Most companies have a set place where you meet for the American river rafting trip, park your car, gather and get checked in for your river rafting adventure.
From there you may take a company provided shuttle ride to the river launching area or launch right there at the company meeting area on the American river.
When you arrive at the take out area (the end of the trip), most rafting outfitters will have one of their vans or busses there to meet you with a cooler of drinks and take you back to the meeting area. Some companies go all out with the cooler and fill it with lots of sodas, Capri sun drinks, water bottles, and awesome snacks for the bus ride back. While others just have a bottle of water and send you back.
Depending on which American river rafting trip that you are on, the ride back to the meeting area where your cars are parked varies. Trips on the South Fork of the American river usually have a 25 min ride back, while the trips on the Middle Fork of the American river have anywhere from a 5 min to a 45 min ride back, depending on each company’s meeting area.
At most take out areas, there are bathrooms to use before the bus ride back, however, they are usually port-a-potty’s or California State Park “pit” toilets, but if you gotta go – you gotta go!
So, yes, in fact we do end up where we started!
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)