Four Days, Class III
June 8, 15, 22, 29, July 6, 13, 20, 27, August 3, 10, 17
$737 adult / $701 youth
Additional Costs: $24 per person federal, state and local access fees
Why the Sierra Nevada Family
Join O.A.R.S. for our classic 4-day rafting and multi-sport adventure
in the Gold Country of scenic California. Your family will delight in
the miles of thrilling whitewater, paddling below alpine peaks and
panning for gold along the sleepy banks of the river. The end of each
night you can relax while your guides prepare delicious meals and
marvelous desserts. One of your guides will act as the “Fun
Director” with exciting games to keep the kids (and the
Every trip is customized:
Water flow to the South Fork is a result of periodic releases from
hydroelectric facilities located upstream. These water releases are not
controlled by El Dorado County or commercial rafting companies
operating under permits from the County of El Dorado. It is vital that
our passengers understand that the water flow on the American River is
directly related to the demand for hydropower. The guides are aware of
the water release schedule and will adjust the trip logistics to
maximize the whitewater excitement. Bottom Line: Flexibility
is the key to a great run.
• Something for everyone! Increasingly popular with
our repeat guests, our multi-sport adventures are a great way to
explore; combining hiking and rafting with other exciting activities
that take advantage of the best this region has to offer. Activities on
the Sierra Nevada Family Adventure Camp include: rafting, flat water
kayaking, inflatable kayaking, hiking, gold panning, a tour of the
Marshall Gold Discovery State Park and plenty of time for you to relax
on your own.
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and always flexible schedule.
Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips on the
water and sometimes the weather. The following is a sample of what your
trip might be like.
- Day 1 - Lake Kayaking:
At 8:00 AM we will meet at River's Bend Resort, which is located just
next to the O.A.R.S. River Store. Walk past the photo board and follow
the trail up River's Bend from the parking lot.
- Once all guests have arrived, we depart for our
day of lake kayaking. This morning we move from foothills to mountains
via a 1.5-hour shuttle to Silver Lake in the high country of Sierra.
After your guides present a demonstration of kayaking techniques and
safety procedures, we'll set off on our way. We'll start off on the
alpine waters of Silver Lake, a deep blue jewel nestled in a wilderness
where surrounding forests are home to deer, eagles, elk and bear, and
the snowy peaks of the majestic Sierra seem to almost reach the clouds
above you. Spend the day kayaking this pristine mountain lake
– you'll find that there could never be enough time to
explore this place. If you're a beginning kayaker, the tranquil waters
of Silver Lake are a great place to learn– in fact, most of
our guests have never paddled before.
- Once we reach the camp sight after a full day
of paddling, your guides will show you around camp. They will then
provide you with any equipment you have rented and then assist you with
your tents. You then can choose between heading for a swim, playing
volleyball just relaxing while the guides prepare dinner and hors
d'oeuvres. Be sure to keep room for dessert!
- Day 2 - Rafting/ Gorge run:
We wake you in the morning with fresh tea and coffee and a full
breakfast. After a rendezvous at the O.A.R.S. store and a short shuttle
to the launch site, our boats and the crew are ready for us. We will
have a safety talk before we begin our adventure. Ease yourself into
the II rapids before stopping for lunch.
- Negotiating the river as it pushes through the
granite walls of the Gorge, rock gardens, rolling waves, and exciting
drops keep us occupied as we experience our first rapids like Satan's
Cesspool, Fowlers Rock, and Hospital Bar.
- Once we reach calmer water at Salmon Falls
Bridge, our day draws near to and end. Just a little past where we
take-out, there's a steep but short hill that starts at the edge of the
river and ends at the top where our shuttles are waiting for us. Our
guides appreciate any help offered with the gear,, however it is not
encouraged, your safety comes first. After you enjoy a cold juice or
soda from the cooler, we'll return to River's Bend by approximately
5:00 PM for yet another great meal and the opportunity to rest up for
the following day's activities. After a delicious desert, there may be
an opportunity to take in a slide show of our day's adventure.
- Day 3 - Rafting/Chili Bar run:
Rise to the aroma of fresh brewed coffee or tea and another full
breakfast. We then shuttle you to Chili Bar for another day of rapids.
Before we take on the river we'll review our paddling skills and then
quickly move on to Meatgrinder and then on to Racehorse bend, Triple
Threat and Trouble Maker.
- Our morning of paddling works up a healthy
appetite, and lunchtime is as welcome break. Today, we take lunch in
Marshall Gold Discovery State Park, this is where American River showed
explorers the first of its hidden gold in 1848. Enjoy the shade of an
oak tree with a deli filled high with chesses, fresh meats, and
veggies, accompanied by cookies, fresh fruit, cold water, lemonade, and
soda. After fueling up and enjoying the beach, as well as some
interesting information on our historic lunch spot, we're ready to
continue with our river journey.
- Back at our campsite at River's Bend, our
guests will enjoy pleasing hors d'oeuvres and a cold drink –
food always tastes a little better after a long day on the river! Enjoy
a swim or a shower, or sit back with that novel you've been wanting to
finish as the guides prepare your evening meal, to be served at about
7:00. You'll soon see that our guides have more talents than their
whitewater skills – their appetizing barbecued chicken and
steak, Mediterranean pasta or lasagna are also a big hit. Following
another tempting dessert, we can gather together for stories
conversation, and laughter.
- Day 4 - Tour and Inflatable
Kayaking: Yet another delicious breakfast is on hand to
get started on the final day. Take a morning break from the river
before we tour of Marshall Gold Discovery State Park, where the
California Gold Rush saw its start and home of Sutter's Mill, museums,
great trails and gold panning. The kids will love learning to pan for
gold on the banks of the river. Following another morning full of fun,
we reunite at our campsite for lunch. From here, we head back to the
river, and onto the inflatable kayaks. These one- and tandem
(two-person) boats are a brilliant way to explore the river, up close
and personal. Enjoy your afternoon paddle (solo or with a buddy) along
the 2.5-mile stretch back to camp.
- Day 4 - Alternate Option:
For families with children age 14 or over, you have the option to run
the Class IV Middle Fork of the American, rather than the Marshall Gold
Discovery State Park tour and Inflatable Kayaking on the South Fork
American. This option requires an additional fee of $50/person. All
folks should be in good physical condition for this river trip.
• 10 Delicious meals
• 3 nights Camping at River's Bend Resort
• Skilled professional guides
• Life jackets (to be worn on river at all times)
• Excellent rafts, lake kayaks, inflatable kayaks
• Spray Jackets (for lake kayaking)
• Gold panning equipment
• All transfers
What's Not Included?
• Pre and Post Accommodations
• Tents and Sleep Kits (available for rent)
• Items of personal nature (an equipment list will
Why Visit California?
Nicknamed the Golden State, California has proven a fitting state for
the metaphor. It is not only for the riches that were discovered here
in the 19 th century, but for the wealth of beauty, culture and
geographic diversity that exists here. From the Mojave Desert in the
south to the redwoods of Northern California, west to the warm, sandy
beaches of the Pacific and onto the snow-capped Sierra Nevada
Mountains, California really does have it all. Yosemite National Park,
Napa Valley, San Francisco, Death Valley, and Lake Tahoe are naming
just a few of California's world-class attractions, all located within
a day's drive of one another. In these and many other recreation
destinations, outdoor enthusiasts find backpacking, skiing, rock
climbing, kayaking, surfing, rafting, and much more.
Plan extra time on your Sierra Nevada Family
Adventure Camp for some of California's best playgrounds: