American River Whitewater Weekends

Experience the thrill of rafting class III rapids on the South Fork of the American River with your friends and family! These adaptive open enrollment weekend adventures are great for small groups and individuals of ALL abilities. Our beautiful wheelchair accessible camp is perfectly situated on the banks of the American River and provides the ideal location to enjoy a day trip or a weekend of camping with a splash of adventure!

Trip Overview

Arrive at our River Camp:
Our trip will begin at our River Camp in Lotus, CA at 10:00 AM. (Note: you are always welcome to arrive Friday night and spend the prior evening on our property at no extra cost.) We’ll start with a warm and friendly opening circle, giving the guides an opportunity to meet the group and orient everyone to the upcoming day’s adventure.

Time for Gear, Safety and Paddling Instruction:
Next we’ll prepare for our trip, including instructions on safety, paddling and a brief introduction to whitewater gear. Before heading out, we’ll accommodate any special needs, and then get on the water for a day of rafting!

Begin Your Adventure:
Our day of rafting will include approximately 12 miles on the Lower Gorge Section of the South Fork of the American River. This stretch starts with mellower Class II whitewater, and then builds to exciting Class III whitewater in the afternoon for fun waves and a wilder ride!

Enjoy an Evening on the Riverbank:
Our day of rafting will conclude at about 5:00 PM, when we’ll either end our trip with a closing circle, or if you booked a two-day trip, we’ll head back to the river camp for a deliciously prepared dinner, fun and adventurous games and a night of camping.

Extend the Fun (Day Two):
We’ll wake up the next morning ready for another great day of whitewater. We’ll have breakfast in camp, then drive approximately 30 minutes to the put in for the Chili Bar Section of the South Fork of the American River. After a paddle and safety refresher, we’ll get on the river! This stretch starts with exciting Class III rapids like Racehorse Bend and First Threat, then we’ll break for lunch at a riverside location. After lunch, we’ll finish the day with calmer whitewater as we raft to the ETC River Camp to get off the water around 3:00PM. We’ll then finish our memorable weekend on the river with a closing circle to share our “Kodak Moments.”


Trip Details

Trip Dates:
• June 28-30, 2024
• July 26-28, 2024
• August 23-25, 2024

Trip Costs:
$110 per person for 1 day/$240 per person for two days

At ETC, we believe that everyone, regardless of financial limitations, should be able to experience the beauty of nature and the challenge of outdoor adventure. We have a limited scholarship budget should a participant not be able to afford the above prices. To apply for a scholarship, please complete a Scholarship Application.

Riverside Camping:
We have a beautiful riverside camp on the South Fork of the American River that includes accessible campsites, an outdoor kitchen, and a beautiful river house. A day of rafting can only be made better when followed by camping under the stars while listening to the flow of the river. We can accommodate groups who wish to camp the night before and/or after rafting to round out the trip experience. Click Here to learn more about the ETC River Camp.

ETC is committed to making outdoor adventure accessible to people with special needs, and our guides are experienced in making adaptations for a wide range of physical and cognitive abilities. We use both paddle rafts and oar rafts to make a variety of accommodations. If you have questions about accessibility, please contact the River Program Manager.


Scheduling and Other Resources

We run rafting trips on the South Fork of the American River regularly from the beginning of May through the end of September. Please contact the River Program Manager at or 415-474-7662 ext. 15 to discuss potential trip dates.

Resources for Participants: Download directions, packing lists and all necessary forms here:

Complete Trip Packet
Driving Directions
Equipment List
Health & Liability Release
Trip Pricing
Overview of the ETC River Camp