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Non-profit and friendly since 1963
We have been in business for over 40 years and we offer a wide range of trip options for all experience levels. We are a non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving wild rivers and canyons; no owners, no investors, no shareholders.
We offer guided river trips of 1 to 12 days in length on a multitude of rivers in California! 100% of our surplus trip revenues are donated to environmental groups working to protect the places we love. Try us for Rafting Trips in California, California Whitewater Rafting, American River Rafting, Salmon River White Water Rafting, and more!
Join us for an unforgettable whitewater rafting trip on one of the great rivers of the west. You will enjoy our informal style, love our spirited guides and appreciate the beauty and simplicity of life on the river.
From family vacations on the gentle Rogue River, Main Salmon, Middle Fork Salmon and Green Rivers to wild adventures on the challenging Selway, Illinois and Tuolumne Rivers, we have a trip that is perfect for you. We also offer group trips, team-building outings, guide training and a variety of special interest trips.
All of our trips are led by experienced, entertaining, interesting and friendly guides. They are known and loved for their exuberance, intellect, skill and welcoming demeanors. The guests on our trips talk more about their guides than about the food, the scenery or the rapids, (and our food is good!)
Rafting with us is like rafting with old friends. We look forward to having you join us!
Family Rafting Trips in California
A family trip is a chance for you to get to know your children in a friendly, uncomplicated, and simple environment and, although it may not be immediately apparent, a chance for them to do the same with you. Whether your family is you and one child, (or grandchild), or you and a horde of children, (they all don’t even have to be yours), these trips are unforgettable experiences. They are also incredible bargains! We offer an additional 12 to 20 percent discount off of our already low youth rates for any children ages 7 to 17 – this is one part of the trip that won’t soak you!
The South Fork American – 2 day trips
Camp Lotus, CA (near Placerville)
Every Thursday, May through September
$169/youth (regularly $219)
The South Fork of the American River is a playful river with plenty of beginner level whitewater and a few intermediate rapids to grab our attention. It is a very popular trip, particularly on weekends, but during the week it offers a wonderful escape from the stress, heat, and tension of city life. Our unique “wilderness” campsite, complete with a canopy of trees, the privacy of nature and no hot tubs, videos, or souvenir stores, allows you and your family to spend time together in a peaceful setting.
These special trips come from our belief that a river trip provides a unique opportunity for families to spend time together as well as our hope that both children and the environment can benefit from interacting with one another. The emphasis is on enjoying the wilderness as a family and while the most noticeable aspect is pure fun, the less obvious bonding and growing that goes on are equally important.
We offer group trips on the following rivers:
South Fork American – Lotus, CA (enjoyable rapids)
Middle Fork American – Auburn, CA (quicker rapids)
Merced River – Midpines, CA (fast rapids!)
Tuolumne River – Groveland, CA (fast rapids!)
Taking a California whitewater rafting trip as a group is a wonderful experience. All of the fun and excitement are made even more memorable when shared with family, friends and co-workers. And the post-trip stories will make you wonder if you all even went on the same trip!
We offer discounts and customization options for groups from 10 to 80 people. Whether you want to celebrate an anniversary, bond your sports team, reward your employees, organize an unforgettable family reunion or stage the best bachelorette party ever, we have a trip that will fit your needs.
Just like it sounds, a private-charter trip is when one group reserves all of the spaces on a given departure date; you have the entire trip to yourselves and we can work with you to customize the itinerary. The maximum and minimum group sizes vary due to government regulations (see chart on private-charter page) and start with as few as 16 people. Adults get an 8 to 20 percent discount depending on the trip and one person gets to go free.
If you don’t have enough people to charter an entire trip, your group of 10 or more can join others on one of our trips and the adults will receive an 8 – 16 percent discount depending on the trip. Youths count towards the 10 person minimum but pay the regular youth rate. This is a fun way to bring family and friends and still enjoy the excitement of meeting new people and making new friends.
