Northern California is renowned for its prime surf, jaw-dropping beaches, and, of course, those towering redwoods. But our particularly gorgeous stretch of The Golden State is also home to the best white water rafting in California on the rushing Trinity River. The most challenging (and exhilarating) rapids along this scenic river can be discovered between Hoopa and Junction City, where three world-class Trinity River rafting companies are situated. And don’t forget that Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals not only has dozens of Northern California cottages near the beach, but we also have lovely riverside properties in peaceful Willow Creek.
Finding the Best White Water Rafting in California
As mentioned earlier, there are three award-worthy Trinity River rafting outfits that provide some of the most pulse-pounding white water adventures in the country. We don’t want to play favorites, as they’re all excellent options, so we’re going to give you a brief description of each option. After reading through this list, hopefully, you won’t have to search for “river rafting near me” during your well-deserved, long-awaited redwood forest vacation.
Location: 41212 Hwy 299, Willow Creek, CA
Length: 5.5-10 miles
Price range: $65-175
Why choose Six Rivers? Yes, Six Rivers Rafting Company provides thrill-seekers with some of the most challenging white water rafting in California, but we especially appreciate their varied trip options. Paddlers, from beginners to self-proclaimed professionals, can choose between five classic runs, two foodie trips, and several overnight expeditions. Whether you’re looking for a spontaneous family-friendly rafting trip or planning an excursion with your experienced rafting friends, you’ll find an option that perfectly suits your group’s size, skill level, and budget.
Locations: 40630 Hwy 299, Willow Creek, CA / 31221 Hwy 299, Big Flat, CA
Length: 5-9 miles
Price range: $69-129
Why choose Bigfoot? All of Bigfoot Rafting Company’s runs sit right in that sweet spot (class II to IV rapids), which is ideal for most rafters with little-to-no experience but over the age of 12. Bigfoot is the most popular Trinity River rafting company because they have two locations in Willow Creek and Big Flat. Their year-round options run on the Trinity River and French Creek with rapids typically sitting in the class II and III range. A lot of well-seasoned rafters choose to paddle down these rushing bodies of water inside an inflatable kayak.
Location: 21690 Hwy 299, Big Bar, CA
Length: 5-9 miles
Price range: $65-185
Why choose Redwoods & Rivers? Redwoods & Rivers doesn’t just guide trips down the Trinity River—they also tackle the Klamath, Smith, Eel, and Salmon rivers (as well as a couple of creeks). Their experienced team knows this beautiful region like no others. A lot of these secluded, backcountry river runs only take place during spring, but they’re highly recommended for expert rafters. In fact, many of the spring runs provide some of the most thrilling white water rafting in California. Redwoods & Rivers also offer special team-building, youth, senior, and women trips!
The Perfect Cottage for Your Northern California Vacation
We’ve compiled three of our favorite redwood cabins in (or near) Willow Creek, home to Six Rivers and Bigfoot. You won’t find a more suitable home-away-from-home during your travels.
After a day highlighted by some of the most thrilling white water rafting in Northern California, retreat to Hawkins Bar River Home for a home-cooked meal, river walk, and after-dark campfire. This comfortable four-bedroom home rests along the edge of the Trinity River, so you’ll always be minutes away from a rafting adventure. Hawkins Bar has, perhaps, the best deck in the county. The deck, which sits above the Trinity River, features a fire pit, multiple grills, and perfect sightlines of the teal waterway.
If you were to search for “white water rafting near me” inside the River Front Cabin, you’d quickly realize that you’re within miles of not one but two rafting companies (Six Rivers and Bigfoot). While the River Front Cabin doesn’t have idyllic sightlines of the Trinity River, it does have a solar-heated pool and hot tub terrace. The home has three sizable bedrooms, a wood-burning fireplace, rustic yet modern finishes, and a private beach!
For those who wish to stay in nearby Arcata, a charming, historic town near the Pacific Ocean’s edge, we recommend Frog Terrace. This modern, two-bedroom home is perfect for a family of six, a group of friends, or honeymooners. The house overlooks serene Janes Creek, just north of downtown Arcata. The peaceful, secluded backyard is a massive selling point, especially for those who wish to relax under the stars with a bottle of wine after a day filled with hiking, surfing, and white water rafting in California.
To book a well-deserved getaway to California’s North Coast, please give us a call today at 707-834-6555 (or check availability online).