Where is the best place to white water river raft in California this summer?

 

Whitewater Rafting Alive and Well in California this Summer!

River Rafting in California this summer is going to be a bit hard to find, however, there are 2 great rivers that we will be rafting on all summer long.  They are the South Fork of the American river and the Middle Fork of the American river, 2 totally different rivers that are located just an hour east of Sacramento and 3 hours from the San Francisco Bay area.

Even with the drought hanging on here in California, there are many hydro-dams and lakes that have water storage high in the mountains, and that water has to be run through the hydro-plants and brought down to the cities.  This is where we get river rafting the South Fork of the American riverour water to raft these great rivers with.  We will have some days that are “no water days” that we will not be getting water released into the river.  For example, the South Fork of the American river trips will be able to raft Thursdays through Mondays, and not able to raft Tuesdays or Wednesdays.  So, this gives us 5 days a week to raft, and with great water flows, NOT low water, but an average flow that we would have with a normal snow and rain season.

Trips on these two rivers give white water rafting enthusiasts many options to choose from for an adventure this year.  Offering half day, day, and ALL Day trips, as well as 2 and 3 day trips on both the South and Middle Forks of the American river.

For folks with families (with kids as young as 7 for the class 3, and 4 for our Young Rafters Trip), the South Fork is a great rafting experience.  Offering stretches that have super exciting rapids, and yet, calmer sections to soak in the natural beauty of the canyons, the South Fork is the perfect river for first timers or experienced rafters.  A two day rafting and camping trip is a great way on the banks of the river, 2 days of excitement rafting the 21 miles of the South Fork, and 5 awesome meals. This is exactly what you will get on the South Fork American river 2 day adventure.  If you are not into camping on the ground, there are options for you.  Deluxe Cabin Tents, which have 4 cots and thick pads to sleep on, all on a wood deck overlooking the river.  There is even an option of a  “Honeymoon Tent” that has a queen sized bed, night stand and table, also on a wood platform overlooking the river.

rafting the Middle Fork of the American river For those wanting more thrilling excitement, our Middle Fork of the  American river trips, have some of the only class 4 rafting in California this  summer.  We have both one and two day trips on this super Fun River.  Our most popular rafting trip is our South/Middle 2 Day combo, where you  can experience rafting 2 different rivers in two days, and enjoy camping and meals at our private camp right on the river.

Whatever rafting trip you are looking for this summer, you can still not only  find it here in California, but you can actually get out and get on it this  summer, there is lots of water to raft with!

Planning a Special Event – Try a Rafting Trip!

Nothing brings people together like an adventure that they will always remember and a white water rafting trip will take care of it all, making it easy to plan a special event.

Just leave the details to us… we’ll take care of everything.

Getting together with your close family, friends, or co-workers to plan a special event, to celebrate a birthday, wedding, or even a project completion, nothing is more memorable than sharing an unforgettable experience. You can be together challenging giant rapids, or just floating in a calm pool while enjoying the beautiful canyons of the American river.  What more could you ask for?

rafting the american river Perfect for all ages

Rafting trips can be for the younger ones in the family or group, all the way  up to the grandparents or company CEO’s (not saying that CEO’s are  older!).  Our South Fork American river trips provide an excellent bunch of  options to choose from, all the way from a Half Day Adventure to a 2 Day,  2 Night, and 5 Meal experience at our camp area right on the banks of the  river.

 We’ll take care of Everything!

Making plans for a special event can be a tough job, but rest assured, we can handle all the plans and options to choose from.  Making a reservation with us at Whitewater Excitement  will help to with some of those concerns: we great choices for any type of trip and length desired, superb food, and camping accommodations – at our own private camp area right on the river! Once you arrive at the WWE camp or meeting area, rest assured that we will have everything ready for your and your group.

peaceful setting at our camp on the river

 A LIFETIME OF MEMORIES

You’ll talk and share about your trip with your family, friends, and co-workers foryears to  come – we guarantee  it! The bond that will develop between everyone will be there  forever.  Paddling, splashing, pulling each other back into the raft (after a dip in the river),  sitting around the campfire, simply priceless!

 

flash close up for wweblog answers I hope that this helps, as always if you have questions about this information, or have other questions about river trips, please feel free to E-Mail me, I am always here to help no matter what or where your river adventure is taking you.

Hope to see you on the river this year,

Flash (over 30 years of river rafting experience around the world and back)

Where is the best, most fun place to sit in the raft?

Good Question!  The answer, as always, is “it varies”.

