Goin With The Flow

Mid Week Rafting? Back-to-School Specials!

by Deric Rothe on 08/01/16

School starts soon which means our whitewater rafting season is hitting it's peak! Come celebrate the return of 100 degree heat and epic whitewater with some mid week specials!

Middle Fork American River: Tunnel Chute
Come raft 18 miles with Class IV and V rapids! This all day trip begins at 8:30am and finishes around 4pm. This trip includes huge rapids like Tunnel Chute, Kanaka Falls, Texas Chainsaw, and so many more. Included in your trip is a delicious lunch to be enjoyed in the desolation wilderness of the Middle Fork canyon. $95 per person. Minimum group size of 3 people. Age 12 and above.

South Fork American River: Full River
Check out our South Fork full day whitewater rafting experience! This trip combines our Chili Bar and Gorge trips with a delectable lunch in between back at camp. You will begin at 8am and raft 21 miles of Class III and III+ rapids! Your trip will finish between 4pm and 5pm and includes snacks and drinks back at camp before you leave for the day. $99 per person. Minimum group size of 3 people. Age 8 and above.

Please note all trips are mid week special rates good for Monday through Friday. Both trips include lunch but do not includes taxes/fees or guide gratuity. Please call or text 530-368-9027 for reservations. For large parties and additional discounts for groups of 8 or more please call for a promo code.

Spring/Summer 2016 Features Awesome Trips

by Deric Rothe on 02/09/16

Epic. Awesome. Wet and wild. So much fun ...

With storm after storm drenching the Sierra foothills, Mother Nature is busting the drought and filling up area rivers for spring/summer 2016. 

This year's whitewater rafting season looks to be one of the best ever. So far the Sierra snowpack is at 130% of normal with more than 6 feet of snow measured at Phillips on Feb. 1, 2016, where last year it was bone dry.


What does that mean for whitewater rafting enthusiasts? It means this season will be a great time to ride the rivers with Sierra Whitewater rafting company.

We've been watching the weather and everything is flowing perfectly for a thrilling, but still safe spring and summer.

It's time to start thinking of dates for rafting. If you want to go big, sign up for a spring South Fork, Middle Fork or North Fork trip. The South Fork of the American River is flowing at about 1900 cubic feet per second over the last several days. That's a fantastic flow, which means an exciting adventure with big waves and huge fun.

The South Fork spiked at over 6,000 cfs in late January, and after this high-pressure ridge moves off Northern California, we hope to see future February and March storms deliver similar deluges.

The Middle Fork of the American River, with its world-famous Tunnel Chute rapids, almost unbelievably spiked at more than 15,000 cfs in late January. That's too much water to raft in but it quickly returned to an easily manageable 1,200 cfs this week.

And the North Fork, the only section of the American River without a dam this week boasts perfect rafting flows, a little over 1,000 cfs.

Many returning Sierra Whitewater clients who ran the South Fork over the last few years said they were itching to try to the Class IV Middle Fork. Discount-priced Middle Fork weekend trips are at a premium so I thought I'd mention a few dates that are now available: May 29June 18; July 16 and Aug. 14, 2016.

Of course we will try to accommodate any date you want and weekdays are always available. Please give us a call at 916-952-7816530-368-9027 or e-mail sierrawhitewater@gmail.com.

We truly hope to see you on the river rafting with us this season and going with the flow....

September is Prime Time for Rafting

by Deric Rothe on 09/04/15

It's already September and we've had an awesome summer 2015 whitewater rafting season.

The good news is, there is still an opportunity to hit the river with us weekends in September and Saturdays in October.

The river flows are dam released so we are assured of great whitewater. If you book directly with us and mention this blog you can use one of our wetsuits free of charge. To me, the river still feels perfect and the weather is beautiful. But I know as the season changes some people are more used to cold than others. Our wetsuits and splash jackets come in sizes from Small to Triple X so we can fit almost anyone.

