[VIDEO] Tom Sawyer Float: The Perfect River Trip for Younger Kids

Posted June 14, 2022 by Jack Armstrong: grandson of founder George Armstrong
View time: 1 min

The Easy Section of the South Fork of the American River that flows through the Coloma-Lotus Valley is the ideal river trip for families with children aged 5 to 7 years old. The gentle Class 1-2 rapids and the relaxing pools in between provide fun and excitement for the youngsters, older siblings, and parents alike.

Delightful way to spend a day on the water as a family

Little kids and water – the perfect summer combo right?  But there are minimum ages for whitewater rafting trips. What’s a tiny rafter to do? If you’re just knee-high to a grasshopper and kindergarten is your reality, not a distant memory, you’re not certainly headed to the Middle Fork, and even the South Fork’s Class 3 rapids are out of reach.

Enter the Tom Sawyer Float Trip to save the summer!  Running through the Coloma-Lotus Valley, this gentle introduction to rafting was developed for families with young kids – our minimum age guideline is 5 years old.  This part of the South Fork is in between the Class 3 whitewater runs of the Upper “Chili Bar” and the Lower “Gorge” sections of the river.  As it meanders through the valley, the river has only gentle Class 2 rapids.  Splashy riffles give the wee ones a taste of excitement, and there are long stretches of lazy water . . . time for water fights, blackberry picking, joke-telling and paddling inflatable kayaks for the more adventurous among you.  Lunch is served at our River Center under tall shady oaks, and all the cooking and clean-up is taken care of by our river guides – no work for mom and dad!


Back to Top

Email Newsletter

Get season updates, latest rafting videos & blogs, plus enter to Win a Free Trip for Two! Learn more