More than just a boring float trip
Welcome to the world of self guided river running! Canyon Raft Rentals has three different class 2 (basic manuvering) runs available nearby and free training for beginners with a half hour video presentation in the Scurvy Dog Theater and personal coaching included with shuttle service to the Middle Fork class 2 run. Thousands of newbie's have successfully run their first class 2 rivers here. Many go on to eventually run the class 3 runs.
How it Works: Rafts come deflated and will fit in a car truck in most cases. They are supplied with a large pump, life jackets and paddles. You can can do your own transportation to and from the river if you bring more than one car, or you can get shuttle service at the beginning or end of your trip depending on which river you decide to run. At the end of your trip you deflate the raft, roll it back up and return it to Auburn. On the Middle Fork run, the shuttle is done at the start of your trip and includes inflation and a paddling skills checkout. Your vehicle(s) are left at the take-out point for your return to the shop. On some days you can get a Middle Fork shuttle at both ends. On the South Fork Gorge Run, shuttle is available from take-out back to Coloma and I take the equipment back to Auburn.
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 river section for more details.
Rafts, Inflatable Kayaks, Tubes, Stand up Paddleboard
Rafts come in sizes from 10' to 14' holding 2 to 8 people. Inflatable kayaks are for one or two people. There are tubes to try also.
Appointment only untill May 2014.
Call ahead to reserve or preferably, use the reservation form.
Reservations: The best way to do this is through the reservation form. But feel free to call if you have questions 8:00AM to 9:00PM.
Pre-Trip Preparation: It is important to prepare yourselves for this adventure. Co-ordinated teamwork is required at times to set up for and run the rapids. 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 column 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.Try not to arrive late in the day with a poorly prepared crew.
From about mid June the rivers are dam controlled, 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 newbie's that stand around and watch a few do all the work.
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 concession. The South Fork is in El Dorado County which prohibits raft rental establishments being located there. Only outfitters who do guided tours are allowed there and they can't do rentals. So, Auburn is as close as possible.
If you are traveling many miles to get here, it's best not to burn an extra tank of gas to bring extra vehicles. We can provide shuttle service to or from the river on a charter basis for less than you would pay on the extra gas and wear & tear on the vehicle. 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 (The class 3 Gorge Run) and returns you to your starting point in the Coloma area. Using Canyon Raft Rentals shuttle on the Gorge run has the added benifit of eguipment return via the shuttle van.
Do it yourself transportation
You can also choose to 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. You will need to drop 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.