Are you ready for a true whitewater experience? You’ll spend the day paddling the magnificent Class 4/5 North Fork of the American, recognized as California’s quintessential spring rafting trip. Raft on a pristine un-dammed river, cutting through magnificent canyons and picturesque landscapes. Ideal for experienced rafters and first timers looking for an adrenalin charged first run. The minimum age for rafting on the North Fork is 14. We are the most experienced company on the North Fork of the American and take more people down it than most other companies combined. South Fork and Middle Fork veterans desiring more challenging whitewater won’t want to miss the North Fork American this year.

What’s the River Like?
The North Fork of the American River features non-stop adrenalin filled rafting action set deep in a magical wilderness canyon. The North Fork rafting trip features almost continuous technical whitewater rapids. You’ll slalom through Chamberlain Falls, Bogus Thunder, Staircase, and many more. While a hearty deli lunch is served along the river, you can enjoy the spring wildflower display, lush foliage, and abundant wildlife. The last few miles of your adventure offer a slower pace allowing you to catch your breath, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the canyon. This trip will give you a real sense of accomplishment knowing that what you do on your raft with your paddle makes a really big difference. This is a complete “all hands on deck” rafting experience.

We offer 5 different North Fork rafting experiences, ranging from one day to multi day trips. You can combine a North Fork rafting trip with the South Fork or Middle Fork for a truly exhilarating and unforgettable multi-day rafting adventure.

When is the best time to go rafting on the North Fork?
The North Fork rafting is a Spring trip fed by snowmelt and is free flowing. This is the only Fork of the American River that is not dam controlled. The rafting season on the North Fork typically starts April 1st and may run until mid June. Everything on the North Fork, from water levels to length of season, depends on the winter snow pack and rate of snowmelt in the Spring. It’s best to call us for current conditions and availability. We are anticipating a short season on the North Fork this year. Trip time is dependent on water level. Visit our Stream flow data page for more information.

Where is the North Fork Located and where do we meet for the Trip?
The North Fork of the American River located 40 minutes from Auburn is an easy 140 mile drive from San Francisco and about an hour from Reno and Tahoe. From Sacramento the North Fork is only 60 miles up I-80.

For the North Fork rafting trip, you have a few meeting options and can pick the one that suits you best.

Option 1: Stay at our deluxe campground in the Historic Gold Rush town of Coloma the night before your trip. Your camping the night before is free along with Foam Sleeping Pads and Tents!

Option 2: By prior arrangement, meet at our Auburn Meeting area between 7:30 and 8:30 AM the morning of your trip. Trip start times vary on weekends so please call ahead. Leave your vehicle at the secure parking area and ride our shuttle to the river. At the end of your trip, you’ll be dropped back at your vehicle. This is a great option for those coming from near Sacramento, Reno or the Bay Area.

Option 3: Meet at our camp in Coloma at 7:00 AM the morning of your trip. Ideal for those living off the I-50 corridor of Sacramento or those driving down from South Lake Tahoe.

Want to stay awhile?
There is a lot to do and see in Coloma and the surrounding areas, so why not take a few days. Our location and facilities are truly unique. We are the only rafting company with easy river access that has a privately owned resort campground with great facilities like an in-ground swimming pool, stocked bass and trout pond, luxury cabins and lush grass covered campsites. Our private campground in Coloma is located in the middle of the James Marshall Gold Discovery State Park. Just a five minute walk and you are in the middle of Gold Rush History! Coloma is in the heart of El Dorado Wine Country and surrounded by beautiful Hiking, Biking and Equestrian Trails.
So are you ready to spend a day rafting on the North Fork and having more fun than a barrel of monkeys? Check out the North Fork American River virtual tour with a rapid-by-rapid description. California State Parks has an excellent site with lots of information about the North Fork of the American River and the surrounding area. There is also a North Fork American River Access Map for people interested in exploring the North Fork American River. You can also look at current and historic North Fork Flows.

Trip Photography Package Option – Share your Adventure

Photos are taken beginning with the safety talk and continue until the end of your trip. CD’s are available at the completion of your trip from Sierra Nevada Photo. Photos will be shown on the big screen following each trip and during dinner.

Super Deluxe Bus Transportation for Large Groups: Round Trip Available!

