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Guide to the Ultimate Whitewater Rafting Adventure in California

Guide to the Ultimate Whitewater Rafting Adventure in California

Contrary to how it may look, whitewater rafting is a thrilling sport that both first-timers and seasoned pros can enjoy. If you have a sense of adventure, a rafting trip is accessible to you, regardless of your experience!

Contrary to how it may look, whitewater rafting is a thrilling sport that both first-timers and seasoned pros can enjoy. If you have a sense of adventure, a rafting trip is accessible to you, regardless of your experience!  

When whitewater rafting in Coloma, in El Dorado County, you’ll find a few different rafting destinations and trip types to suit your interests, including overnight trips that let you camp by the river. If you’re new to the sport and want to explore more before booking a trip, here’s your guide to the essentials.

Know Your Level

Five categories—from Class I (simple) to Class V (pro)—categorize the river’s difficulty. A Class II or Class III is perfect for beginners.

Rafting Terms to Know

Before you get on the river, your whitewater rafting guide will brief you and review the essential phrases and directions they’ll probably use. While a trained guide will be with you at all times, some basic jargon to take note of beforehand is always a bonus:

  • Put-In: The point where a rafting expedition begins.
  • Take-Out: The endpoint of the trip.
  • River Left/River Right: River right is always the right side of the river when looking downriver. River left is the left side of the river when looking downriver.  
  • Swimmer: Anyone who falls off the raft (usually inadvertently!)
  • Flip: If the raft capsizes or overturns.
  • Safety Kayak: A lifeboat of any kind. A precautionary kayak might be tailing your raft to assist any ‘swimmer’ that goes overboard.

Safety First

Some safety guidelines to know.

Listen to Your Guide

The most crucial safety advice is always to do as your guide directs. Guides are trained to keep you safe. It might be simple to get carried away with fun while rafting, especially when you’re in a group of friends, but always remember to listen to your guide.

What To Wear

Comfortable and weather-appropriate clothing with shoes that strap firmly and withstand the elements are ideal. Avoid cotton attire as it retains water longer, making you prone to getting cold after getting splashed while going through rapids. Consider wearing sports shorts with sealable pockets for storing small items.

If you carry your phone as a camera to document the experience, ensure it’s in a waterproof case. Often professional photographers take photos and provide the images for purchase after the trip.

Keep Exploring

Upcoming El Dorado County Events

spring vines at Lava Cap Winery
Guide to the Ultimate Whitewater Rafting Adventure in California

Community Events Calendar

February 9, 2024
Imagination Theater Presents - Rapunzel
March 3, 2024
11:00 am Mimosa Sunday
12:00 pm Live Music, Arts, & Quality Entertainment at The Green Room Social Club
1:00 pm Placerville Elks Lodge Bingo
March 6, 2024
6:30 am Snowshoe Thompson Expedition
March 7, 2024
7:00 pm Oak Ridge High School Theatre presents Murder on the Orient Express