South Fork Details and Directions


For all South Fork American River Trips. Print this page out for reference if you are going on this trip. See also our printable Disclaimer Form, which you will need to sign and return to us before your trip. See also our Frequently Asked Questions page.

  South Fork A.M. Half Day Trip Information Sheet (PDF format)
  South Fork P.M. Half Day Trip Information Sheet (PDF format)
  South Fork Whole River One Day Trip Information Sheet (PDF format)
  South Fork Gorge Run One Day Trip Information Sheet (PDF format)
  South Fork Two Day Trip Information Sheet (PDF format)
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Meeting Place and Times

All South Fork American River trips meet at our Privately Owned Camp Area right on the banks of the South Fork of the American river, near the town of Coloma.

Meeting Times:
One Day Whole River – 7:45 A.M.
One Day Gorge Run – 9:30 A.M.
AM Half Day – 7:45 A.M.
PM Half Day 12:00 Noon
All 2 Day Trips can come in the night before their trip, after 5:30 PM

South Fork 2 Day Trip FIrst morning Breakfast Time is 8:00 AM / Check-in Time is 9:30 AM

Ultimate South Fork Trip First Morning Breakfast Time is 7:15 AM / Check-in Time us 7:45 AM


From Southern California / Bay Area / Sacramento
  • Drive to Sacramento either via Hwy 99 or Interstate 80
  • Take Hwy 50 East toward South Lake Tahoe
  • Drive up into the Foothills
  • 1 mile past Cameron Park, take Exit #37 (Ponderosa Rd)
  • Turn Left and cross over the Hwy.
  • At the 2nd Stop Light (just across the Hwy) Turn Right on N. Shingle Rd
  • Look for sign to Coloma and Lotus
  • Follow N. Shingle 4.5 miles and it will curve to the left
  • It becomes Lotus Rd – Follow approx. 7 miles – It deadends into Hwy 49
  • Turn Left onto Hwy 49 and drive 1.7 miles
  • Slow down at about 1.5 miles as you will turn left soon
  • Look for the Whitewater Excitement sign on your left
  • Turn into Whitewater Excitement and follow signs to Parking Area.
  • Park and walk to the Store / Check-in Area.

From South Lake Tahoe

  • Take Highway 50 west to Placerville.
  • Turn right onto Spring Street, at the Highway 49 sign.
  • Spring street turns into Highway 49. Follow Highway 49 to Coloma State Park.
  • Drive past the park and you will cross a bridge.
  • continue 1.5 miles past the bridge
  • Look for the 6580 EXCITEMENT SIGN on your left.
  • Turn left at the sign and follow the signs to the parking area.
  • Walk forward to the Excitement Store/Check-in area.

From the North Lake Tahoe area

  •  take Interstate 80 west to Auburn. Take the Elm Street exit.
  • Turn right across the overpass, merge to the left lane.
  • Drive down a short decline and turn left onto Lincoln Ave.
  • This will lead you to Highway 49. Drive down the steep narrow canyon.
  • Once you reach the bottom, highway 49 turns RIGHT.
  • Follow Highway 49 to the town of Cool.
  • Five miles past Cool is the town of Pilot Hill .Drive 5.5 miles
  • Llook for the 6580 EXCITEMENT SIGN on your right.
  • Turn right here and follow the signs to the parking area.
  • Walk forward to the Excitement Store/Check-in area.

driving directions for South Fork American River California River Rafting

CRR Camp Store

At the meeting area, we have a small store that has many different items for sale. T-shirts, sweat shirts, river shorts and sandals, hats, along with waterproof cameras, lib balm, and sunscreen, plus many camping items, snacks and drinks. The store will be open in the morning before & afternoon after your trip.

What to Bring

One day trips you will need a swim suit or shorts, tennis shoes or Teva type saddles (no Bare Feet or Flip Flops), hat, sunglasses with retaining device, sun block, lip balm, pile or poly-pro sweater along with a windbreaker in case of cool weather, disposable waterproof camera, garbage bag for wet clothes, a small amount of money for souvenirs, photos, extra set of clothes and dry shoes (left in the car) for the trip home.

Wet suits are required during the spring (prior to Memorial Day) and during times of HIGH WATER (can sometimes last until mid-June). They can be rented from us right at the Camp Store or from a local dive shop. For your safety, those not having wet suits when required will not be able to participate in the trip.

Two Day Trips you will need the above one day list plus, sleeping bag and pad, tent (optional after Memorial Day), camp clothes (dry shoes, long pants, shirt, sweater or jacket, personal and toiletry items, flashlight, insect repellant.


On all of our one day trips we provide a riverside deli-styled buffet lunch that includes an all you can eat sandwich bar with different breads, meats, cheeses, lots of veggies, potato or pasta salad, fresh fruits, potato chips, cookies, and ice cold drinks.

The meals provided on our 2 day trips include breakfast, lunch, and dinner the first day, and breakfast and lunch on day number 2. All meals include fresh fruit and veggies, and hot & cold beverages along with the entrees. Dinners consist of Tri-Tip, Grilled Chicken, Cesar Salad, French Bread, Baked Potato Bar, Corn on the Cob, Beer, Wine, and Sodas, and our Great Dutch Oven Baked Desserts.


We have our own private camp area, only for CRR Guests, right on the banks of the South Fork of the American river. Our facilities include: bathrooms with hot showers, flush toilets, sinks and mirrors, recreation areas with volleyball, horseshoe pits. All of our camp areas are group areas that are assigned prior to your arriving. Smaller sized groups could be sharing an area with another smaller sized group.

Reservations for the CRR Camp Area can be made by calling our office at (800) 523-5531. Cost for camping is $15.00 per person per night. We do also have areas for RV’s, however, we do not have any hook-ups available.

Coloma Resort (530) 621-2267
American River Resort (530) 622-6700
Camp Lotus (530) 622-8672


Best Western, Cameron Park (800) 601-1234
Super 8, Cameron Park (530) 677-7177
Best Western, Placerville (800) 854-9100

Bed & Breakfasts
Coloma Country Inn, Coloma (530) 622-6919
American River Inn, Georgetown (530) 333-4499
Chichester_Mckee House, Placerville (800) 831-4008

Driving Times

Los Angles 420 miles/7 +/- hours
San Francisco 110 miles/2.5 hours
San Jose 160 miles/3 hours
South Lake Tahoe 80 miles/2 hours
North Lake Tahoe 95 miles/2 hours



Weather conditions can change from one day to the next. For the most up to date conditions click on NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE. Spring time is generally in the 70-80 degree range, however, cooler rainy weather can happen, so be prepared with wet suits, rain jackets, pile or poly-pro sweaters. We only cancel at trip due to severe stormy conditions. Summer temperatures range in the high 80′s to 100′s. Summer evening temps are in the 60′s.

Placerville, CA

  Get the 10 day forecast
Airport Delays
Beach Conditions
Pollen Reports

56 °F

Feels Like: 56°F
Humidity: 84%
Wind: WSW at 5 mph


Keeping an eye on the Tropics