For more questions on our North Fork Trips or questions in general, please call us at 800-825-3205 or check out our FAQ page.

When you raft the North Fork with us you will get

  • FREE use of wetsuit and paddle jacket. Save $20 – $30!
  • FREE camping at our deluxe Coloma campsite the night prior to your one-day trip. Save $10! Additional camping: $10 per person per day.
  • FREE 4-person rental tent use (set up) complete with foam sleeping pad. Save $20 – $28!
  • PLUS a Safety Kayak will accompany your trip when needed at higher flows.

#01 One Day – North Fork

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.

WHERE: Iowa Hill Bridge to Ponderosa Bridge
LENGTH: 9 miles
Class: V
DEPARTS: 9:00 AM every day
MEALS: Riverside Lunch Included
CAMPING: Camping the night before your trip is FREE
Minimum Age: 14 and older
CLASS IV – V Monday – Friday Saturday or Sunday
1 Day
Trip
Adult/Youth Adult/Youth
$129 $139

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

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Enjoy this pristine canyon with beautiful rock formations and exciting rapids. Featuring almost continuous technical whitewater rapids, you’ll slalom through Chamberlain Falls, Bogus Thunder, Staircase, and many more. While a hearty deli lunch is served along the river you can enjoy the spring wildflower display, lush foliage, and abundant wildlife. The last few miles of your adventure offer a slower pace allowing you to catch your breath, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the canyon.

Safety Kayak or Safety Raft on all trips when needed on North Fork rafting trips.

Important Trip Details

The North Fork rafting trip is offered every day of the week departing from our River Camp in Coloma or the pick-up point in Auburn. Click for Directions.

Weekend Start Times vary for the morning and afternoon so please call our office for exact meet times.

Get ready for some North Fork rafting action! Check out our Equipment List for items you will need for your trip as well as maps and directions to our River Camp.

#02 One Day Combo – North Fork Double Trouble

What could be better than running the Class V North Fork of the American River? Running it twice in the same day!

WHERE: Iowa Hill Bridge to Ponderosa Bridge
LENGTH: 18 miles
Class: V
DEPARTS: 9:00 AM every day
MEALS: Riverside Lunch Included
CAMPING: Camping the night before your trip is FREE
Minimum Age: 14 and older
CLASS IV – V Monday – Friday Saturday or Sunday
1 Day
Double Trip
Adult/Youth Adult/Youth
$179 $199

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

Click Here for Details and ItineraryClick Here to Hide Details and Itinerary

Enjoy this pristine canyon with beautiful rock formations and exciting rapids. Featuring almost continuous technical whitewater rapids, you’ll slalom through Chamberlain Falls, Bogus Thunder, Staircase, and many more. The last few miles of your adventure offer a slower pace allowing you to catch your breath, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the canyon. After a hearty deli lunch is served alongside the river, you will shuttle back to the top to do it all over again.
For your North Fork rafting trip a Safety Kayak or Safety Raft will be on all trips during higher flows and when needed.

Important Trip Details

The North Fork rafting trip is offered every day of the week departing from our River Camp in Coloma or the pick-up point in Auburn. Click for Directions.

Weekend Start Times vary for the morning and afternoon so please call our office for exact meet times.

Are you ready to go rafting on the North Fork? Check out our Equipment List for items you will need for your trip as well as maps and directions to our River Camp.

#03 Two Day Trip – South Fork Lower Gorge + North Fork Combo

Looking for some adrenalin pumping fun? Get warmed up on the fun rapids of the South Fork and then head to the North Fork for an adrenalin rush of Class V whitewater and some serious fun.

WHERE: Day 1 – Coloma to Salmon Falls on the South Fork
Day 2 – Iowa Hill Bridge to Ponderosa Bridge on the North Fork
LENGTH: 24 miles
Class: III & V
DEPARTS: 10:00 AM every day
MEALS: 5 meals included
CAMPING: 2 nights camping is Free
Minimum Age: 14 and older
Two Day
COMBO
Trip
Monday & Tuesday,
Tuesday & Wednesday,
Thursday & Friday
Friday & Saturday,
Sunday & Monday
Saturday & SUNDAY
Cost per person $279 $289 $299

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

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This two day celebration of high water action is our most popular springtime run. On the first day you will raft the South Fork which is truly spectacular at high water flows. The second day we journey to the Class V North Fork for rapids that are even more challenging. Join us for two fun-filled days of whitewater adventures you’ll long remember.

