When the first blast of chilly water gives you a full body press, you can’t help but scream, or at least give a very, audible groan. If you’re lucky, the water doesn’t knock you out of your raft, but if it does, lean back and keep your eyes on your toes, which should be pointing down river.
It is not yet officially summer, but already the rivers are spotted with rafts and kayaks carrying people from all over the San Francisco Bay Area, eager to conquer the rapids. There are many rafting companies out there that can provide rafting experiences on a multitude of rivers not far from the Bay Area. Some companies provide only guided rafting trips on rivers that can be a little on the wild side. Others provide the equipment so that you can have a self-guided river tour.
One such company is Cache Canyon River Trips, located in Rumsey, California; only 90 minutes from the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The folks at Cache Canyon River Trips do a great job of providing everything you need to have an exhilarating, one or two-day, self-guided rafting trip down the Cache Canyon River. You have a choice of paddling down the river in either a two-person raft or inflatable kayak. If you like, they will even provide lunch. Attendance at an orientation meeting is required before hitting the river, so that everyone can learn how to paddle, what to do when dumped into the river, and the best way to enter the more challenging rapids.
On the one-day trip down this river, the rapids are mostly class I and II, with only one class III rapid named Mother to get your heart pumping a little faster. But there are still opportunities to be dumped from your raft or kayak, or to get hung up on some rocks. It is possible to see wildlife along the way, such as deer, herons, and even the resident bald eagle. Swallows may flit from their nests plastered against the rocks. If there has been a lot of rain, like this year, the river runs a bit faster, making pretty fast work of the eight mile trip. The journey can be extended by stopping along the way for a swim or a rest, and a water fight can usually be found somewhere on the river.
For nearby camping, Cache Creek Regional Park Campground provides 45 RV sites, ten of which are reserved for vehicles less than 26 feet. There are no hookups available, but a dump station is provided. For more information or to make reservations, go to their website.