American River Outpost


7330 River Park Drive, Lotus, CA 95651


Local Phone: 530-626-5600 | Toll-Free: 855-541-4792

Office Hours

Mon-Fri: 6am – 6pm, PST;
Sat-Sun: 7am – 5pm, PST

Mon-Fri: 7am – 5pm, PST

American River Outpost sign.

Camp with us on the American River

If you’re ready to spend a night or two under the stars before or after your South Fork American River rafting or Middle Fork American River rafting trip, we’re here to help with whatever you need! If you have your own gear, you can pitch your own tent at one of our great campsites. Of course, if you’re not a regular camper, we have all the gear you might need available for rent. Finally, if sleeping on the ground just isn’t your style, then you might be interested in our pre-set platform tents, which are fully equipped to make your camping excursion both comfortable and relaxing.

Family playing with the giant chess board.

Come Early or Stay Late

OARS offers limited camping for rafters before and/or after your trip at the American River Outpost in Lotus. All nights of camping are $15 per person/night. Advance reservations are required. Please call 530-626-5600 to reserve.

Whether you’re interested in relaxing in the shade, swimming by the beach, or enjoying a good cookout, our campground is the perfect way to extend your rafting trip into a fun-filled California getaway.

Campground Features

  • Beach access for swimming in the river
  • Both individual and group campsites
  • Restrooms with flush toilets
  • Changing rooms and hot showers
  • Riverside camping (on a limited basis)
  • Games, including horseshoes and a life-size chess board
  • Easy walking distance to local cafes
  • Nature trail walk
  • Free WiFi
  • Standard camping gear available to rent
  • Limited pre-set platform tents – call early to reserve yours!
  • Camp store, where you can pick up T-shirts, water bottles & clips, sunglasses & Chums, water shoes, towels, sunblock, flashlights, batteries, soft drinks, ice cream, and more! (Cash currently not accepted; cards and electronic payments only.)
Family setting up a tent.

Equipment and Tent Rentals

If you don’t have your own camping gear, please ask about renting ours! Whether it’s a tent, a sleeping bag, or anything in-between, we’ve got you covered.

Our tents fit two adults comfortably and cost $30 per tent to reserve. Family tents cost $50. Our sleep kits cost $25 per person, and contain a sleeping bag, sleep sheet, pillow, pillow case, and an air- and foam-filled ground pad. Alternatively, you can rent just an air- and foam-filled ground pad for $10 per person.

Rentals should be arranged in advance of arrival.

To reserve camping gear or a pre-set tent call

Man cooking on a grill.

Catered Meal Options

Dinner and breakfast are available by request for groups of 8 or more; if your group is smaller, please ask about dates we are already serving meals, and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

Meals available:

  • Hot Breakfast: adults $15, youth $12 + tax
  • Happy Hour, Dinner, and Dessert: adults $40, youth $30 + tax
  • Overnight Meal Package (includes dinner & breakfast): adults $55, youth $42 + tax

Dinner menus change regularly, but always include a main course, a fresh salad, and at least one side. Happy Hour includes a selection of local wines, micro- and macro-brewed beer, and soft drinks; appetizers will also be served, with an assortment of cheeses, crackers, olives, and tapenade.

Please ask us about the ability to accommodate your dietary needs or restrictions. If you prefer, we can recommend some delicious dining options within walking distance!

Two women enjoy the deck of a platform tent at the OARS American River Outpost

Pre-set Platform Tents

While we at OARS are huge advocates of roughing it a bit, we also enjoy the finer things in life. Our pre-set platform tents are conveniently set up before you arrive and include all the amenities you’d never imagine as part of an outdoor camping experience. Ask your adventure consultant for more information, as there is limited availability! Our platform tents sleep two and cost $129/night (includes camping fee).

Pre-Set Platform Tents Include:

  • Two twin mattresses
  • Lofty comforters, sheets & pillows
  • Bedside table, rug, and lamp
  • Private deck with two chairs
  • Seclusion in a serene setting
  • Private lounge area
  • Easy access to the restrooms
  • No hassle—these tents are set up before your arrival

For families/groups of three, our platform tents can accommodate one additional guest on the floor, for an additional $15/night camping fee + the cost of a sleep kit if necessary.

Cancellation Policy: Payments for platform tents at the American River Outpost are refundable if canceled at least 7 calendar days prior to scheduled arrival; cancellations made 6 days or less prior to scheduled arrival are non-refundable.

Two women sitting outside of their tent.


Adventure is in Our Roots

There’s a reason that more than 70% of OARS travelers each year are repeat guests or were referred by a past OARS traveler.

Family-owned & operated for 50+ years

Commitment to responsible travel

Unmatched professionalism

High-quality rafts & equipment

Low guest-to-guide ratio & small group sizes

Unparalleled access to our public lands

Find Your Perfect Adventure

American River Adventures

Useful Travel Tips

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions?
Call 530-626-5600 to speak with an Adventure Consultant

Can I drive to my campsite?

All campsites are walk-in only. Hand carts are available to help move your gear to your campsite. Please return them as soon as you’re done.

Can I bring my dog to the OARS American River Outpost?

Unfortunately, NO DOGS are allowed at our campground. Some of our guests are afraid of dogs, others are allergic and still others are disturbed by them at night. Please find other arrangements for your pets.

Can I reserve a specific campsite?

No. We assign camp sites based on a number of factors such as group size, group type and how many days guests are staying. You are welcome to put in a request, but we cannot guarantee you will be camped in that specific site.

Is there poison ivy or poison oak at the American River Outpost?

There is no poison ivy, but there is A LOT of poison oak around camp. We encourage guests to learn to identify and avoid this plant. You will not touch poison oak if you stay in the campsites or on our designated trails.

Can the guests get a ride to the put-in on the Middle Fork or North Fork of the American River from the campground?

Yes. Transfers between the Outpost and the Middle Fork or North Fork trips can be accommodated easily with no restriction on numbers. The guests need to be ready to go when the crew is leaving – if they have a booking, there’s a seat on the van for them. This typically means ready to roll at 7:00 a.m. for the Middle Fork and at the assigned time for the North Fork. If you plan on riding from the American River Outpost to the put-in, please notify your reservations agent.

What should I bring to cook or barbecue with?

For most of the spring and summer, fires are PROHIBITED throughout the area. This means no campfires and no charcoal grills. Propane grills and stoves are allowed.

Can I bring my RV?

Trucks, vans or vehicles with rooftop tents, RVs and trailers less than 30’ long are welcome to be parked in our parking lot, with advance notice. Hook-ups are not available. Generators are strictly prohibited. Please ask us about local campgrounds who can accommodate your needs.

What time is check-out?

If you’re rafting on the day you are departing please clear your campsite prior to your trip. If you’re not rafting on your departure day, please pack and empty your campsite by 11 AM. You may stay and enjoy our facilities, however we need to ready the site for our next guests.

What time are quiet hours?

Quiet hours are between 9pm and 6am and are strictly enforced by the county.

Do you sell beer, wine or liquor?

No, but there are stores within 1 mile of the Outpost which have a variety of adult beverages.

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