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Best White Water Rafting Day Trips Near Los Angeles

white water rafting 610
(credit: shutterstock)

Summer is in full swing and fun in the sun opportunities are endless. Hotel pool parties, backyard barbeques, outdoor concerts, festivals and beach days are just a few of the many things to do in Los Angeles. But if you're looking for a little adventure, think outside the urban box and try whitewater rafting. Imaging traversing down a river stream as you dodge rocky rapids and get soaked with a bunch of your friends on a hot summer day. There are quite a few whitewater rafting tours in and around Los Angeles, making this adrenaline filled adventure a lot closer and easier than you might think.

adventure connection white water rafting
(credit: Adventure Connection / Hot Shot Imaging)

Adventure Connection
6500 State Highway 49
Lotus, CA 95651
(530) 626-7385

If you're looking to get out of the city and into nature, then American River Rafting & White Water Rafting California Tours is your destination. With extensive experience on the South, Middle and North Fork rivers as well as the Tuolumne and Kaweah rivers, there is a river run suited for all skill levels. They offer one, two and three day rafting trips that near Yosemite and Sequoia national parks. Adventure Connection will even help you organize your outing. Private base camps with showers and tents sites are a bonus.

Related: Guide To Eat|See|Hear 2015

white water rafting
(credit: shutterstock)

Tributary Whitewater Tours
20390 Paoli Lane
Colfax, CA 95713
(800) 672-3846

Another whitewater rafting tour with a run for everyone is Tributary Whitewater Tours. From “mild to wild,” they have rafting tours for all ages that make great family outings. For the adrenaline junkies, there's the extreme tour, which promises a white knuckle run you won't forget. Go for a half day trip or go on a four day excursion. Choose your trip based on skill and sense of adventure, but keep in mind some river runs may not be available due to the drought.

All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting)
(credit: All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting)

All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting
1250 Pine St., Suite 103
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(925) 932-8993

Scenic valleys, experienced and personable guides and a great river run is what you can expect from All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting. From beginner to experienced, there's a run for all levels. The two-day Middle Fork run is the most popular for first timers and the Cherry Creek Upper Tuolumne run for class V levels. Enjoy a healthy lunch in the shade for day runs and wilderness cookouts for multiple day trips. Snack and equipment are provided for all runs.

Zephyr Whitewater Rafting) small size
(credit: Zephyr Whitewater Rafting)

Zephyr Whitewater Rafting
22517 Parrotts Ferry Road
Columbia, CA 95310
(209) 532-6249

The California drought has shortened the rafting season and considerably lowered river water levels, but Zephyr Whitewater rafting is still going strong. With two major dam controlled rivers in their region, the American River and Tuolumne River, the rafting season is far from over. Zephyr is also the only outfit on the Kings River that provides a one oar-powered cargo raft for people who want to raft, but don't want to paddle, parents accompanied by small children and people with physical restrictions, making rafting a possibility for everyone. They also offer free use of wetsuits and paddle jackets for all spring trips.

whitewater excitement rafting
(credit: whitewater excitement)

Whitewater Excitement
South Fork Basecamp
6580 Highway 49
Lotus, CA 95651
(530) 888-6515

The only real downfall to white water rafting is the drive to get to the location. Fortunately, Whitewater Excitement offers a luxury round trip bus service for large groups from Southern California to all of the river sites. They also have top-of-the-line equipment, wetsuits, great food and some of the friendliest and experienced guides you could hope to meet. Whether you choose a half day or full day run, or go on a three day adventure, Whitewater Excitement will make it a trip to remember.

Related: Best Outdoor Concerts In LA This Summer

Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at

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