On any of our American river rafting trips

The front of the raft gets the most wet and sees the action

coming right close up.  They are also the leaders in the paddling, everyone behind the front riders, follows them to have the raft paddle as a team through the river rapids.  In front sitting the in the raft on the american riveryou will also be able to see the downriver the best, however, a good river guiding technique is to position the raft sideways in the river, maneuvering before a rapid or section, and then straighten it out once into the actual rapid.

The middle section of the raft is usually the place where people are in the best position to not fall overboard.

 It is not always the case though, but for the most part, that is the place in the raft where folks sit who might be a bit nervous or scared (usually only until they go through a couple of rapids, then they get their confidence and are ready for more whitewater action).

The back of the raft, in my opinion, gets the most rocking action

of all the places in the boat.  Back paddlers get the whole view of the upcoming rapid and get to see the front of the raft drop down and take the big hits in the waves.  This position also gets the big bouncing up action when the raft hits the bottom of the waves and kicks up.  I personally like the back as I can see the entire raft and rapid, we still get plenty wet in the back (not quite as wet as the front, but we still get doused).

water rafting american river People always ask where is the safest spot in the raft

 where I will not fall  overboard.  Well, again the simple answer is, “it varies”.  There is really no  place in the raft where you are totally immune to falling  into the river; it can  happen from any sitting position.  The key to staying  in the raft, no matter  where you sit, is: 1- paddle hard, it will help keep you  in the raft, 2- have  your outside leg forward and foot tucked under the  tube in front of you, or  if you are sitting in the front of the raft, in the foot  cups, and 3- wedge your  rear-end into the gap between the raft and the  cross tube, this is what  we  call the rafter’s tri-pod, a paddling technique  that gives you great  stability  and usually keeps you in the raft.

After all that, there really is no best position to sit in the raft.

 Depending on what you are looking for in your white water rafting adventure, sit accordingly.  You can always ask your guide where you should sit for your best river experience.  Best of all, you have the entire day to move around to different positions in the raft to see what you like the best.

flash close up for wweblog answers I hope that this helps, as always if you have questions about this  information, or have other questions about river trips, please feel free to E-Mail me, I am always here to help no matter what or where your river adventure is taking you.

Hope to see you on the river this year,

Flash (over 30 years of river rafting experience around the world and back)

How do we get the most whitewater rafting in two days on the American river?

For those looking to get the most whitewater rafting for their American river rafting adventure, I would suggest trying the “Ultimate” Combo 2 day trip.  This trip will raft the entire section of the South Fork of the American river the first day, all 21 miles of it, that is usually done in 2 days!  That’s a lot of rafting even for one day.

south fork american river rafting The next day we spend rafting the entire 18 mile section of the class 3/4  Middle Fork of the American river. This day on the river includes the  famous “Tunnel Chute” rapid, a whitewater rapid like no other in the world.  Blasted  out by gold miners back in the 1880’s, the entire river is squeezed into 12  feet (the rafts are only 7 feet wide) and cascades over 100 feet, then it  flows underground through a raftable tunnel.  What a ride.

39 miles of river, 40 plus rapids of class 3 or 4, 12 hours of on river raftingriver rafting the tunnel chute rapid on the Middle Fork American river  time, 2 nights of camping  at a private camp right on  the river, 5 expertly  prepared meals with beer and wine – all in a 48 hour time frame = the most  whitewater rafting excitement you can ask for in a 2 day period.

Are YOU up for this amount of whitewater rafting? Prove it, come up and give it a try, you won’t be dissapointed.

flash close up for wweblog answers I hope that this helps, as always if you have questions about this  information, or have other questions about river trips, please feel free to E-Mail me, I am always here to help no matter what or where your river adventure is taking you.

Hope to see you on the river this year,

Flash (over 30 years of river rafting experience around the world and back)

 

What’s it going to be like to go river rafting in California this year with the drought in California?

Even with the drought still hampering the water supply here in California, the river rafting in California especially on the American river is going to be great!  We have hydro-dam controlled rivers, like the South Fork of the American, which has some of the most popular river rafting in all of California.  Also, the class 3-4 Middle Fork of the American river will have great (normal) flows for at least 4 days this summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Don’t just take our work for it, check out a trip video below that we made from our trip a few days ago (April 6, 2015) on the South Fork of the American River’s Gorge Run.  A couple of super cool families, one from Michigan and another from just down the road in Vacaville, California.

