The Sierra Nevada Mountains are home to some of the best rivers in the world. Join Water By Nature for this trip offering some of the best whitewater in the US, all in just one week. Differing from many of our destinations, this trip offers 5 different rivers, a chance to experience some of the best rafting in the world and a chance to soak up small town American hospitality. This trip is offered at prime time for rafting in spring run off. If you are an adventure seeker who has tackled the Zambezi and Nepal and are looking for your next challenge, come and join Hamish and his team for some California Dreamin’

6 nights
1 night
What You Will Be Up To!
  • Day 1


    Arrive into San Francisco where you’ll be met by your Water By Nature guide and transferred to your hotel. Time to explore the iconic cable car, Fishermans Wharf and Union Square.
    No meals Included

    Day 2


    Board our private minibus to our first river of the trip. The South Fork of the American. A gorgeous and iconic river to get warmed up on. Overnight in Placerville.
    Included: All meals

    Day 3


    After breakfast at our lodge, we take the gorgeous one hour drive to the North Fork of the American River and it’s Emerald Green water and stunning rapids. This is a free flowing river with no dams and wonderful Class 4 whitewater. The afternoon sees us driving to Murphys to stay in the heart of vineyard country.
    Included: All meals

    Day 4


    This morning we head into the heart of the Calaveras Big Tree State Park for views of some giant sequoia trees. But our destination is the North Fork of the Stanislaus today, a classic whitewater run. Today we’ll take a drive through the iconic Yosemite National Park where we'll have dinner. Overnight in historic Groveland
    Included: All meals

  • Day 5


    Tuolumne is a wild and scenic river flowing through a stunning wilderness canyon. The highlight of the day is bound to be Clavey Falls. We’ll camp riverside tonight, sharing stories of the day.
    Included: All Meals

    Day 6


    After a filling breakfast the Tuolumne offers more excellent rapids with Greys Grindstone, Thread The Needle and Hells Kitchen. We reach Groveland and overnight at around 6pm.
    Included: All meals

    Day 7


    Today we have one of the best whitewater sections in the world, with a run down the Grade V Cherry Creek section of the Tuolumne. After the day on this classic and challenging run, we'll overnight in Groveland for our post trip meal together.
    Included: All meals.

    Day 8


    This morning we’ll take the drive back to San Francisco for flights home. (Do not arrange before 15:00)
    Included: Breakfast

Request Itinerary

Our detailed adventure dossiers goes into a full daily itinerary for your chosen destination. They will also give you travel advice, visa and currency information, who might be guiding your trip, plus information on ways to extend your holiday.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Dates & Prices

Flights to San Francisco, California

We suggest arranging your flights directly into San Francisco. You can schedule your arrival at anytime on day 1 of the itinerary. In order to give you increased flexibility for your holiday please call our UK or US office's for advice on who to book your flights with. Alternatively, why not use your frequent flyer miles for your adventure? There are many options for your flight to San Francisco with Virgin, BA, United Airlines or BMI.  We also suggest checking on Travel Supermarket for good deals. Alternatively we have teamed up with GYT who can provide you with a competitive flight quote by filling out this form on the Water By Nature website. Please ensure you DO NOT book your flights until your trip is CONFIRMED.
We have price and departure information about the following trips in USA (river prices only - flights not included).

In order to secure your place pay your deposit  of £500 per person (USD$700 for U.S. customers). See our Terms & Conditions for full payment terms.

Please note that prices shown in Euros and USD are indicative only, as they fluctuate. The actual rate payable is always GBP only.

California Rafting Holiday

Sunday 5 May 2019 - Sunday 12 May 2019
8 days
GBP £ 2595
Euro € 2900
USD$ 3695

What You Should Bring

We find most of our clients have in their posession already what is needed for a river journey. We have broken down here the items into what you'll need on the river and in camp. An equipment list of what you will require for your adventure will be sent to you prior to your departure.

River wear:

  • A pair of trainers or Keens that cover your toes and provide grip on wet rocks.
  • 2 pair of river shorts (longer leg length) shorts can be purchased from our online Water Shop.
  • 2 Swimming costume or bikini for ladies.
  • Set of long sleeved thermal top and bottoms to wear under your personal floatation device. Capilene, Polypropylene or Merino wool is best. (not cotton)
  • A rash vest (not cotton) as an alternative to the thermal layer.
  • A baseball cap for under the helmet to keep sun off – can be purchased from our online Water Shop.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Chums for fastening your sunglasses to your head – can be purchased on line.
  • 1 Litre Nalgene / Sigg or similar water bottle or Camel-back hydration system.
  • Carabiner for fastening water bottle to your boat.
  • Waterproof camera such as GoPro for the ‘action’ shots
  • Waterproof sunscreen and lip balm SPF30 minimum.


Around town:

  • 2 pairs of light weight trousers.
  • 2 Lightweight tops - long sleeved shirts or t shirts.
  • Fleece or wool jumper.
  • Light weight down jacket.
  • Shorts.
  • Wide brimmed sun hat.
  • Underwear.
  • Comfortable shoes.
  • Sleep wear.

We provide personal floatation jackets and helmets.


Personal items:

  • Glasses or Contact lenses. Disposable lenses are ideal.
  • Toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap and shampoo.
  • Forget the cosmetics and hair dryer! But we do suggest moisturizer.
  • Hand wipes and a small bottle of hand sanitiser.
  • Small pack towel.
  • Insect Repellent.
  • Personal first aid kit.
  • Headlamp or head torch with spare batteries.
  • Small day pack (Without a frame)


  • Your favourite book/kindle or a journal for recording your river memories.
  • Sketchpad.
  • Binoculars.
  • Photographic or video equipment. We recommend a cleaning kit as sand gets everywhere.
  • Spare memory card.
  • Solar or portable charger.
  • Zip lock bags to keep valuables dry and sand free.
  • Rehydration tablets (Phizz, Nuun and O.R.S are easily available)
  • The only money that you need to bring is for meals in town, souvenirs,  personal items, gratuities and the beer kitty if you drink.
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