Whitewater enthusiasts are rejoicing after 2017’s record-breaking winter.  The wettest winter ever recorded in the High Sierra translates to amazing rafting conditions in El Dorado County – possibly the best conditions in the past twenty-five years!

south fork american river whitewater rafting

Whether you’re a seasoned rafter seeking whitewater thrills or have never ever been on a river rafting trip, you can find a variety of adventures available through the many river raft and kayak operators.  El Dorado County is home to the South Fork of the American River, the West Coast’s most popular whitewater river, offering intermediate (Class III) adventures along the backdrop of Gold Rush history.

For those looking to get on the river and save a few dollars, there are numerous early season specials being offered now through the end of April (and May), ranging in distance and ability. Check out the below offers and get planning. After all, as Warren Miller says, if you don’t do it this year, you’ll just be one year older when you do.

rafting on the American River | Photo: James Kaiser / OARS


All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting – Book by April 30th, raft by June 30th, and save 20% on your trip.

Adventure Connection –  Save 20% off any trips that are booked and scheduled for May using code ‘thanks’. That results in savings that range from $30 to $80/person depending upon the trip.

Motherlode River Center – Their early-season special is a full river trip (all 20 miles) with lunch, dinner, camping, and breakfast for $153 per person for reservations made by May 31. Weekends only.

O.A.R.S. Save 20% off  1-day 21-Miler trips (SundayFriday) on the South Fork of the American River through the end of June.

Tahoe Whitewater Tours – Book your whitewater adventure for any day in the month of April and receive $25 off per person on any Full Day adventure, and $10 off any Half Day adventure.  Book any day in the month of May and receive $15 off per person on any Full Day adventure, and $7 any Half Day adventure.  Offer ends May 31.

Tributary Whitewater Tours – Save up to $30 off early season rafting trips and trips starting at $78 + 8% river use fee. The One-Day Full River Trip has been the most popular trip so far this season – fast and fun!

Whitewater Excitement has a slew of early season specials. Book your rafting trip online.
6+ Discount: Bring 6 or more people and get 15% off any trip, any date!
12+ Discount: Bring 12 or more people and get 20% off any trip, any date!
Family Half Price Special: For each paying adult, kids are 50% off. Works for any weekday South Fork Half Day, Gorge, and Two-Day River Trip.
$108 Gorge Run with lunch: South Fork 14-mile Gorge one-day trip – any day!
$99 Super Saver Sundays: You can choose to raft either the Upper or Lower South Fork with a camp lunch.
$296 Memorial Day Weekend: Two days of rafting the South Fork with two days of camping and five meals provided

Photos: James Kaiser / OARS