This is the same water flow we will be getting all summer long, and it is a great one.  Flowing 1350 cfs, which is a volume of water released into the river by the hydro-dam, South Fork American river rafting is super fun and still very exciting.  This is not a low flow, I remember 10-12 years ago when we only were rafting on 800-900 cfs and we still had loads of fun.

Yes we are in a terrible drought here in California and need more rain and snow, however, despite what you see, hear read in the media, we still have lots of water to go river rafting in California, especially on the American River this summer. Call up and reserve you river rafting adventure soon, as the dates are limited and space will fill up.

 

 

 

flash close up for wweblog answers I hope that this helps, as always if you have questions about this  information, or have other  questions about river trips, please feel free to E-Mail me, I am always  here to help no matter  what or where your river adventure is taking you.

Hope to see you on the river this year,

Flash (over 30 years of river rafting experience around the world and back)

 

What is the best way to save money on an American River rafting trip?

There are many ways to save money on an American River rafting trip.  The first way is to bring a bigsaving on american river rafting trips group.  Most rafting companies have group discounts, and they can be quite good, with number of rafters above 12.

Also, a few companies, namely ours at Whitewater Excitement, Inc., have what we call Preferred Guest Discounts.  Once you raft with us on any of the forks of the American River or the Merced River, you are automatically one of our Preferred Guests for life (or at least until the computer reservation system purges you from the database – just kidding).  This is one of the best discounts in the river rafting industry.

Another way to save money for your river rafting adventure, is go during the weekdays.  Most companies offer reduced rates during the week, as they are not as popular as the weekends, which is another bonus of weekdays, they are not as crowded as weekends.

river rafting on the American River Bring your kids and save 50% off mid-week trips.  Family specials are commonplace for most  rafting companies, especially on the South Fork of the American river.  If you have kids 16 and  under, they would get half off with each full paying adult with quite a few South Fork companies.  A  great way to bring the kids and save for college!

Lastly, if you are spontaneous, and can get away at the last minute, most water rafting companies  have last minute specials.  They are trying to fill up the empty spaces in their rafts, kinda of like  hotel rooms. These last minute deals can be very substantial and save you lots of money.  However, after enticing you with these last minute deals, you might not be able to get on the river for the day you want, especially if it is a weekend, as they fill up.  It does not hurt to try though especially if you find yourself with nothing to do, call around and get on a river trip.

These are some of the best ways to save money on American river rafting trips, and for that matter,  river rafting trips anywhere.  Give a text, a call, facebook, instagram, tweet, or just round up all your family and friends, and who knows, maybe with a big group, you can for FREE!

Have fun, and remember, we do have water to raft this year, it might not be every day, but the guaranteed days they release will still be AWESOME!!

Anytime is a great time to be on the river – come up and get yours!

flash close up for wweblog answers I hope that this helps, as always if you have questions about this  information, or have other  questions about river trips, please feel free to E-Mail me, I am always  here to help no matter  what or where your river adventure is taking you.

Hope to see you on the river this year,

Flash (over 30 years of river rafting experience around the world and back)

 

 

What is the youngest age for whitewater rafting?

Whitewater rafting is a fun, exciting adventure for most all ages, especially on the American River.  There are a number of sections on the South Fork of the American, one for each age group. One of these, we call our Young Rafters trip.  It is great for kids in the 4-7 age group range.

river rafting on the American River The section of river we take the Young Rafters on is from Coloma Gold  Discovery State Park to the WWE camp.  It is a 4.5 mile journey that  consists of mainly class 1-2 rapids with one class 2+ rapid called, Barking  Dog.  None of these rapids will toss anyone overboard, as we make these  trips super safe for the little ones.  There are times to just relax and float  down the river, other times we will be crashing through small rapids and  getting soaked, and still others times the young ones can hop overboard  and float with the mild current.

 The next age group would be the 7 to 11 range of kids.  This age group,  as long as the younger ones are not too small in size or too timid, can raft  the class 3 rapids of either the Gorge or the Chili Bar section.  The only couple of factors for this age group would be the level of the water, if it is on the higher side after a big snow year, then we would push the age limits up to 12 years of age.  The other factor would be the 7 and 8 year olds.  If they are active and good swimmers, they would be fine.  If they are on the timid side and not adventurous, then I might wait until they are a bit older to take them down the class 3 rapids, and start on the Young Rafters section.

Lastly, are our older kids groups.  12 and older are eligible for a class 3/4 river such as the Middle Fork of the American. Especially if the 12 year old has rafting experience on class 3 whitewater or is on a two day trip that rafts class 3 the first river rafting on the Middle Fork of the American Riverday, like our South / Middle 2 Day combo. Our higher class rivers that have a class 4, 4+, or 5 designation requires kids to be 14 for the class 4 and 16 for the class 4+ and 5 rivers.  These are rivers that have really big rapids for the entire run and should not be attempted by anyone younger that 16.