Labor Day weekend should be epic and we still have some spots open on the lower and upper south fork American River.

Give us a call at 530-368-9027 and let us set up a trip that's perfect for you and yours.

End your summer with a splash!

Hope to see you on the river ....goin' with the flow.

Summer a splash of fun at Sierra

by Deric Rothe on 07/05/15

Happy July!

At Sierra Whitewater we are in full summer mode, with plenty of whitewater and great fun just waiting to splash into your life.

Both the 10.5 mile Chili Bar and Gorge sections of the South Fork American are flowing five days per week, every day but Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And we are crushing the Upper Middle Fork, an 18-mile Class IV run on Tuesdays and Fridays and selected weekends.

It's an epic adventure that kicks off with the famous Class V tunnel Chute rapids!

We have overnight camping available at the beautiful riverside Camp Lotus and you can bring your own tents and sleeping bags or use our brand-new gear.

We also have a variety of two-day packages available with or without meals.

This is the summer to have fun on the water.

Come check us out. Call for more information and we will hook you up with the most refreshing fun you'll have all year.

Hope to see you on the river, goin' with the flow.

Add splash of fun rafting this Spring!

by Deric Rothe on 03/05/15

March means rafting season is here. It's time to have some fun on the river, and we're raring to go.

Every Saturday this month we are offering spring discounts on fun-filled 10.5-mile and 21-mile whitewater rafting trips down the South Fork. Water is already guaranteed Saturdays in March, and Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays in April. At least 1300 cubic feet per second is released from Chili Bar dam, which means plenty of whitewater and plenty of fun.

Beginning Memorial Day through Labor Day we will be running five days a week, every day but Tuesdays and Wednesdays. However, if we get some heavy snowfall and rain and have a Miracle March, of course our options would increase. Squaw Valley just got two feet of snow in one day last week! 

In any case, it's beautiful on the South Fork in the spring. There are abundant wildflowers and plenty of wildlife. We see deer, bear, raccoons, possums, coyotes, fox and many more mammals. There are also many geese, a variety of ducks, eagles, hawks osprey and more. 

Treat yourself to a healthy day of fun and recreation whitewater rafting. Our goal is to ensure each and every rafter has a great time every trip. 

Call us now at 530-368-9027 to find out more or make reservations.

See you on the river, going with the flow.

The 2015 season is here and we've got whitewater!

by Deric Rothe on 01/31/15

The 2015 rafting season is almost here and at Sierra Whitewater we're very excited.

Despite media reports of drought, we've got plenty of water. The south and middle forks of the American River are dam released so we just go with the flow.

Sacramento Metropolitan Utilities District and PG&E regulate their releases so we can optimize the whitewater rafting opportunities on the nearby rivers we raft.

Many rivers on the West Coast are not as fortunate, but we've got water!

Yes, we are still performing rain dances, chanting, praying, thinking positive and doing everything else we can to entice Mother Nature to dump rain and snow on the Sierra for February, March, April and May.

We had the biggest storm in December that we've seen in a decade and yesterday Squaw Valley reported 4 inches on new snow, so there's hope for a huge spring runoff, which would also open the North Fork.

It's time to start planning your whitewater spring and summer trips now. We've got a pre-season sale going on with very affordable opportunities for overnight camping, two-day trips as well as our all-day and half-day spectaculars.

Put a group together. Invite new friends and family.

We're sure a fun-filled rafting trip with Sierra Whitewater will be will be a highlight of your spring and summer. Call 916-952-7816 or 530-368-9027 with questions or to make reservations.

I hope to personally join you this season--going with the flow.


September Rafting Offers Autumn Fun

by Deric Rothe on 08/31/14

It's hard to believe the summer of 2014 is coming to an end. But what an awesome rafting season it has been and there is still the solid month of September with more whitewater fun to go.

At Sierra Whitewater, we have had our best year ever, and our guests have been extremely generous in their online reviews.

