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South Fork American River: Chili Bar

Quick Details

Adult Ages 13+
Child Ages 7-12

Experience a Historical Adventure Rafting on the South Fork American River in CA!

River: South Fork of the American River
Section: Chile Bar Run
Duration: Half-Day Experience
River Miles: 12 River Miles
Minimum Age: 7 years old
Whitewater Class: Class II-III+ (Adventurous Beginner/ Intermediate)
Raft Sizes: 13’, 14’ & 16’ rafts are used: On the South Fork of the American River, our rafts can take up to 6-8 guests + a guide.
Guided Tours: Professional river guide in each raft providing instructions throughout the journey


  • Best beginner rafting from North Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, Central California, and the Bay Area
  • Fun rapids around each bend throughout the entire trip
  • Perfect introductory and first-time river trip
  • Large waves, splashes, and plenty of swimming opportunities
  • Fun for the whole family
  • Historical California Gold Rush landmarks

Centrally located in California (2 hours from the Bay Area)

Where We Meet:

  • Pilot Hill, California: 4531 Salmon Falls Rd, Pilot Hill Ca, 95664
  • Vehicles left at our office for the day; load into our marked van for a 25 minute drive to the river. Amenities Include parking, restrooms, changing rooms

Approximately 1 hour from Sacramento. 2 hours from Bay Area, and 1.5 hrs from North Lake Tahoe

What To Expect:

After Making a Reservation:
  • Confirmation email with details and online waivers
  • Prepare for the trip by visiting our FAQ Page
Day of the Tour: Arriving at Meeting Location:
  • Check-in at Pilot Hill Office at set meeting time: Check confirmation email
  • Board rafting bus for a short 30-minute drive to the river
  • Gear up with PFD, paddle, helmet, wetsuit/splash jacket if needed
  • Quick orientation on river safety and paddling instructions
  • Launch into the South Fork of the American River for an exhilarating rafting experience
What to Expect on the South Fork of the American River Chile Bar Run:
  • Beginner/Intermediate whitewater rafting suitable for all adventure levels
  • 12 miles of whitewater excitement
  • Travel through the golden foothills of the Western Sierra Nevada mountains
  • Historical significance with the river playing a key role in the 1848 California Gold Rush
  • Fun-filled Class II and III rapids with exciting features like “Meat Grinder” and “Triple Threat” and the aptly named “Troublemaker”
  • Rejuvenating swimming holes, allowing time to relax, swim and sunbathe
  • Guides entertain with stories as boats float by the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park
  • Extraordinary adventure for all with beautiful foothill scenery and rich historical context
  • Runs every day, typically from May to mid-September (dependent on river flow)
  • All availability can be reserved online or call for reservations

Why Choose Tahoe Whitewater Tours?

  • Experienced river guides prioritizing safety and guest service
  • Over 30 years of history on rivers, showcasing the beauty of the South Fork of the American River
  • Pioneers in providing a thrilling rafting experience with historical significance

South Fork American River Chile Bar Run

Join us on an unparalleled half-day guided whitewater rafting adventure with our South Fork American River Chili Bar Run! Perfectly crafted for both adventurous beginners and intermediate enthusiasts, this 12-mile journey kicks off in the heart of central California, immersing you in the stunning golden California foothills of the Western Sierra Nevada mountains.

As you navigate the exhilarating rapids, relish the warm sun and refreshing splashes, creating an ideal escape for whitewater enthusiasts.

Trace the historical roots of the region back to 1848 when the South Fork of the American River played a pivotal role in the California Gold Rush. Today, the river draws adventure seekers for its thrilling rapids and scenic beauty. Brace yourself for the excitement of “Meat Grinder,” the grand entrance to a day filled with Class II and III rapids, ensuring a new challenge with each twist and turn.

Midway through the journey, as you continue navigating through thrilling rapids, anticipate the culmination in the adrenaline-pumping Class III drop, “Trouble Maker,” near the trip’s end. As you float by the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park, our guides share captivating stories, infusing historical charm into your adventure.

Immerse yourself in the perfect blend of breathtaking scenery, splashy rapids, and historical richness on the South Fork American River Chili Bar Run. Join us for an unforgettable whitewater rafting experience where every ripple tells a tale of excitement and discovery!