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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Upon arrival, you’ll each receive a personal flotation device, helmet and paddle. We’ll also include an outrageously fun, experienced, entertaining and professional raft guide!
All trips (aside from our half day “Express” trips) include a build your own deli style lunch. For two-day trips, you’ll also receive dinner, breakfast and one night of tent camping.
**Wetsuits with paddle jackets can be rented for Spring trips. Please reserve in advance.
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!
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.
We can assure you that all of 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.
A water bottle, sunscreen, waterproof camera and any medications you may require.
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!
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.
Nope! You are going to get wet throughout your trip, and so will anything you bring with you on the raft. Feel free to leave towels and dry cloths in your car for after the trip.
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.
No need to worry, there are no Olympic-like requirements for rafting! This activity welcomes all levels of fitness and ability.
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!)
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.
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.
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!
We do understand that unforeseen circumstances do occur, if you find yourself needing to cancel all or part of your reservation please contact us as soon as possible.