Arrive the day before your trip at our deluxe river campground, complete with indoor restrooms and free hot showers, swimming pool, volleyball court, and more, situated just above Troublemaker Rapid on the South Fork. Your two day South Fork American river adventure begins the morning of your day with a hearty breakfast then, after an informative safety talk, you’re off to the South Fork American River for a day of fun, laughter, excitement, and lots of exhilarating whitewater.

The first few rapids you’ll encounter on the lower stretch are small but spirited and will allow you to practice your new paddling skills. Then a huge deli-style lunch to match those big, outdoor appetites will be set out for you by the side of the river. After lunch, we’re off to challenge “The Gorge” and experience the excitement of outstanding rapids such as Satan’s Cesspool and Hospital Bar. Just before you hit Folsom Lake our own Honda Jet Ski will meet you for the tow to the take-out at Salmon Falls – this way you avoid a 2 mile paddle out with a headwind.

At the end of the day’s rafting, cold beverages and transportation back to camp await you. At camp you can enjoy some tasty hors d’oeuvres, a hot shower or free time until we serve a delicious, healthy dinner with dessert that will satisfy the heartiest appetite.
On the second day of your North Fork rafting adventure begins early following a delicious continental breakfast. Heading off to the North Fork for a day of thrills, challenges, and excitement as well as real wilderness experience. The North Fork American features almost continuous technical whitewater rapids. You’ll slalom through Chamberlain Falls, Bogus Thunder, Staircase, and many more. While a hearty deli lunch is served along the river or at takeout depending on water flows, you can enjoy the spring wildflower display, lush foliage, and abundant wildlife. The last few miles of your adventure offer a slower pace allowing you to catch your breath, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the canyon.

Important Trip Details

This North Fork rafting trip is offered on Monday/Tuesday, Tuesday/Wednesday, Thursday Friday, Friday/Saturday, Saturday/Sunday, and Sunday/Monday
Additional night’s camping and meals are available. Please call us 1-800-825-3205 or contact us for details.

Get ready for some North Fork and South Fork rafting action! Check out our Equipment List for items you will need for your trip as well as maps and directions to our River Camp.

#04 Two Day Trip – South Fork Whole River + North Fork SUPER COMBO

Spend a full day honing your skills on the South Fork 21 mile run before heading to the North Fork for a day filled with even bigger drops and more intense whitewater.

WHERE: Day 1 – Chili Bar to Salmon Falls on the South Fork
Day 2 – Iowa Hill Bridge to Ponderosa Bridge on the North Fork
LENGTH: 30 miles
Class: III & V
DEPARTS: 9:00 AM every day
MEALS: 5 meals included
CAMPING: 2 nights camping is Free
Minimum Age: 14 and older
Two Day
Super
Combo
Monday & Tuesday
Tuesday & Wednesday
Thursday & Friday
Friday & Saturday
Sunday & Monday
Saturday & Sunday
Cost Per Person $299 $309 $329

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

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The Super Combo is the best Spring trip we offer with LOTS of river time, fun and action. Raft two exciting rapid-filled days on the whole river run of the South Fork the first day, then the North Fork on the next day. That’s 30 total river miles of thrilling whitewater. By FAR the most bang for your BUCK.

Arrive the day before your trip at our deluxe river campground, complete with indoor restrooms and free hot showers, swimming pool, volleyball court, and more, situated just above Troublemaker Rapid on the South Fork. Your 2 day South Fork American river adventure begins the morning of your day with a hearty breakfast then you’re off to the top of the South Fork of the American River for a full day of fun, laughter, excitement, and lots of exhilarating whitewater.

Our shuttle will drive you to the put-in at Chili Bar where you will paddle your way through rapids such as Meat Grinder, Triple Threat, and the famous Troublemaker. A hearty deli-style lunch is served at our riverside lunch site. Then you’ll head downstream to the Gorge, a canyon filled with rapids such as Satan’s Cesspool, Bouncing Rock, and Hospital Bar. After the last rapid our Honda Jet Ski will tow the rafts across Folsom Lake to the take-out.

