American River Rafting – California’s Best Whitewater

You know that tickling in your stomach you get when you’re on a roller coaster just waiting, anticipating going over that first drop? And then the exhilaration of actually going over and the rush of dropping? California whitewater rafting is a hundred times better – and the view is always nicer too. Less than an hour from Sacramento and 2 hours from the Bay Area, you’ll get to enjoy the best California whitewater rafting – and it’s available almost every day!
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None of us had ever experienced whitewater rafting before – and we were all in our late 40’s and early 50’s. Mike didn’t just guide the raft safely down the river, but guided all of us through a wonderful adventure.
Paul and Cindy C.

A Bonding Experience Like No Other

There are few group activities in the world that can bring friends and family closer together like California whitewater rafting. An experience like this brings you closer to nature, closer to each other. It’s simply amazing. Whitewater rafting is something you must do at least once in your life, and the American River is perfect for all skill levels. It offers fun for beginners and for more seasoned veterans alike.


Our Whitewater Rafting Guides Provide Fun And Safety

If you’re a family with kids wanting to share a rafting experience of a lifetime or you’re a hardcore outdoors adventurer ready for your next whitewater challenge, Mother Lode River Center has what you need. Plus, with 45 years experience on California’s most popular river, we’ll make sure your whitewater rafting trip is safe and memorable.

» Meet your guides!


Safety First!

Before getting on the water, guests will be given a thorough safety orientation. This safety orientation will cover the following topics, to prepare and orient you with the sport before you get on the water:

  1. How to sit in the raft safely and comfortably
  2. Paddling commands – what to listen for when paddling
  3. Paddling techniques – how to maximize efficiency and how to hold your paddle
  4. Rescue strategies for yourself and others
  5. Proper personal flotation device and helmet fitting/adjustment
  6. Voluntary swimming techniques – how to swim safely
  7. Hand signals – for communication and better safety on the river

Whitewater Rafting – The Basics

California Whitewater Rafting - River ClassificationsWhitewater rafts come in all different shapes in sizes. Here at the River Center, we have two different sized boats – designed to accommodate six or eight guests plus a guide. We select raft sizes based upon the total group size and we make our best effort to keep smaller groups together.