Our focus on people, and making sure every person who goes rafting with us has a good time and is paired with a guide that is truly focused on giving them the best day ever, is really working.

Sierra Whitewater was proud to voted by readers of the Auburn Journal as the Best of the Best rafting company for a record-setting seventh year in a row. Wow. That's cool.

We have had guests from all over Europe, the Middle East, Asia and across the United States this year. But whether you're from El Dorado Hills, Sunnyvale, Copenhagen or Shanghai, our goal is to offer you the most fun on the river you've ever had.

Many guests come back every year. Several of our rafters have discovered the ease and fun of staying at Camp Lotus, camping under the stars with hot showers, flush toilets and a camp store nearby.

We've run more Upper trips this year than ever before, with Meatgrinder and Troublemaker offering plenty of thrills to our clients.

The Upper Middle Fork, with its scenic wilderness and Class IV-V rapids like Tunnel Chute and Kanaka falls has also proved popular for those wanting to full-on go for it!

Not sure which run you want to do, looking for a place to stay or ideas? Give us a call and we will help you set up a custom trip. There is still one epic month left-Summer 2014. Let's all go for it!

See you on the river...going with the flow ...

Summer 2014 starts with a Splash of Fun

by Deric Rothe on 06/01/14

Summertime is finally here and whitewater rafting season offers a very cool way to beat the heat while having extreme amounts of fun.

Whether you're a returning guest or new to rafting, we want you to know that Sierra Whitewater is your best option for a thrilling time on the American River.

We have the best guides, best prices and offer the most fun.

With crystal clear water flowing freely you can count on a great ride during the summer of 2014.

Already in April and May we have had some epic rafting trips. We recently took 50 college Sorority girls from Alpha Chi Omega at UC Davis. And then 19 church friends of Grace Liu joined us from Cupertino , among other memorable trips.

From left: Jamie, Achsa, and Kassandra enjoy chips and salsa after the Alpha Chi Omega sisterhood rafting trip.

Whether you are a group of 2 or 52, we can accommodate your needs and customize a whitewater rafting trip to your liking.

Here are some ideas for holiday rafting: Celebrate success with your high school or college graduate and their friends and family. It's a gift your grad will never forget.

How about Father's Day?  Take dad on a whitewater rafting trip and we will have his favorite ice-cold beverage waiting for him when he gets off the river.  We have photo specials and a barbecue options as well.

How about making Fourth of July 2014 your most fun ever?  We are offering one- and two day packages at discount prices that include a delicious lunch and barbecue dinner. Spend the night camping out and have breakfast with us too.

Make lifetime whitewater rafting memories this summer.  We have a package deal that will fit your family, friends or group. Remember to go with the flow. Call us for options at 530-368-9027 or 916 952-7816.

Hope to see you on the river.

May offers Current of Whitewater Fun!

by Deric Rothe on 05/08/14

May is here and the river is flowing beautifully. At Sierra Whitewater, we had a great April with plenty of water cascading down the picturesque South Fork of the American River.

Next weekend is Mother's Day and I can't think of a better present for mom than a day on the river, whitewater rafting with friends and family.

How about a 21-mile full river special with a delicious lunch at the halfway point and a celebratory glass of wine, champagne or specialty beer afterward?

All for $99 plus tax.

It doesn't get much better than that. Already this spring 2014 we have had many guests who raved about their rafting trip.

One young man, "Tam," originally from Jordan but now living in England and here on a business vacation, said rafting with us through The Gorge yesterday was his most fun adventure day ever. Ever. Wow.

And "Allegra," an athletic and charismatic mother from Vallejo who rafted with her husband and teenage son this weekend, was busy making plans after her rafting trip. She plans to invite her entire company back later this summer on a team bonding exercise, river style.

Whether you want to try swimming down some rapids, jumping off a rocky cliff into the river, splashing through walls of whitewater or all of the above, we can hook you up with a fun-filled adventure you'll never forget.

Also coming are Father's Day, graduation, summer vacation, Fourth Of July and myriad other reasons to plan your whitewater rafting trip now.

