Classic Rafting Adventures on the American River

In collaboration with Tributary Whitewater, Tahoe Summer Camps is offering exclusive whitewater rafting trips on the American River in the heart of Gold Country! Tributary Whitewater is one of the best rafting outfitters in the western United States – with over 40 years of rafting experience on the American River, Truckee River, Yuba River, Trinity River, Klamath River and more. Tributary Whitewater river guides are first aid, CPR, Wilderness First Aid and Swiftwater Rescue Certified and typically have 5+ years of experience.

Experienced Tahoe Summer Camps guides will accompany campers on each trip as well. Meals, accommodations, transportation, tents, safety gear and more will be provided, please see overview of what to bring below.

The history-rich American River is one of the best recreational fishing and whitewater rafting rivers in the West. In fact, the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, CA in 1848 spurred the California Gold Rush. Its headwaters begin at the Sierra Nevada Crest where snow melt flows west to from the North, Middle and South Forks of the American River. These three forks are known for their granite canyons, forested ridges, massive rock formations, and thrilling whitewater runs.

These rafting adventures are three day, two night adventures, that begin and end at Tahoe Summer Camps base camp, Tahoe Expedition Academy. All trips are designed for campers 10 to 14 years old and will navigate the Class 2 and 3+ class rapids of the South Fork of the American River.

Camp Details

Experience Requirement – All campers on the Rafting trip must meet the following requirements. 

  • Participants must be able to swim.
  • Comfortable sleeping away from home.

South Fork American – Class 2/3+ Rapids

  • Ages: Designed for girls and boys 10 – 14 years old.
  • Trip Dates: See below for scheduled trip dates.
  • Capacity: Limited to 14 campers.

Where: In the afternoon, campers will check in and prep trip departure at Tahoe Expedition Academy (TEA) located at 9765 Shaffer Mill Rd. Truckee, CA 96161. Campers will travel ~1hr 40 minutes by school vehicles to Tributary Whitewater’s South Fork American River Campground in Lotus, CA. On the last day of the trip campers will ride in school vehicles to TEA for parent pickup in the evening. A detailed itinerary will be shared prior to each trip. 

Accommodations: The first night will be spent at Tributary Whitewater’s established South Fork American River Campground in Canvas Tents (sleeping up to 4 people in each, toilets and showers on site). Night two is spent camping on the river bank – tents, sleeping bags, pads, vault toilet and no showers.

What to Bring:

  • Water bottle
  • Swimsuit
  • Tennis shoes or River Sandals (NO FLIP FLOPS)
  • Sunhat or visor
  • UVF Shirt
  • Nylon Windbreaker
  • Head strap for sunglasses
  • Waterproof Sunscreen
  • Towel, dry clothes, and shoes for wearing around camp
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Extra pair of sunglasses (optional)

*A tent & sleeping pad will be provided for each participant.

Camp Price: $695.00

Camp Photos


South Fork American River - Trip #1

06/19/2024 - 06/21/2024
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South Fork American River - Trip #2

07/10/2024 - 07/12/2024
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South Fork American River - Trip #3

07/17/2024 - 07/19/2024
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South Fork American River - Trip #4

07/24/2024 - 07/26/2024
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South Fork American River - Trip #5

08/14/2024 - 08/16/2024
Sold Out. Click Here to Waitlist.