Cascading down from the Sierra Nevada runs the West Coast's most popular whitewater resource - the South Fork of the American River. An intermediate (Class III) river, the South Fork American River is suitable for kids 7 to 75! This is the river where James Marshall's gold discovery started California's famous 1849 gold rush, and today the South Fork is California’s most popular white water river. An El Dorado County white water rafting trip combines the river’s natural beauty, rich historical background, and exhilarating rapids into one great whitewater vacation experience.
South Fork consists of a upper and lower section both offering great rapids and beautiful scenery. The upper section of the American River quickly becomes a rollicking ride over countless rapids such as Meat-grinder, Racehorse, Triple Threat, and the infamous Troublemaker.
This journey starts off with mellow Class I and II warm-up rapids. Then the canyon narrows with a series of near continuous Class III rapids - Fowler's Rock, Satan's Cesspool, Haystack Canyon, Bouncing Rock and Hospital Bar Rapids. Your journey ends on the warm, still waters of Folsom Lake.
Numerous professional outfitters offer trips ranging from short half-day jaunts on up two-day adventures. Enjoy, breath-taking views, and abundant wildlife on trips tailored to individuals, families, corporate groups, Boy and Girl Scouts, church groups, team-building organizations – just about every conceivable type of trip possible. Some companies even offer dinners on their over-night trips with micro-brewed beers and local wines featured. If you’re looking for a safe adventure, something different but within your comfort zone, consider rafting the American. You will return home refreshed with memories that will last forever.