World-class white water rafting near the San Francisco bay area that is only a 2 1/2 hour drive from most points around the bay. With 3 fantastic rivers to choose from, you can plan a half day, day or weekend adventure just by doing a quick search for river rafting bay area on your phone or computer and making the reservation in less than a couple of minutes. We’ll handle all the rest. The three forks of the American river, offer exciting class II and IV rapids, stunning river canyon beauty, and incredible food and camping for paddlers of all experience levels and ages.
Its convenient proximity to San Francisco, San Jose, and the entire bay area, make this adventure a must do, especially for those who have not had the chance to experience a white water rafting adventure. The American River a pristine vacation spot for rafting, camping, fishing, swimming, kayaking, hiking and more.
A sample itinerary for a fun filled river rafting trip near San Francisco.
One of the best bets for a super fun trip, is the Gorge Run on the South Fork of the American river. It is a trip that you can do all in one day, even with the drive from anywhere around the bay. After a quick drive up I-80 past Sacramento, you will encounter the Sierra Nevada foothills, and escape the walled cities of San Francisco. Driving up I-80 a bit further, you begin to relax as you head into the Coloma Valley, where gold was first discovered in 1848 and began the California gold rush. Just down from Coloma State Park on famous Highway 49, Whitewater Excitement is located on a historic 25 acre river front property that serves as it base, meeting area, and campground. Check in and get on the river for a 4 hour day of excitement. With rapids named Satan’s Cesspool, Hospital Bar, and Bouncing Rock, just to name a few, you’ll discover as you enter the heart of the Gorge, that all your troubles are behind you. When you get hungry, a riverside buffet lunch is served to fuel you up for more white water action.
There are plenty of other options for you to choose from for a bay area river rafting adventure. Just look below and find the trip that will get you the most amped up. The guides are waiting for you and will share with you their passion for the river, and some white water excitement of course.
South Fork American river
The South Fork of the American River is one of the most family-friendly rivers for rafting near the bay area. With lots of super fun class III rapids, the South Fork is a fantastic starter run for beginner and intermediate rafters – exciting, but not too intense. The South Fork of the American winds through some beautiful valleys, including Coloma State Park, where gold was discovered in 1848 in California. If you’re looking to accommodate a group with varying levels of experience, the South Fork is the trip closest to the San Francisco bay area. Check out our South Fork American River rafting trips.
Middle Fork American river
The Middle Fork of the American River is a step up in intensity with class 4 rapids through a beautiful, remote canyon. The Middle Fork delivers real thrills and a quiet solitude on the river that is unique. Experience the heart-pounding Tunnel Chute, where miners searching for gold buried beneath the American River, in the 1870’s blasted a 12 foot wide tunnel through the side of a cliff to divert its water, creating one of the most thrilling rapids in the world. The Middle Fork is an absolute “must-do” for anyone looking for pure excitement. Check out our Middle Fork American River rafting trips.
North Fork American river
The North Fork is a naturally flowing river, with no upstream hydro-electric dams, is at it’s best during the springtime snowmelt. It is the most intense and technical of the American River sections, with crystal clear waters, deep gorges with technical drops, and endless rapids. You should be in good physical condition, have swimming ability, and have previous river rafting experience to take on the North Fork of the American river. Check out our North Fork American River rafting trips.
ABOUT OUR RAFTING TRIPS near the Bay Area
Whitewater Excitement is pleased to offer an exciting list of river rafting trips with many different lengths and days. With ½ day, full day and two-day options on all the different forks, plus our combo trips that are totally customizable to suit your group or family, we are confident that you’ll love your time on the river with us.
- the most popular combo trip is our South Middle American River Two-Day Combo trip, where we raft the 14-mile Gorge section of the South Fork, then take the Class III-IV, 18-mile section of the Middle Fork of the American the next day.
- With the most time on the water, our Ultimate South Middle American River Two-Day Combo, is the ticket for you. We raft the whole 21 miles of the South Fork American river the first day, then tackle the 18-mile Middle Fork American on the second day.
- Customize your American River rafting trip for your family or group – call us today at 1-800-750-2386 or check availability online and we’ll get back to you asap.
Booking is online is simple! Reserve your American River rafting trip dates here. You can also call and talk to one of our live humans at 1-800-750-2386. Can’t find the perfect trip here, then use our Check Availability form and we will link you up with a trip that best suits your needs.