An approximation of what adventure level (from easier to challenging) you should expect to encounter under typical conditions on this trip. Note: Even an “easier” trip can become “challenging”due to weather, water level, or your personal choice of boat and/or hiking options.
Class II-III rapids, cold water with low to moderate flip/swim potential
River Rating –
Most rivers are rated on a scale of I – VI: from Class I, moving water with riffles and small waves, to Class VI, extreme whitewater not commercially navigable.
Deluxe riverside camping at our adjacent EarthTrek Campground
Exciting Class II-III rapids such as Barking Dog, Satan’s Cesspool and Bouncing Rock
American River Whitewater Rafting Super 1-Day is the complete package
4 delicious meals are included starting and ending with a hearty breakfast
Local history, scenic views, and splashy fun rapids await
Looking for the best no hassle adventure for your team or whole family to truly enjoy? Try our American River Whitewater Rafting Super 1-Day to get the big grins and the adrenaline pumping after which you can rejuvenate back at our riverside campground. This must-do river trip will have you exploring the rolling hills of the Sierra Nevada and plunging into the steep river gorges of the American River Canyon. During your 1-day river trip, relish in plenty of opportunities to jump in and cool off from the summer heat, enjoy a refreshing riverside lunch, as well as work as a team to push through the exciting rapids such as Barking Dog, Scissors, Satan’s Cesspool, and Hospital Bar.
A quick drive from the Bay Area and Sacramento, this two night, one day American River Super 1-Day adventure is sure to please your entire group. Our trip includes four delicious meals during your stay at our private campground where you can sleep comfortably in one of our deluxe cabin tents and feel the comforts of home, plus someone else does the dishes! The Super 1-Day is perfect for families wanting to “test the level of adventure” or large groups and organizations looking for a team bonding adventure. We know once you give it a try it will become a sought after tradition for years to come.
Adjacent to where Hwy 49 crosses the river, behind Hotshot Imaging and the River Park shopping center. Go all the way to the back where you will see the OARS and EarthTrek signs and room to park. Turn left after leaving the pavement and you will see the entrance to the EarthTrek Campground.
10:45 AM the morning of your river trip with camping the night before & after
MILE BY MILE ON THE SOUTH FORK AMERICAN RIVER
Information for this Mile by Mile guide was gathered from the books “California Whitewater” and “A Guide to the Best Whitewater in the State of California,” as well as from a variety of sources on the Internet.
Lower South Fork American ~ Gorge Run
The meeting location and put-in (start) of our Lower South Fork American River Super One-Day trip is the private OARS at Earthtrek Camp 7340 Hwy 49, Lotus, CA 95651: Located on the banks of the South Fork American River.
LOTUS LEDGE SURFING HOLE (II) This used to be a fun little ledge hole, but it was wiped out in the flood of January 1997, and is now simply a riffle. A riffle is a shallow stretch in the river where water forms small rippled waves.
Camp Lotus. Located two miles from historic Coloma, this campground is situated along the South Fork of the American River.
BARKING DOG RAPID (II) This is a fun little surfing wave where kayakers like to practice their rolling skills.
CURRENT DIVIDER RAPID (II+) A rocky chute.
HIGHWAY RAPID (II+) A long, curving rock garden.
SWIMMER’S RAPID (II) Swimmer’s Rapid is a great spot for rafting passengers to jump in and experience what it feels like to swim a rapid. It is a fun wave train rapid.
Greenwood Creek public access is on river right.
Public restrooms. Public facilities on the South Fork American River whitewater rafting trip.
Gorilla Rock. This rock really looks like a gorilla!
FOWLER’S ROCK (III). Fowler’s Rock is the first big rapid on the South Fork’s lower section. The river bends left into a short pool then back to the right where a boulder cluster marks the entry to the rapid.
Interesting fact: Entrance to ‘The Gorge’ occurs after the third sighting of the Lollipop Tree. This tree can be spotted atop a distant hill and does indeed resemble a lollipop.
