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Whitewater Rafting in California

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This site is intended as a resource for whitewater recreation in California. The information is designed to benefit rafting enthusiasts and private rafters. Our site has information about California outfitters and also resources for rafting businesses. Our goal is to provide river information, stories, discussion, gear, flows, and other resources specifically for California whitewater rafting.

The Must-Do Rivers in California

1. South Fork of the American: This is the most popular rafting trip in California because it has lots of Class III+ rapids, a long rafting season, and is relatively safe. Spring, Summer and Fall.

2. North Fork of the American: Steep Class IV rapids in a tight gorge with crystal clear water. This is the premier class 4+ trip on the American River. This makes a great trip for those of you that want a technical challenge. Spring and early Summer.

3. Middle Fork of the American: Middle Fork American is another popular river of the American River. Located just outside of Auburn, California, Middle Fork American features the legendary Class 4+ rapid called "Tunnel Chute." A perfect class 4 river for the paddling enthusiast! Duration from spring to fall.

4. Tuolumne: This river is the cream of the crop with famous Class IV rapids and "Wild and Scenic" scenery. Located near Yosemite National Park, most of the river takes advantage of the great hikes and spectacular scenery by spending a night or two in the canyon. Spring and Summer.

5. Cal Salmon: This California rafting trip is for those of you that are hooked. Near the California-Oregon border, this river is well worth the drive for the numerous Class IV rapids and three famous Class V rapids. You'll set up a base camp as you explore different sections of this river. Spring only.

6. Kings River is located south of central California. This is one of the few rivers in California in which you can experience a Class III river and big water in the spring.

7. Forks of the Kern: This three day trip has over 40 Class IV rapids and 3 big Class V's. Granite boulders, breathtaking vistas, and huge waterfalls make this a spectacular rafting trip. You'll have to hike two miles into the put-in and warm-up on some other class IV rivers first, though. Spring only.

California Rafting News

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Disclaimer: River descriptions and classifications may change due to natural events that may create new hazards or flows. C-W-R advises that any paddler that uses this site be additionally informed by seeking out local news and updates for changes on this river.

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