Some of the most exciting rivers for whitewater rafting in California flow from the High Sierra in Yosemite National Park. Although these rivers run through the heart of the park, the best rafting is just outside the park boundaries on the nationally designated Wild & Scenic Merced and Tuolumne Rivers.
Take your pick of one-day or overnight guided rafting and camping trips offered by several expert rafting outfitters in the area that are ready to take you on the whitewater trip of a lifetime.
The river-running season on the Merced usually lasts from April into July, depending on water levels and the snow melt from the Sierra Nevada that year. The rafting season on the Tuolumne River typically runs from March into September.
Spring fever arrives early on the Merced River with Yosemite snows melting fast and furiously. One-day intermediate to advanced rafting trips with O.A.R.S. California Rafting in May and June will have you challenging raucous, mile-long Class III and IV rollercoaster wave trains. For the rest of the season, this first-class pool-and-drop river is friendly to rafters of all abilities.
Home to California’s champagne whitewater, the Tuolumne River originates in Yosemite and thunders down from the High Sierra. You can experience “The T” as a thrill-stacked day trip, an adventurous 48-hour getaway or a carefree three-day vacation with O.A.R.S. California Rafting. A true wilderness trip, the river is big in spring, moderate in mid- to late summer.
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