening their chances of falling out

Will I fall out of the raft?

We prefer to keep you in the raft, while also providing some excitement! Rest assured, we have the skills and knowledge to provide you with the experience of your choice; we always do our best to keep those who are apprehensive in the raft, though we’re also able to spice things up for groups that are looking for an adrenaline rush.

While no one can absolutely guarantee that you won’t have an “out-of-boat” experience, falling out of the raft remains the exception, not the rule. If you do fall out, 99% of the time you will pop up right next to the raft and we will pull you in before you know it. (Disclaimer: Even in the raft, you will still get wet!)

Is rafting dangerous?

Everything we do in a day has a certain level of risk, but compared to other activities rafting is very safe! While rafting is often associated with being a dangerous, risky activity only suited for adrenaline junkies, we can assure you that is certainly not the case. Some studies on risk in whitewater rafting have shown it to be comparable to or less risky than traveling by car! We maintain an outstanding safety record, and your safety is our number one priority both on and off the river. From our world-class certified professional guides, to our equipment, helmets and more, we are proud to set the standard for safety in whitewater rafting.

Do I need previous rafting experience?

Nope! Rafting is a great team activity for all experience levels, and many of our guests are first-time rafters. Our highly-trained guides will provide you with all the necessary skills and information to have a safe and enjoyable experience. We have a feeling you’ll be hooked!