Hope to see you on the river, going with the flow.

Wahoo, whitewater flows are guaranteed for 2014

by Deric Rothe on 02/24/14

As the flagrant, blooming flowers in my Auburn front yard attest, it's almost springtime. That means rafting season is almost here.


But some of you are no doubt wondering if the drought, one of the driest years in California history, will doom our favorite water sport this year.

The short answer is: no.

Locally, we will have an awesome whitewater rafting season in 2014. Guaranteed.

Why? Because the South Fork of the American River is dam released. The river flows, measured in cubic fee per second (cfs), are controlled by Sacramento Metropolitan Utilities District, SMUD.  The river flows are monitored to generate electric power for the greater Sacramento area, located downstream and below Folsom dam.

The good news for rafters is that 5 days a week during peak-use periods, including every summer weekend, there will be plenty of river rapids for whitewater rafting. The American River has to flow to keep the lights on and air-conditioners pumping out cool air in Sac Town.

In fact, the South Fork of the American River will likely be one of the few rivers and creeks on the entire West Coast where water will be guaranteed to be flowing all summer long.

Again, wahoo.

I like to snow ski during the winter and raft during the summer. So the more it rains in the valley and snows in the mountains, the better.

A recent storm sent a cascade of whitewater shooting down the South Fork at flows up to 5,000 cfs. That's 3 to 5 times the normal flows and higher than it's been in February for 3 years, including the very wet 2012 season. Another storm is forecast for late next week.

I'm keeping positive and I plan on enjoying a whitewater summer with you in 2014. It's not too early to start making plans and reserving your whitewater rafting trip dates. Give us a call. We'll be running weekends in April and from then on through to October.

Let's have some fun on the river in 2014, going with the flow. -- Deric

P.S. Call this week for deep discounts and customized, super-fun rafting trips. 916-952-7816 or 530-368-9027.

Christmas Gift Offer

by Deric Rothe on 12/19/13

Order between now and Christmas for lowest prices anywhere on 2014 American River rafting trips. We can overnight or e-mail you a gift certificate so you have it in time for Christmas. Call 916-952-7816 or 530-368-9027 to get your Christmas rafting gift certificates now. 
$65 (regularly $129) Lower South Fork American River, Gorge.  Professional guide-led 10-5-mile fun-filled adventure that features Class III-plus rapids like Satan's Cesspool and Hospital Bar. Stop and jump off a rock into the river along the way or take a hike up to hidden waterfalls, depending on the time of year. This is the most popular, sure-to-please rafting adventure in the Western United States. Comes with snacks and drinks. All equipment provided. Meet at noon, return to campgrounds at 4:30-5 p.m
$65 -  (regularly $120) Upper South Fork American River, Chili Bar. Blast through Meatgrinder and Troublemaker, two of the most notorious Class III-plus river rapids anywhere with a professional guide who keeps you safe and secure while the adrenaline thrills rush through you and your friends. Comes with snacks and drinks. All equipment provided. Meet at 9 a.m. Float into campground at 1:30-2 p.m.
$105 - (regularly $159) Full river, South Fork American. 21 miles of fun. Spend the whole day on the river whitewater rafting 21 miles from Chili Bar to Salmon Falls. The thrilling rapids include Meatgrinder, Triple Threat, Racehorse Bend, Troublemaker, Fowler's, Upper and Lower Haystacks, Satan's Cesspool, Bouncing Rock, Hospital Bar and more. Stop at Camp Lotus for a delicious lunch halfway down the river. Enjoy drinks and snacks afterward. Tell your guide if you'd like to take the plunge into a swimmer's rapid, or jump of a rock or hike up to a hidden waterfall. Meet at 8:30 a.m.  Return to campground at 4:30 to 5 p.m.
$95 - Middle Fork American River (regularly $129).  Paddle through 18 miles of scenic wilderness and thrill to Class III, IV and IV-plus rapids like Tunnel Chute, Kanaka Falls, Parallel Parking, Chunder and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This guide-led all-day trip comes with a delicious lunch. Rafting experience is highly recommended and the minimum age is 12. Weekdays only mid-season. Meet in Auburn at 8:30 a.m.  Return to vehicles by 3:30 to 4 p.m.
Call 916-952-7816 or 530-368-9027 to get your Christmas rafting gift certificates now. Visit www.sierrawhitewater.com for more information. 

