Stanislaus River

The Stanislaus is arguably the most unusual whitewater rafting river of the Central Sierra Nevada. With an overall gradient of 77 feet per mile at a beginning elevation just below the 4,000 ft mark, the North Stan is more like rafting a high mountain creek then the more commonly rafted rivers of the foothills.

Whitewater rafting starts at Sourgrass, near Dorrington and takes out at Calaveras Big Trees State Park, just east of Arnold. The river provides five miles of technical Class IV whitewater rafting. The action starts literally 20 yards from put-in with a steep, long, stair stepping class IV drop called Beginner's Luck. But the fun doesn't end there, as this river tumbles over stair stepping waterfalls and crashes through granite boulder gardens. The action from its 13 class IV rapids and numerous class III rapids rarely lets up. The new USFS campground put-in and Calaveras Big Trees State Park take-out areas makes the North Fork of the Stanislaus easily accessible, yet it remains remarkably underutilized and pristine.

Due to the unique scenic, recreation and wildlife features of this river, the United States Forest Service has recommended the North Fork of the Stanislaus for Federal Wild and Scenic status. In addition to its unique scenery and solitude, the North Fork offers an exciting adventure through an enchanting forest, rich in Native American and Gold Rush history.

River Information
  • No private permit needed
  • TBA
O.A.R.S. - California
Angels Camp, CA * Lotus, CA
California (Angels Camp): California whitewater rafting since 1969 - Based in the Sierra Foothills, O.A.R.S. offers a variety of 1-day and multi-day white water rafting options. This includes Tuolumne River rafting and Merced River rafting near Yosemite National Park, rafting on the North Fork of the Stanislaus River near Calaveras Big Trees State Park and Klamath River Rafting in Northern California not far from Mount Shasta.

California (Coloma): American River whitewater rafting since 1969--Based out of Lotus on the South Fork of the American River, O.A.R.S. offers American River white water rafting near Sacramento & Lake Tahoe. Trip options include 1-day and multi-day rafting adventures from easy to extreme on the South Fork American, Middle Fork American and the North Fork of the American River in northern California.
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