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Tips For Great Rafting

What to Expect

We suggest you arrive by 10:00 a.m. and bring along a lunch in an ice chest. The contract signer for your group will need a valid ID and credit card. Please be ready with the number of people in your group and know the shuttle services you will need. You will carry your raft on a short 10-15 minute walk (less than a quarter-mile) down to the raft launch site unless you pay a raft delivery fee ahead of time. Then you are off for a great day of rafting!

San Juan Rapids

About halfway down the river, get ready for the thrill of the San Juan Rapids. These rapids are exciting yet navigable by even the novice rafter. Be sure to smile for our photographer on weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Enjoy the rest of your float sunning and swimming in one of the clearest rivers in the west! Don’t forget that photos are available for purchase. 

The approximate float time to River Bend Park is 3 to 4 hours depending on releases from Nimbus Dam. Upon arriving at River Bend Park you will return all raft rental equipment to our staff. If you purchased shuttle passes our fleet of shuttle buses will return you and your group to the start once all of your equipment is turned in.

What to Bring

Sunscreen, sunglasses, snacks, beverages (no glass containers), small ice chest(s), shoes, or sandals will make your trip more comfortable. Please do not bring pets.


Reservations are recommended for weekends and holidays. For reservations click here or call: 916-635-6400

Raft Use

Rented rafts can be used on the Lower American River only, between Sunrise Blvd. and River Bend Park. Rafts must be turned in at our take-out location, River Bend Park by 6:00 pm. We do not offer overnight rentals.

Rating Safety

Inherent physical risks are involved in rafting. These risks can be minimized by always wearing your life jacket. For your child’s safety we require children to weigh at least 40 lbs. and be 5 years or older.


Glass is never allowed in the parkway. Alcohol is not permitted on the three major holiday weekends; Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. Otherwise, alcohol is allowed on the river. Be aware that other laws and regulations still apply.

Pre-Trip Orientation Video

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