ARTA’s Cooperative Trips are designed to provide low-cost, participation oriented, river centered experiences for groups who wish to take a more active role in their trip. Trips are run on a charter only basis with a minimum of 8 people required to put together a trip. The chartering group assists in trip organization and logistics and plans, purchases, and prepares their own food. Trips are priced on a per-raft basis.
Whitewater rafting is a great way for you and your employees to take a break from the everyday cubicle and have some fun on the river. We have hosted informal company picnics, semi-serious work retreats, special team-building weekends (paddle boats are a natural), and performance incentive winners. We have a lot of options, are very creative and will work closely with you to make sure you get the most out of your trip.
Raft Guide Training
We offer raft guide training at the following locations:
Camp Lotus, CA (Junior School)
Happy Camp, CA (Pro Guide Course)
ARTA’s whitewater school program began in the early 1960’s as a means of training prospective commercial river guides in the art and science of whitewater rafting. At that time, the sport was in its infant stages and learning was achieved through doing, often unsuccessfully! As the sport progressed, and equipment and skill levels improved, our teaching techniques became much more refined and efficient, however our basic approach remained the same: LEARNING THROUGH DOING.
We believe there is no substitute for hands-on experience and we involve our students in all aspects of the school. Our goal is to produce safe river users who are conscientious stewards of the natural environment. If you have ever felt the urge to be the master of your own raft, we invite you to join us for an unforgettable adventure.
We’ve tried to organize our workshops to offer a range of options and learning environments. The Professional Guide Training Courses are designed for students who are interested in becoming commercial guides. The workshops will expose you to challenging rapids, will move at a fast pace and will have an added emphasis on responsibility, safety techniques, leadership and commercial guiding situations.The Idaho Rowing School is slightly slower paced and provides all of the basic instruction and experience necessary for most non-commercial situations and provides a great, general education for those who want to become more comfortable on extended wilderness trips. The Youth School is a wonderful week of playing, learning, and growing with a few subtle lessons in responsibility, initiative and leadership thrown in. We have had students from all six courses work for us as guides.
Perhaps the greatest difference between the workshops is how wet you will get; on the Professional Courses, you can expect to be doing something in the river everyday; on the Rowing School, you’ll probably be in the river just once or twice and on the Youth School, you’ll get in every chance you get.
We are a non-profit corporation, founded in 1963, registered with the State of California and known to one and all as ARTA.
Our mission is to introduce you to the wilderness and to involve you in our trips in a manner that is safe, meaningful, and beneficial to both you and the environment.
Our guides are the heart of our organization. United by a passion for wild places and by a belief that a river trip should be more than a Disneyland ride, they provide exceptional service and outstanding camaraderie. They will be your porter, escort, captain, cook, guide and interpreter, but most importantly, they will be your friend. Meet some of them here…
Our non-profit status and philosophy ensure that any surplus revenues generated by our trips are reinvested in the company or donated to conservation organizations and are not distributed to individuals or investors. Your participation helps protect our nation’s wild rivers for future generations to enjoy.
We donate our profits to the following conservation groups. We encourage you to support any organization that protects our rivers. Thank you.
Thank you for the best trip we could ever have.
Your guides made us all feel like we were part of the family.
Denis Haire, Green Lodore
Keep up the good work of educating people about the health & care of our precious rivers. Its groups like yours that help keep the world real & sane. Thanks!!!!!
June Ritzman, Rogue
ARTA River Trips provides 10% off trips — try us for Rafting Trips in California, California Whitewater Rafting, American River Rafting, Salmon River White Water Rafting, and more!
- 24000 Casa Loma Road, Stanislaus National Forest, Groveland, CA 95321, USA
- (209) 962-7873
- Cost Range: Starting at $219
- Categories: Rafting Trips, Whitewater Rafting
- Tags: Adrenaline Adventures, Central California, Corporate/Team-Building, Custom Experiences, Day Trips, Eco-Friendly, Group Activities, Multi-Day, Nature, Northern California, Outdoor Activities, Outdoor Adventures, Tours, Water, Water Fun, Wild