River rafting outfitters all over the country abide by similar age guidelines for their guests. We recently spoke to Brandon Lake of Western River Expeditions, a Grand Canyon rafting company, and he agreed that four or five is the cutoff they use for slow rapids on Green River and the Salmon River.

Rafting with your kids is such an awesome experience for both parent and child.  If you add the overnight camping as on a two day trip, it is even more rewarding for all participants.  Nothing gets a family, mom/child, or dad/child closer together than a trip to the outdoors such as an American River rafting adventure.  To choose the best trip for your family, use the above guidelines and call your favorite river rafting outfitter.  Also, you can look back a few posts and read about How to choose a river rafting outfitter that is best for your family.  That’s it for now; hope to see you on the river this spring or summer.

Have fun and be safe!
flash close up for wweblog answers I hope that this helps, as always if you have questions about this  information, or have other  questions about river trips, please feel free to E-Mail me, I am always  here to help no matter  what  or where your river adventure is taking you.

Hope to see you on the river this year,

Flash (over 30 years of river rafting experience around the world and back)

What is it like to raft a Class 4 rapid on the Middle Fork of the American River?

The answer to this question is in the video below.  If a picture is worth a 1000 words, then a video is worth 10,000 words, so I won’t write too many here.

The Middle Fork of the American’s “Tunnel Chute” rapid is one of the most famous rapids in all of California if not the USA. It is actually a man made rapid that was blasted out by the gold seekers in the 1880’s.  They wanted to mine a section of river that formed a horseshoe, but needed to divert the river away from the area.  They decided to blast a tunnel through the mountain and then blast a diversion chute ( namely the Tunnel Chute) to have the river go through the mountain and dry out the horseshoe.  Which they did and mine lots and lots of gold!

They created, unknown to them, a rapid that thrills thousands of rafters each year.  Our first trip through the Tunnel Chute was back in 1985, and it was certainly a thrill then , and still is today.  Enjoy this short teaser clip of the rapid.

You’ll have to come up and raft the Middle Fork of the American river to see and experience the full version!

What is a typical day like on a rafting trip?

The answer is:  there really is not a typical day on the river.  Each day, trip, and river are different, otherwise you would be at Disneyland riding the same ride over and over again.  A whitewater rafting adventure is one of the most exciting activities you could experience.

Your day begins with a drive to the river, which in most cases, more dangerous than the river trip itself.  Once at the river meeting / check-in area, your guides will meet and greet you, get you all checked in (which is have you sign a release formdriving to the american river if you have not already done that) and let you know the schedule of the day.  One of the most important items of interest at the check in is – where is your bathroom!  If you are rafting in the spring, on a class 4 river, or it is a colder day, you will then be given wet suits to put on prior to getting on the river.  The wet suits will keep you warmer on a cooler day.  Most companies rent these, however, there are a few that include these for free.

After check in is complete, you will then head for the river, either by walking to the launch area or taking a bus ride.  Once at the river launching area, you will meet all the guide staff and get 3 pieces of river rafting equipment: a PFD (life jacket), paddle, and helmet.  The guides will then adjust each guest’s pfd and helmet to make sure there snug and fit properly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe then gather everyone and give a 10-15 minute river safety and orientation talk which will let you know how to sit and better stay in the raft, how to paddle, what happens if you were to fall overboard, some pointers and tips for making the most out of your trip and some general river guidelines.

We then split up into groups, introduce and assign the guides and get on the river.  The first mile or so (unless you are hitting big ones right away) you will get the feel of paddling the raft and where to hold on.  Your guide sits in the back of the raft and gives instructions on when to paddle, what rapid is coming up and how big it is, history of the area, and the most important question:  when is lunch?

The day of rafting includes stretches of great whitewater mixed up with areas of calm pools and slower current.  Not many American River rafting trips are nonstop whitewater action, we do have stretches where the rapids are mellower and the current is slower.  If you are on a day trip, lunch will be served at mid-day either at the river camp or you will pull over and have lunch right on the banks of the river.  If you are on a half day, then you will continue on down the river without a stop.

rafting on the American river After lunch, then it’s back on the river for more whitewater action.  At the  end of the river section, the take out area, you will then be able to help  carry the raft up to the van and trailer, if you wish.  Some carries are super  short, like on the South Fork of the American’s Gorge Run, while others  might be a bit longer.  This is the part that is left out of many rafting  companies brochures.  There are a few companies that have their guides  carry the rafts up, all the guests need to do is to follow the trail up to the  bus, grab a cold drink and a snack, and take a seat on the bus for the ride  back.  Although, some trips will end at the meeting areas and you will be  right at your car.

