California—A State of Whitewater
California has more whitewater than almost any other state and you can choose your level of adventure. So, grab a paddle, hop into a big yellow raft, and get ready for some wet, wild and adventurous fun!
O.A.R.S. is the most experienced outfitter in California and offers whitewater rafting on seven California rivers—all within a short drive of Sacramento, the Bay Area, Yosemite and Lake Tahoe:
Beginner – Intermediate, Class III:
The South Fork American is one of the most popular rivers in North America and it’s perfect for beginners, families and anyone who just wants a day out in the California sunshine.
April – September
Intermediate – Advanced, Class III-IV:
Spring fever arrives early on the Merced with Yosemite snows melting fast and furious. In May and June you’ll challenge raucous, mile-long Class III and IV rollercoaster wave trains. For the rest of the season, this first-class pool-and-drop river is friendly to rafters of all abilities.
April – July
California’s Middle Fork of the American River turns it up a notch (or two) with a series of wild Class IV rapids including the famous Tunnel Chute where you’ll paddle through a man-made tunnel!
June – September
Advanced, Class IV+:
Home to California’s champagne whitewater, the Tuolumne River originates in Yosemite and thunders down from the High Sierra. You can experience “The T” as a thrill-stacked day trip, an adventurous 48-hour getaway or a carefree three-day vacation. A true wilderness trip, the river is big in spring, moderate in mid- to late summer.
April – August
The Class IV North Fork American is a wild ride through stunning scenery. This ferocious river consists of almost continuous rapids, boulder fields and holes. With this much excitement, you’ll barely have time to notice the abundant spring-time wildflowers and lush greenery.
Apil – June
A veritable insta-epic, the North Fork Stanislaus hurtles five miles at a 70-feet/mile gradient past the Giant Sequoia groves of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Granite gorges plus meadows of wild azaleas and old Miwuk Indian sites slip by amidst big waves, churning holes and plenty of technical, demanding paddling.
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April – June