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Half Day Rafting

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Best Half Day Rafting Trips on the American River

There are heaps of good reasons why a half day American River rafting trip on the South Fork is one of the most popular river trips in California. You will absolutely love the experience of rafting regardless of whether you decide to do short morning or long afternoon half-day rafting trip on the American River. When other California rafting trips have dried up, the South Fork American River still have stable fun water flows from the Chili Bar Dam, always providing a exciting and fun time. Even during drought years great recreational water releases are guaranteed and South Fork American River rafting trips are available from April through September this year. There are many memorable rapids as the river winds its way through the rolling foothills of California’s scenic Gold Country.

So why do most people choose to do a half day river rafting trip in California?

So, are you a first time rafter looking for a short yet thrilling trip?

Are you someone that wants to “test the water”?

Are you limited on time and want to go on a morning half day rafting trip?

Are you are a first time rafter looking for a short introduction to Whitewater Rafting in California?

The answer to any of the above can be found in our two awesome half day white water rafting options.

1. South Fork – Chili Bar Run

The morning Half Day Chili Bar Run on the South Fork of the American River is the perfect trip for those looking for a short and thrilling trip or those that have limited time and would prefer to raft in the morning. It’s a 6-mile long non-stop action rafting trip with thrilling Class 3 rapids that are perfect for every level of rafter, from beginner to experienced, from youth groups to corporate groups. This approximately three hour half-day rafting trip will give you about two solid hours of river time during which time you will be, getting wet, hooting and hollering, paddling and laughing your way down rapids like Meatgrinder, Triple Threat, Maya culminating with Troublemaker Rapid – the biggest Class 3 rapid on the South Fork of the American.

2. South Fork – Lower Gorge Express

If you are looking for an afternoon trip that is a bit longer and has a good mix of relaxing and thrills then the Half Day Lower Gorge Express on the South Fork of the American River is the perfect trip for you. It also happens to be the longest and best value of any half day trip offered on the American River. Our 15 mile Lower Gorge Express is an afternoon half day run that is suitable for nearly everyone, from ages 6 to 106, including families, corporate groups, youth groups and scout groups.

For the past 30+ years the South Fork American River has served as a perfect introduction to California rafting adventures for hundred of thousands of rafters. The reason for the popularity of rafting on the South Fork of the American River is because it has something to offer everyone. From thrilling rapids to beautiful scenery, historic spots and great camping – they can all be found on the American River.

Trips list

#1Half Day Trip - Chili Bar

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If your time is limited but you still want to experience the joy of rafting, then this is the perfect trip for you. Action packed from start to finish and sure to get your adrenalin flowing.

Meeting Time: 8:30 AM in Coloma

Length: 6 miles

Time on water: 2 hour

Class/Level: II - III

Cost range: $74 - $105

8% Government Land & River Use Fee is added to all trip prices. Be sure to check out the family special, group rates and last minute specials.

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#2Half Day Trip - Lower Gorge Express

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Want an afternoon rafting trip that is fun, relaxing and not too short? Our Express rafting trip is by far the longest offered on the South Fork American River. Arrive having had lunch and spend your afternoon relaxing on the river filled with moments of excitement paddling through fun rapids.

Meeting Time: 12:00 PM

Length: 15 miles

Time on water: 3.5 Hours

Class/Level: II - III

Cost range: $100 - $124

8% Government Land & River Use Fee is added to all trip prices. Be sure to check out the family special, group rates and last minute specials.

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#3Day Trip - North Fork

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Come on board for the trip with the most action and thrills, as well as the most spectacular scenery comprised of amazing vistas, lush foliage, and spring wildflowers on display. The ideal one day spring run for those with previous rafting experience or first timers who want to go for the gusto on their first rafting trip.

Meeting Time: 8:00 AM in Coloma or 8:30 AM in Auburn

Length: 9 Miles

Time on water: 2 - 4 hours depending on flow

Class/Level: IV - V

Cost range: $129 - $139

8% Government Land & River Use Fee is added to all trip prices. Be sure to check out the family special, group rates and last minute specials.

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