At the meeting areas, there will be bathrooms (for most rafting companies) and rafting store that you can pick up your favorite t-shirt or other souvenir.  Your guides will also be there to thank you for the trip and to say good bye.  A trip to the rafting photo shop of Hot Shot Imagining is also in order to view the many photos of you rafting in the rapids.

There is much more that goes on during a river rafting trip including and not limited to; swimming through small rapids, water fights with other rafters, meditation time while drifting, and time to interact with your guide and fellow passengers and so on. You can make your trip the best it can be by fully participating in all the activities that go on throughout your day of rafting.

Have fun and be safe!
flash close up for wweblog answers I hope that this helps, as always if you have questions about this  information, or have other  questions about river trips, please feel free to E-Mail me, I am always  here to help no matter  what  or where your river adventure is taking you.

Hope to see you on the river this year,

Flash (over 30 years of river rafting experience around the world and back)

How many people / rafters can fit in a raft?

Most everyone that comes up for an American River rafting trip, want to raft together, of course it is way more fun. However, depending on the number of rafters that are in your group, you might be split up into 2 or more rafts.  Which in most cases paddle rafting the american river is a lot of fun because the opposing groups can splash one another in the water fighting zones, sorry no big time wrestling in the rafts or taking of prisoners from the other rafts!

Whitewater rafting rafts, at least those on the American river, one hour east of Sacramento, hold between 4-8 rafting guests plus a guide who sits in the back of the raft and steers the raft with help from the guests who use paddles to maneuver through the rapids.  I have personally seen 9 and 10 guests in rafts before on the river, and actually have taken a group of 9 rafters that just did not want to be in two rafts, even though I tried to tell them it would be way more fun?  Anyway, most American river rafting companies, especially on the South Fork of the American, will limit the number of guests to 8 in a raft.  We only use our 8 person rafts, nicknamed “Cadillacs”, and specially designed by our owner for the raft manufacturer Hyside Inflatables, for families of 8 (or groups of 4 and 4) that want to raft together.  The other rafts that our company, and most other rafting companies, use are designed to fit 8 guests and a guide, but we limit those rafts to 7 guests plus a guide, as we think our guests will have a much better and safer time on the river with those smaller sized rafts.

amerian river white water rafting The average raft that rafts down the American river is holds 6 rafters,  this  is what we tell folks when they make a reservation.  If they happen to bring  a multiple of 7 on the South Fork, then we will have 7 in a  raft.  The Middle  Fork of the American river is a bit different.  It is rated  class 3 and 4, where  the South Fork is rated class 3 (it still has some great  rapids and is not a  mellow float, though).  Usually when rafters come and  tackle a harder  river, such as the Middle Fork of the American, the rafts  are loaded with 5-  6 guests plus the guide.  Trips on the Middle Fork need  to take down the  lunch and drink supplies in the rafts, due to the nature of  the river where  there is only one place to launch and one place to take off the river.  We also need to take down a portable bathroom set up in the raft that is set up when we stop for lunch.  The other reason the rafts don’t have as many rafters as the South Fork, is that rafting tighter, class 4 rapids is much safer, and easier for the guide to manage if it does not have a lot of rafters in them.  It also gives more room in the raft for the “Get Down” command that we sometimes use on class 4 and higher rivers.

A fun and exciting time can be had on any river with any number of rafters in the raft, as long as the rafting outfitter does not try to overload the rafts to make more money while sacrificing guest comfort and fun.  When organizing a group of family or friends to go rafting, keep in mind the difficulty of the river, when thinking about how many to invite.  You can always have more than the rafts hold, however, there will be some of the group that will be split off to another raft to raft with the dreaded “Strangers”.  A great chance to meet new friends or you never know, maybe even a new wife or husband, we have had that happen also!  No matter what size group you have, come on up this year, the rafting is going to be great and the guides are waiting for you with baited breath.  Really, Flash?

flash close up for wweblog answers I hope that this helps, as always if you have questions about this  information, or have other  questions about river trips, please feel free to E-Mail me, I am always  here to help no matter  what  or where your river adventure is taking you.

Hope to see you on the river this year,

Flash (over 30 years of river rafting experience around the world and back)