2017 California Rafting Season Update. Learn More!


The 2017 California Whitewater Rafting Season Update [MAP]

April 3rd, 2017 Jamie Low

California Rafting Season Update

The above map shows our up-to-date forecast for the current rafting season; we will post updates both here and on the All-Outdoors Facebook page if any new information is released.

Which California River Will You Explore?

All-Outdoors operates professionally guided whitewater rafting trips on 10 California rivers. Explore this section of the website to find great photos, videos, maps and descriptions of each of the rivers and trip options we offer. River trip options vary in a range of ways, including level of difficulty, length of trip, minimum age requirements, driving distance and available trip options. If you’re flexible on dates, first consider what kind of experience you want for your group.

When Should You Go Rafting?

We offer rafting trips in California from April until the end of October every year, and each river has it’s own season that ranges in duration depending on upstream reservoirs or the rate of melt-off from the Sierra snowpack.

The 2017 California Whitewater Rafting Season: Beginner to Advanced Trips Between Now and October!

2017 is an amazing year for whitewater rafting in California. This season has something for everyone looking to get on the river whether you are experienced and adventurous, or an apprehensive first-timer looking for an easier Class II-III rafting trip.

Due to a string of wet storms that were hitting California all Winter long, we started with full reservoirs and plenty of water stored in snow that has been melting throughout Spring and early Summer. All rivers had higher than normal flows during the springtime months of April, May and June. By mid-July, however, most rivers returned back to normal levels and the rafting season on free-flowing rivers without any upstream reservoirs has ended.

Our dam-controlled rivers, the South Fork American, Middle Fork American, and the Tuolumne are having excellent flows thanks to residual snowmelt and reliable water releases from upstream reservoirs. The Tuolumne is still experiencing higher flows which also affect the Cherry Creek (Upper Tuolumne) season – rafting on this technical Class V section will be starting later than usual this year due to the extended higher flow period. These four rivers alone offer the full range of rafting opportunities from gentle Class I-II float trips to super challenging and technical Class V adventures, from a quick morning or afternoon 1-Day trip to multi-day mini-vacations. Read below for each river’s season information for the Summer and Fall:

  • Go Rafting in the Fall (September – October)
    Fall in California is a great time to go rafting: while the weather often remains warm, the river gets less crowded once the kids go back to school. Rafting trips on our most advanced Class V run on Cherry Creek (Upper Tuolumne) will continue through September 5th. The Tuolumne River will have a slightly extended season this year running through September 10th. The regular rafting season on the South Fork of the American River will continue through the end of October on select days of the week, while the Middle Fork of the American River will be available daily through October 1.

Bonus: Every October there is a special scheduled release on the Class IV-IV+ Goodwin Canyon section of the Lower Stanislaus River near Knights Ferry. Dates for our “Goodwin Canyon Double Days” are typically announced sometime in August or September.

If you want to dig into greater detail about the flows for each river, check our Real-Time Flow Reports for California Rivers for more detailed information about this year’s seasonal flow projections.

If you want any help planning your trip, just reach out by phone, email, Live Chat.

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