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North Fork

Lunch Included!

The North Fork of the American River offers non-stop whitewater action fun, set in a stunning granite canyon. This Class IV/V river is ideal for the thrill-seeking, experienced rafter or athletic beginner. This river offers non-stop action for 13 miles as it cuts through a narrow granite canyon with back-to-back rapids. You’ll deftly maneuver around boulders and successfully tackle rapids like Chamberlain Falls, Bogus Thunder, Staircase, Nose Stand and many more. Get ready to paddle with gusto–this run is all hands on deck!

River Miles
Min Age
Major Rapids


Departure: The departure time for this trip varies based on the permit for that day. You will meet the WET van and your guides for the day behind the Raley’s shopping center in Auburn California. From there we have a short 25 minute ride in the van to our put-in location at the Iowa Hill Rd. Bridge.

The Trip: This one is not for the faint of heart. The North Fork is a Class IV+ section of continuous high level whitewater.

Return: Once your time on the water is complete you will load into the WET van and return to the Raley’s parking lot after a short drive.

North Fork

North Fork of the American River

Only 3 hours from San Francisco, 45 minutes from Sacramento and 1 hour from Lake Tahoe. The North Fork American River is the ultimate in California whitewater action. With its steep drops, technical rapids and rushing falls this intermediate/advanced rafting trip is perfect for adventurous first timers and those who have rafted before but want even more excitement, adventure, seclusion and beauty.

The North Fork of the American River will make you feel like you have entered into your own private wonderland as you travel on a ribbon of crystal clear water through a narrow granite canyon, covered in lush green vegetation highlighted with spring flowers. Part of the beauty is its free-flowing nature. Undammed this is truly a pristine river that is normally runnable from March through May.

Don’t miss your chance to experience this true wilderness river canyon with some of the most technical rapids in California. Fortunately for you, when you choose WET River Trips you will be provided the best and most experienced guides to navigate you along your adventure, their sole job is to ensure that you have a safe and memorable trip. But don’t be mistaken, the North Fork is an all hands on deck trip. Everyone will be fitted with all the necessary rafting equipment (paddle, life jacket, wetsuit, splash jacket and helmet) and trained to successfully paddle in order to safely maneuver the rafts through this technical exciting river.

The North Fork trip begins by meeting at Raley’s Shopping Center in Auburn. After meeting your highly trained and experienced guides we load into our shuttle vans to head to the river put in. Once there you will be gear up with your rafting equipment before receiving a safety and paddling orientation. Then it is time for the adventure to begin. The wild and scenic North Fork American River is full of whitewater action starting off with 7 miles of back to back Class 4+ rapids. You and your guide will skillfully maneuver around boulders, crash through giant waves and drop the 7 foot Chamberlain Falls. The excitement doesn’t stop there, the action continues with rapids like Bogus Thunder, Grand Slalom, Staircase and Nose Stand just to name a few. Then you will get the opportunity to bask in the sun and relax along the banks of the river as your guides skillfully prepare a gourmet deli lunch. After satisfying your hunger, you will play in numerous Class 3 rapids, giving you a chance to truly appreciate the beauty of the Sierra Nevadas as we laugh and reminisce about the morning’s excitement. Ending at Upper Lake Clementine, you will be greeted by cold refreshing beverages before we shuttle you back to your cars in our shuttle vans.

This is our guides favorite river trip, after you have experienced it for yourselves you will know why, and have the memories for a lifetime.


Most frequent questions and answers

For Rafting:

  • 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 no 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 avaliable upon request in warmer months.

Take a Closer Look

Other trips you might enjoy

Early Spring 2 day rafting trip put-in at Chile Bar

South Fork 2 Day (Class III)

One day is just never enough to truly enjoy what rafting has to offer. Join us on this two day trip and let us take care of all the details! Two days of camping, meals, and adventure.

Learn More

Meeting Place: Behind the Raley's

13384 Lincoln Way, Auburn, CA 95603

The meeting place for this trip is directly behind the Raleys on Lincoln Way in Auburn. Please drive and park behind the Raley’s where our guides will meet you.

Drive Times:
Sacramento Area: Approximately 45 mins
San Francisco: Approximately 2 hours



Full Refunds and No Cost Reschedules

Let’s face it, what we are facing with Covid-19 has left a lot of us uncertain about the future. As a way to promote positive vibes and to give us all something to look forward to during social distancing we are offering full refunds (or preferably reschedules) on all trips. Please don’t hesitate to book your whitewater excursion. Let’s beat this and get out on the water together!