More than just a float trip
Canyon Raft Rentals has free training for beginners with a half hour video presentation and personal coaching included with shuttle service to the Middle Fork class 2 run. Hundreds of newbees have gotten their feet wet here.
Renting a raft or kayak is a much more adventuresome and rewarding experience than taking a guided tour. It puts you in control. Canyon Raft Rentals is all about helping you learn and progress in the sport of river running. With the tutorials on this site and a video presentation before you head out, you'll have a grasp of the basics of raft navigation and teamwork and be ready to practice your skills on one of our easier class 2 runs. And you'll do it for a lot less money too!
Canyon Raft Rentals
is located in the town of Auburn above the canyon of the
Middle Fork American River. These two Forks meet just below Auburn at what is called the
Confluence Area and then continue on into Folsom Lake as the
A half hour drive on Highway 49 takes you to the South Fork of the American River which also flows into Folsom Lake. That gives a choice of three rivers and six runs to explore. To get an overview of the area, check the River Map and click on a run.
Rafts or Inflatable Kayaks
Rafts come in sizes from 10' to 14' so there is a size to fit your group. Inflatable kayaks are for one or two people. There are tubes to try also.
8:00AM to noon on weekends. Evenings for returns & next day pickups.
Weekdays: Call ahead to reserve. In and out of shop.
Reservations: It is important to reserve your rafts since there are limited quantities. The best way to do this is through the reservation form. But feel free to call if you have questions 8:00AM to 10:00PM.
Pre-Trip Preparation: It is important to prepare yourselves for this adventure. There are rapids. Co-ordinated teamwork is required at times. These runs are not suitable for a booze cruise. Each participant should be informed and ready to do their part. Rafting is a team sport. Study the educational pages on this site (left columb links) and have all your participants read them. Have driving directions to the office, put-in and take-out for your river section printed out ahead of time. Please do not arrive late in the day with an unprepared crew.
From about mid June the rivers are dam controled, meaning they turn the rivers up and down. Too early or too late in the day and there may not be enough water to float your boat in places. So, pay attention to the launch time window for your chosen stretch of river! It generally takes most groups a couple of hours between walking in our door and launching. More for large groups of newbies that require a lot of training & guidance.
Why aren't we located on the river?
The North and Middle Fork stretches are located in the Auburn State Recreation Area. Due to the steepness of the canyons and the primitive state of the area, there is not enough space to locate a rafting consession. The South Fork is in El Dorado County which has an ordinance prohibiting raft rental establishments being located there. Only outfitters who do guided tours are allowed. So, this is why we are in Placer County.
If you are traveling many miles to get here, it's best not to bring extra vehicles. We can provide shuttle service to or from the river on a charter basis. Capacity is limited so you should reserve this ahead of time. On the South Fork there is an independent shuttle service available that will take passengers and equipment. You reserve and pay for that service in advance. By using the shuttles, you will also avoid having to pay some of the parking fees that seem to be increasing these days. Auburn State recreation area is now $10 per vehicle. On weekends service to the Middle Fork class 2 run is done at the beginning of your trip at 1:00PM. The South Fork service picks you up at the end of your trip (Gorge Run) and returns you to your starting point in the Coloma area.
Do it yourself transportation
Generally, renters supply their own transport to and from the river. The boats are picked up in a rolled up form and you inflate them at the river with a large pump which is provided. So it is important to have enough capacity for people and equipment. Your trunk needs to be cleaned out.
In rafting there is always the problem of getting back to the car. This is usually solved by dropping off one or more cars at the end point before heading to the start point. This means bringing more than one vehicle and having extra capacity unless you want to ride like sardines! If you are traveling a long way to get here, then using shuttle service makes a lot of sense. Better for the planet too.