At the end of the day’s rafting, cold beverages and transportation back to camp await you. At camp you can enjoy some tasty hors d’oeuvres, a hot shower or free time until we serve a delicious, healthy dinner with dessert that will satisfy the heartiest appetite.
On the second day of your adventure begins early following a delicious continental breakfast. Heading off to the North Fork for a day of thrills, challenges, and excitement as well as real wilderness experience. The North Fork American features almost continuous technical whitewater rapids. You’ll slalom through Chamberlain Falls, Bogus Thunder, Staircase, and many more. While a hearty deli lunch is served along the river or at takeout depending on water flows, you can enjoy the spring wildflower display, lush foliage, and abundant wildlife. The last few miles of your adventure offer a slower pace allowing you to catch your breath, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the canyon.

Important Trip Details

This two day North Fork rafting trip is offered on a Monday/Tuesday, Tuesday/Wednesday, Thursday Friday, Friday/Saturday, Saturday/Sunday, and Sunday/Monday

Please check our Equipment List for items you will need for your North Fork rafting trip as well as maps and directions to our River Camp. We look forward to seeing you and get ready for some rafting action.

Additional night’s camping and meals are available. Please call us 1-800-825-3205 or contact us for details.

#05 Two Day Trip – Middle Fork + North Fork Combo

There is never a dull moment on this action packed adventure. Enjoy two intense days rafting down steep, thrilling rapids through pristine canyons.

WHERE: Day 1 – Oxbow to Greenwood Bridge on the Middle Fork
Day 2 – Iowa Hill Bridge to Ponderosa Bridge on the North Fork
LENGTH: 27 miles
Class: IV & V
DEPARTS: 7:30 AM every day
MEALS: 5 meals included
CAMPING: 2 nights camping is Free
Minimum Age: 14 and older
2 day
combo
Monday & Tuesday
Tuesday & Wednesday
Wednesday & Thursday
Thursday & Friday
Special
Friday & Saturday
Sunday & Monday
Saturday & Sunday
Cost Per
Person
Adult/Youth Adult/Youth Adult/Youth Adult/Youth
$299 $289 $309 $329

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

Click Here for Details and ItineraryClick Here to Hide Details and Itinerary

Raft the Middle Fork one day and the North Fork the next for two intense days of Class IV/V action.

Camp the night before your trip for free. Or arrive the morning of your trip at the River Camp by 7:00 AM or the meeting spot in Auburn by 8:00 AM (by prior arrangement only).

Your rafting adventure begins early with a delicious continental breakfast heading off to the Middle Fork for a day of thrills, challenges, and excitement as well as a true wilderness experience. The Safety Talk will be given before the start of your paddle rafting adventure. You’ll raft the world famous Tunnel Chute Rapid as well as Chunder, Mushroom, and many more. A tasty deli-style lunch will be served along the river. You’ll reach the take-out between 3:30 to 4:30 PM for the drive back to Auburn or the Coloma campsite. Ice cold beverages will be provided at the end of your trip.

At camp you can enjoy some tasty hors d’oeuvres, a hot shower or free time until we serve a delicious, healthy dinner with dessert that will satisfy the heartiest appetite.

On the second day of your adventure begins early following another continental breakfast. Heading off to the North Fork for a day of thrills, challenges, and excitement as well as real wilderness experience. The North Fork American features almost continuous technical whitewater rapids. You’ll slalom through Chamberlain Falls, Bogus Thunder, Staircase, and many more. While a hearty deli lunch is served along the river or at takeout depending on water flows, you can enjoy the spring wildflower display, lush foliage, and abundant wildlife. The last few miles of your adventure offer a slower pace allowing you to catch your breath, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the canyon.

Important Trip Details

This Middle Fork and North Fork two day rafting trip is offered every day of the week, departing from our River Camp in Coloma. Click for Directions.

There are limited spaces available on the Middle Fork and North Fork. Weekends fill up fast so book soon!

Please check our Equipment List for items your Middle and North Fork rafting trip as well as maps and directions to our River Camp. We look forward to seeing you and get ready for some rafting action.

Additional night’s camping and meals are available. Please call us 1-800-825-3205 or contact us for details.