SATAN’S CESSPOOL (III+) Satan’s is the biggest rapid in the Gorge Run of the South Fork American River. A rock above the final drop provides a good vantage point for photographers and spectators. Professional photographers are frequently stationed here with their cameras. You may purchase or view your rafting photos at Hotshot Imaging near our campground entrance.
SON OF SATAN’S (II+)
SCISSORS (III) The river turns left down a narrow, rocky chute with big, irregular waves.
LOWER HAYSTACK CANYON (II+) A fun, bouncy rapid with big standing waves and short drops in a narrow section of the river canyon.
Weber Creek – a large, year-round creek on river left.
BOUNCING ROCK (II+) This rapid provides a bouncy whitewater ride.
HOSPITAL BAR (III) Named for a medical tent set up here during the Gold Rush, this is the last big, splashy rapid on The Gorge Run. The rapid is a rock chute that bends left and then right. It provides surprising whitewater fun. Professional photographers are sometimes stationed here with their cameras. You may purchase or view your rafting photos at Hotshot Imaging near our campground entrance.
RECOVERY ROOM (II+) Big, fun waves and clean drops.
SURPRISE RAPID (II) If the Folsom Reservoir is full, there will be a flat-water paddle or a tow-out, and this rapid will be under water. Class II rapids continue to mile 20 if the reservoir is low. It is a treat to find Surprise Rapid uncovered!
TAKE OUT (end) for the South Fork American River Gorge Run is at Salmon Falls Bridge at Folsom Reservoir.
Per person based on double occupancy. Price includes $10/person facilities fee.
Cabin Tent rentals. See prices below
$8 per person federal, state and local access fees
Wetsuits included/required on early season and cold weather days
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DISCLAIMER Discounts applicable on American River trips only and cannot be combined with any other offer. Some restrictions apply. Contact an adventure consultant at 1-855-541-4792 for details. Discounts must be mentioned at the time of booking. No retroactive discounts will be applied after a trip has been booked, confirmed or completed. All such discounts are subject to expiration, restriction or withdrawal without notice.
OARS AT EARTHTREK CAMP
Enjoy some well deserved rest and relaxation time at our riverside campground before and after your adventure-packed whitewater rafting experience. A sampling of our campground amenities include clean and modern restrooms with hot showers, beach and river access, fishing holes for the seasoned or aspiring anglers, games such as ping-pong and cornhole, as well as free WiFi and electronic device charging stations. Our camp is also conveniently located within walking distance to Sierra Rizing Bakery & Coffee House and a handful of other local restaurants.
Sleep the night away in one of our various canvas tents with two options and sizes to choose from to fit your group’s needs. Our canvas river tents are located directly along the water’s edge on a raised deck providing you with a spectacular and private view of the river. Each small river tent includes two single beds, which can be easily pushed together to form a double bed, comfortable sleeping pads, and two chairs on the outside deck facing the river. Each large river tent includes one double bed and one single bed, comfortable sleeping pads, and three chairs.
Our canvas cabin tents are situated on raised decks set slightly further away from the river and feature a covered veranda area with a built-in table where you can sit and enjoy a cold beverage or play a card game with friends or family. Each small cabin tent includes one double and one single bunk bed and each large cabin tent includes one double and three single bunk beds. Inside each cabin tent are comfortable foam sleeping pads. In all river and cabin tent styles you will need to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow or you can bring linens and blankets to make it feel more like home.
Camping Rental options include:
Small Cabin Tents: $80 per night per tent (6 person maximum)
Large Cabin Tents: $100 per night per tent (10 person maximum)
Small River Tents: $80 per night per tent (2 person maximum)
Large River Tents: $100 per night per tent (3 person max)
We respect and recognize that many of the river canyons on state and federal lands where we operate are the ancestral homes of indigenous communities. Where we operate on the South Fork of the American River between Chili Bar and Salmon Falls Bridge, we acknowledge the territories of the Nisenan.