South Fork American River: Chili Bar
(Class III+ Whitewater)

• Best Rafting From South Lake Tahoe 
• Continuous rapids throughout entire trip •
• Great introductory river • 
• Scenic golden foothills of California •
• Swimming opportunities •
• Historical California Gold Rush •
• Delicious lunch •

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Trip Details PDF

The South Fork – American River (Chili Bar)

Action awaits on this historical trip through one of California’s most popular waterways! Beginning just outside of the town of Placerville, this run offers 9 miles of whitewater excitement. Travel through the golden foot hills of the Western Sierra Nevada mountains as warm sun rays envelope your senses. Splashes of cool mountain water invigorate and awaken as you float through one of California’s most historical areas. In 1848 the South Fork of the American River changed the world when gold was first discovered in the stream bed. The California Gold Rush was born creating the largest human migration for a single purpose since the crusades. Today folks are still attracted to the region, not for its gold but for its whitewater. This trip starts off with one of the biggest rapids, “Meat Grinder” in an exciting introduction. Fun filled class II’s and III’s continue throughout the day with something new around each bend. Halfway down our guides prepare a rejuvenating lunch allowing time to relax and sun bath on shore as the sound of the river fills the canyon. Rapids continue after lunch leading to an exciting Class III drop, “Trouble Maker” near the end of your trip. Here your guides will entertain you with stories as the boats float by the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park. Join us on an extraordinary adventure for all on our South Fork American- Chili Bar run. With beautiful foothill scenery, fun splashy rapids, all in an area rich in history, this river is the perfect escape on a hot summer day.

Class: II-III

  • 7 Years and above recommended
  • Everyone paddles
  • Everyone should be in good physical shape (weight limit 250 lbs.)
  • No experience necessary

Times: 8:00am in Pilot Hill
Meeting Locations:– 4531 Salmon Falls Road, Pilot Hill Ca 95664

Available: April – September
Length: 9 Miles, 2.5 hours
Maximum Passengers: 6 passengers typically per boat.
Up to 8 Passengers, plus a guide in our larger rafts. Ask For Details.
Available Trip Dates:  Everyday all summer long!

Price: $90.00 per adult. $80.00 (7-12years).
No Payment Due until the day of your tour!
Includes lunch, transportation, equipment, and guided trip. Discounts for groups of 12 or more

Getting Here

Meeting location

4531 Salmon Falls Rd, Pilot Hill Ca 95664




Water flows on the South Fork American River result from releases from hydroelectric facilities located upstream. Such releases are not subject to the control of El Dorado County or commercial rafting companies operating under permit from El Dorado County. 

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