River Rafting Trip Bingo

Posted March 27, 2024 by Reily Schultz

Here at All-Outdoors we are big fans of the idea that you can “game-ify” anything. One of our recent favorite games is Rafting Bingo! Our personal favorite version of the game checks off each of the 10 California rivers we run throughout the season, but we know that not everyone is able to join us on all 10 rivers in one season. So, we have created a few bingo cards for you to fill throughout the course of the rafting season. Check off a box for each thing you notice or experience and see if you can get a bingo, or better yet, a blackout! If you need help identifying any plants or animals on the cards, be sure to ask your guide.

Rafting Season Bingo

There are so many possibilities on a whitewater rafting trip! Use this bingo card to keep track of the cool things you see on the river, and the awesome experiences you have while rafting. Can you get five in a row?

River Rafting Bingo Card
Download the printer-friendly version: Rafting Bingo PDF

Local Wildlife Bingo

The Sierra Nevada foothills are home to a wide variety of animals, many of which you might see on a rafting trip! Keep your head on a swivel as you float down the river and see how many local critters you can count. Don’t forget to check the skies and in the river to see if you can get five in a row!

local wildlife bingo
Download the printer-friendly version: Local Wildlife Bingo PDF

Local Flora Bingo

Guides at All-Outdoors are great at pointing out and identifying many of the beautiful native plants that grow along the riverbanks. No matter what season or river you are rafting, you will likely get to see some flowers, trees, and weeds you may not have seen before (what on earth is a lollipop tree?). Keep your eyes peeled for some of our favorites, and don’t listen to your guide when they suggest passing around the poison oak to make sure everyone knows what it looks like.

local flora
Download the printer-friendly version: Local Flora Bingo PDF

Want to learn more about some of the local plants and critters on your game card? Check out these fun facts about a few of our favorites!


If you have rafted the South Fork American, you have likely seen these funny birds but maybe didn’t know what they were. Mergansers are a type of duck- one of the more fashionable varieties. They have brown heads with feathers that flare up like a mohawk. You can see them all along the American River diving for their food. You may not see one resurface after a dive though, as they can hold their breath for up to 2 minutes. By that time you’ll have rafted down river!

California Sister Butterfly

These butterflies are native to California and Nevada and can be spotted as far South as Baja California. They live in oak trees and feed off the trees, flowers, and any nearby fruit. You can spot California Sisters by the orange spot at the top of their wings. Unlike the well-known Monarch butterfly that uses its bright color to warn and distract predators, California Sisters opt for a more subtle camouflage look to help them blend in.

California Sister butterflies and mergansers are common on the American River

Gray Pines

According to an old Nisenan legend, these scraggly trees are much more active than one might think. Every night the gray pine trees would move and dance in the moonlight, bending and twisting their branches and trunks into new and playful shapes. The trees would freeze in place with the rising sun, resulting in their oddly bent and leaning postures. You will likely see these ‘frozen’ trees along any California river. If you do a multi-day rafting trip and are quiet after dark, and are very lucky, you may even get to see them dance.


While lupines are quite common across California, not all wildflower observers know that they can grow in a number of colors and sizes. Whether you spot a pink, purple, blue, white, or yellow flower, you can check the shape of its flower and leaves to tell if it’s a lupine. These details stay the same regardless of size and color. Look for wide clusters of leaves- one leaf looks like a number of smaller, thin leaves sharing a bud. The flower blossoms open upwards and grow in a conical pattern. Each can be as small as a pea or as large as a quarter!

Dancing gray pines and lupine thrive in the California foothills
Author Bio

Reily Schultz

Reily is a Gold Country native. She graduated from Willamette University with a degree in Studio Art and a minor in Gender Studies and Psychology. She joined the All-Outdoors family in the spring of 2022, working as a California Rafting Consultant and a member of the marketing team. Her favorite All-Outdoors itinerary is the multi-day Tuolumne rafting trip. Reily is an avid artist, outdoors-woman, and purr-fessional cat snuggler.


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