Plan for 2014 rafting trips now!

by Deric Rothe on 12/02/13

Life is a great adventure. It is a gift to be cherished and enjoyed. Whitewater rafting is also a great adventure that should be enjoyed with family and friends, old and new.

What is so cool about rafting is that it takes you out of the cities and concrete jungles and into the scenic outdoors. Fresh air fills your lungs and cool, crisp, clean water cascades everywhere around you.

It's very healthy for the mind, spirit and body. Paddling is a workout of your upper body, but the adrenaline rush is often so exciting you don't even feel the workout until afterward.

The river is a very spiritual place that centers you and gives you a timeout from everyday life for just pure relaxation and fun.

To make the most out of life, it takes thoughtful planning to maximize your time and efforts. Whitewater rafting trips are also definitely worth planning.

Schedule a time for your family and friends to get together on the river this season. Look ahead to the spring and summer of 2014 and plan your rafting trips now.

By reserving your trips early, you can get the best prices and secure the dates you want.

Also, please consider whitewater rafting as a Christmas gift. To me, the best presents involve going and doing, sharing an adventure with those you love and enjoy spending time with.

Between now and the new year, we have several different trips from which to choose at awesome prices. Make this next season one that you will remember always.

Hope to see you on the river, goin' with the flow.

September Sizzles With Rafting Fun

by Deric Rothe on 08/20/13

August and September are prime time for whitewater rafting. It's hot outside and the cool, splashing, crystal-clear river feels awesome.

At Sierra Whitewater we are booking through the rest of August and every weekend Friday through Sunday in September too. On Sept. 2, Labor Day, we are having a little thank-you celebration for guests who want to down some ice-cold Sierra Nevada with us after rafting.

Call us for details.

Sierra Whitewater was recently named the Best of the Best whitewater rafting service for the sixth straight year by readers of the Auburn Journal, a daily newspaper located 25 minutes from Coloma.

If you are thinking about going whitewater rafting this year, call us and we will answer any questions you might have and offer you the best pricing and availability that can be found anywhere in the region.

Throughout the end of August we are running the South Fork of the American River every weekday but Wednesday.  And on Wednesdays, we can raft the Upper Middle Fork.

If you want a great deal on a great time, add a splash of fun to your life and come whitewater rafting with us. It will be a day of fun you'll remember for the rest of your life.

Hope to hear from you soon.

See you on the river.

Rafters cool off with thrill rides in summer heat..

by Deric Rothe on 06/24/13

Wow, June is almost over and summer is moving into a full-on heat wave. It's the best time of year to cool off in the American River whitewater.

Here at Sierra Whitewater, 2013 has been our biggest and best year ever.

We have already taken bachelor, bachelorette and birthday partiers, honeymooners, family reunions, class reunions, cheer-leading squads, sororities, guests from China, Peru, Taiwan, India, England and many from out-of-state, like Iowa, Tennessee, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, South Carolina, Wisconsin and more.

Several companies have also seen the value in team building that paddling the river provides. We've taken construction companies, payroll, companies, software engineers and Kaiser respiratory therapists all just recently.

Whether it's just you and a special someone, or 50 people from your company or social club, make Sierra Whitewater your choice for summer fun. Call us and we'll work out a special package just for you. We offer the best prices, most fun guides and I guarantee you'll have great time.

Hope to see you on the river. After all, you deserve a good paddling today.

