The great thing about the South Fork American River is it’s the perfect river for novice rafters or if you are more adventurous W.E.T. has the guides with the experience and training to provide a more exciting trip.
With the incredible snowpack this year you have the once in a lifetime opportunity to experience this river at conditions rarely seen. With flows predicted to be at 5000 cfs and above through June (normal flow is 1000-1500 cfs), this year provides even the rafter who has done the South Fork American River to experience this trip like never before.
The South Fork of the American River is the most popular whitewater river trips in California and one of the most popular in the world. Just 45 minutes east of Sacramento and 1 hour west of Lake Tahoe, this class 3 beginner to intermediate 21 mile river has over 30 exciting rapids that are perfect for everyone from 7 to 100, and for families to bachelor/bachelorette parties. Winding through the golden foothills in the heart of the Sierra Nevadas, every rapid ends in a calm pool giving you a chance to celebrate, laugh and relax before your next thrill. In addition to the exhilarating rapids the South Fork American River cuts right through the historic town of Coloma california where gold was first discovered giving rise to the golden state. This river offers the perfect mix of thrilling rapids interspersed with calm stretches giving you the opportunity to bask in the gorgeous scenery of the oak filled foothills and each other's company. This dam controlled river has the added benefit of providing guaranteed ideal rafting flow from March into October even in the driest of years.
When you choose W.E.T. River Trips to guide you along your adventure, the South Fork American River provides you the opportunity to learn new paddling skills in a safe environment or make the seemingly simpler rapids the thrill of a lifetime. That’s because as the premier rafting company our experienced, local guides have the ability to provide the experience you are looking for. Whether you want to get your feet wet in whitewater while staying in the raft or want a more exciting trip where you very well find yourself in the river more than once. Either way you are guaranteed to have the experience of a lifetime. We here at W.E.T. river trips have made the decision not to become the biggest rafting company so that we can have the flexibility to provide you with your desired experience. Since safety is always our primary concern we have retained the most experienced, trained and skilled local guides to provide you with this experience.
South Fork American - 1 day Upper (Chili Bar) Trip
Our most popular day trip begins with you meeting us at 9:00 at the private Camp Lotus campground. We shuttle you up to the top of the river canyon, providing you with everything you need to enjoy your trip, including paddles, personal floatation devices (lifejackets), helmets, a safety orientation and professional guides. Here the river starts out with thrills right from the start. After practicing our paddling and getting comfortable in the raft you will have the opportunity to surf a hole at chile bar rapid, if you choose, before tackling exciting rapids like Meatgrinder, Triple Threat and culminating in the most challenging and exciting rapid on the river Trouble Maker after which you can enjoy the calming stretch through historic gold discovery state park in Coloma and back to your cars where we first meet, between 2:00 and 3:00. Yet even in this stretch our guides have the ability to play with the features giving you additional thrills or guide you safely and serenely back home, depending on what you are looking for. Along the way we will stop for a gourmet deli lunch along the river, skillfully prepared by your guides. Once back at your cars you will have the opportunity to relive your experience by watching a slideshow of photos taken by professional photographers, relax on the grass fields or take a hot shower before you leave. You also can choose to camp at our camp before and/or after your trip with a gourmet breakfast and/or dinner if you choose. Simply book online or call us to ahead of time.
South Fork American River 1 day Lower (Gorge) Trip (Class III)
This trip starts with you meeting us at 10:00 at Camp Lotus, where you will be fitted with all the equipment and instruction you will need by our professional guides. You will then float along the Class 2 section through the golden rolling foothills, pulling over to feast on a gourmet lunch before the canyon narrows into a granite gorge where you will plunge through thrilling rapids like satan's cesspool, bouncing rock and hospital bar, to name a few. Ending in Folsom reservoir, where we will shuttle you back to your cars to enjoy a slideshow and take a hot shower. Usually around 4:00 to 5:00
South Fork American Full River Trip (Class III)
If you are looking for an extended day on the water then this 21 mile trip is the one for you. We meet at 9:00 to shuttle you up to the top of the river canyon. Then raft down through the Chili Bar and Gorge section stopping for a freshly prepared gourmet lunch on the way. Getting back to your car's usually around 5:30. This is a full day. Best enjoyed during periods of higher water like the spring and high water years like this one.
South Fork American 2 Day trip (Class III)
This phenomenal trip begins by meeting us at 9:00, to be shuttled up to the top of the river canyon. There you will be outfitted with all the necessary river gear and given a safety orientation by one of our highly trained guides. Before tackling the chili bar section of the South Fork American. Stopping for a freshly prepared lunch along the river and getting to camp around 3:30. Giving you time to get situated in camp and enjoy the beautiful grass fields and swimming/fishing holes at camp, before being served a luxurious meal complete with appetizers, beverages (both sangria and non-alcoholic), entree and dessert. Camp out under a thousand stars before waking to a complete breakfast including coffee,tea and orange juice, hash browns, eggs, sausage and fresh fruit. Then as the sun warms the day we get back into our rafts to enjoy the lower (gorge) section of the South Fork American River. Finishing at Folsom Reservoir and getting shuttled back to your cars arriving back at your vehicles usually around 5:00.
South Fork American River Chili Bar (Upper) Express Trip (Class III)
If you are short on time or simply want to charge the river this is the choice for you. The 10 mile Chili Bar Express Trip meets at 9:00 and ends around noon. While lunch is not included with this trip all the excitement is. This trip is a short but sweet gem.
South Fork American River Gorge (Lower) Express (Class III)
If you want a later start this is the trip for you. We meet at 12:00 and finish around 4:00 no lunch is provided on this 11 mile trip but all the thrills are. While we truly believe the more time you can spend on the river the happier you will be, this is a sweet little 11 mile trip.