Chili Bar

Our most popular day trip boasts rapids right from the start. Surf ChilI Bar Hole and enjoy our 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.

River Miles
Min Age
Major Rapids


Departure: You will meet us at 9 AM at the private Camp Lotus campground, where you’ll meet your guide and be outfitted with everything you need to enjoy your trip, including paddles, life jackets and helmets.

The Trip: You’ll enjoy some of the most fun rapids and beautiful views the American River has to offer. Along the way, we’ll stop for a gourmet deli lunch served riverside.

Return: 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.

Chili Bar

  • RIVER: South Fork American River
  • SECTION: The Nugget - Camp Lotus
  • BEST FOR: Families, Corporate Groups You Groups, Everyone!
  • CLASS: 3
  • SKILL :First Timer, Athletic First Timer, Intermediate
  • DEPARTS FROM: Camp Lotus, 5461 Bassi Rd., Lotus, Ca 95651
  • MEALS: Lunch
  • DURATION: 9AM - Approximately 2PM
  • COST: $89 Weekdays / $99 Weekends

Chili Bar

Our most popular day trip begins with you meeting us at 9:00 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

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

Meeting Place: Camp Lotus

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