River Rafters Conquer The Waves As A Team

by Deric Rothe on 05/15/13

The 2013 spring rafting season has been a blast of clear skies, crystal clear water and warm air. Summer seems to have come early. We've had a huge diversity of groups rafting already, but all with one or two things in common. They're really fun people out to have a good time. We started in April with rafts of sales staff from ADP, a nationwide payroll company. All of the salespeople were upbeat, attractive, confident, happy to be on the water and worked pretty well as a team. By the end of the 10.5-mile run, I switched our payroll to ADP. Jamie Noriega is the local sales manager for the region. When she's not doing P-90X and raising her baby girl, she can sell without even trying. Our awesome day ended with a barbecue at Camp Lotus. Keeping it simple, we served chicken, hamburgers, salads and of course ice-cold beer.

I did my first 21-mile full river run in late April with a group of four from Auburn. I was definitely a little concerned going in because 21 miles is a long way, it takes a lot of energy and we had to paddle out into Folsom Lake.  I didn't need to be concerned. Melanie Warlow and her husband Joe are former triathletes. They are still in excellent shape and with their friends, Ed and his daughter, Julia, it was a fun-filled, easy trip. Ed is a regional sales rep for Mohawk carpets and he gets around the country. He matched me with jokes of his own.  A picture of our clean run through Troublemaker rapids on the upper section found its way into the Auburn Journal. Imagine.

On the last Sunday in April we took a couple of rafts full of Taiwanese students from Berkeley a down the Gorge. I learned a little about Taiwan including how to count to 2 (wow). Emily asked me if I thought about "stinky tofu" when I thought of Taiwanese food. I had never heard of stinky tofu, but I'm not sure I want to try it now. They also suggested bubble tea. They were a fun group with a unique perspective.

I also thad the pleasure of guiding four 30-something ladies from Placerville on a Friday in early May. They were celebrating Jessica's birthday. These ladies were in excellent shape from chasing kids around and planned to hit the Coloma Club, Coloma's infamous bar, after rafting. I asked them if they wanted to be towed out in Folsom Lake by jet skis or paddle out the mile or so to the take out. After 10.5 miles, they were still raring to go and we paddled all the way and were out by 4:15. Studly ladies watch out Coloma Club.

I've genuinely enjoyed every trip so far this spring. On Saturday, May 4 in my raft I had a group of Japanese students and UC graduates from the Bay Area. They were part of a Taiko drum group based in San Francisco. One of their leaders, Mitch Matsuda, was doing perfect pike-position filps off a 15- to 20-foot cliff when we stopped to rest. Pretty impressive. The drummers could also really keep a beat while paddling.

Taiko drummer Mitch Matsuda flips over his San Francisco drum team's recent rafting trip with Sierra Whitewater. The 15- to 20-foot cliff Matsuda flipped off is on the South Fork Gorge run.
Taiko drummer Mitch Matsuda flips over his San Francisco drum team's recent rafting trip with Sierra Whitewater. The 15- to 20-foot cliff Matsuda flipped off is on the South Fork Gorge run.

We take a lot of people from India rafting, many of whom now live in Silicone Valled and work in the hi-tech industry. We had two boats, new yellow and blue Hyside rafts with Indian friends and rivals in them. In my raft, the yellow one, we called ourselves the "Chennai Super Kings," because our yellow raft had people from Chennai, India, home to the world-famous yellow-clad cricket club led by MS Dhoni (a much bigger star than Tom Brady?), and the blue boat was named the Mumbai Indians, whose professional cricket club color is blue, and whose rafters were orginally from Mumbai. I learned that cricket is bigger than the NFL or the NBA and that more people watch cricket, and the teams' stars earn more money than our overpaid athletes. Some cricket players earn up to $26.5 million a year. Tell me you've heard of MS Dhoni and the Chennai Super Kings?

You can learn a lot on the river, about where to get the best payroll services, what stinky tofu is and about the world's most popular sports, along with how to go big in the big waves.

Hope to hear your stories soon. See you on the river.

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