Get your feet wet
with SNC Tahoe.

Admissions Whitewater Rafting Trip

Discover the advantages of living in the Sierras.

Prospective students, meet SNC Tahoe’s Outdoor Adventure Program.

The Student Activities department’s Outdoor Adventure program is open to all undergraduates, with activities for everyone from wilderness newbies to the truly hardcore. The activities range from leisurely paddleboarding afternoons on Lake Tahoe to multi-day high country backpacking trips, with hiking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, skiing and snowboarding, and occasionally even a surfing trip to the California coast. Most trips are free for students, and much of the required equipment is provided by the college.

Join SNC’s experienced faculty – and student – river guides for a two day whitewater rafting and camping trip down the South Fork of the American River.

The Trip

Dates: Saturday Sept. 16 – Sunday Sept. 17
Location: the trip begins and ends at Camp Lotus, 5461 Bassi Rd, Lotus CA, 95651, on the South Fork of the American River. SEE ON MAP >
Cost: $50, includes prospective student discount
Open To: All current high school seniors and community college students who are interested in attending Sierra Nevada College. No rafting experience required!
To Register: Each participant must complete both the Registration Form (including payment) and the Participant Agreement & Medical History Form (including parent signature). You must submit your Participant Agreement & Medical History Form by Sept. 14 to go on the trip. Registration is limited to 20.

Day 1: Meet at Camp Lotus at 11am. We’ll start by fitting our whitewater PFDs (life jackets) and helmets, and going through safety procedures, before we put in to the water to raft 10 miles down the classic lower Gorge run on Saturday afternoon. Begin with six miles of class II rafting to hone your paddling technique before you tackle the final four miles of class III rapids, including the infamous Satan’s Cesspool and Hospital Bar. In the evening, camp at the Camp Lotus campground, cook hot dogs and s’mores over the campfire, and learn more about SNC Tahoe from some of our current students.

Day 2: On Sunday morning, we jump immediately back into class III rapids, with Meat Grinder and Race Horse Bend in the first two miles. Triumph over the most challenging rapid of the trip, Trouble Maker, at mile 6, before a four mile leisurely float back down to takeout. Return back to camp after lunch to pack up and head home.

Food: Deli lunches provided both Saturday and Sunday. We will make barbequed brats/sausages, baked beans, salad and s’mores on Saturday night for dinner, and breakfast burritos, fruit, and hot drinks on Sunday morning for breakfast.

Bring your own snacks. Vegetarian options will be available at all meals. If you have more stringent dietary requirements, we recommend bringing extra snacks to supplement.

Gear: All equipment on the water – rafts, PFDs, helmets, dry bags, etc. – will be supplied by SNC Tahoe. The list of required personal equipment for the trip is below. Sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and tents can be rented from the SNC Tahoe Outdoor Adventure program at no charge – make sure you check the equipment you need on the registration form.

Parents: There are many ways for you to enjoy a weekend in the Gold Country while your child is on the river. Book your own campground or lodging reservations for charming bed and breakfasts, wine tasting, farm to table dinners, and the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park.

Register Now!

Personal Gear:

  • River Clothes: Meet at Camp Lotus wearing a pair of sandals with heel straps (like Tevas, Keens, or Chacos) or old sneakers, and your river attire. We recommend a long sleeve shirt and board shorts for guys and a one-piece swimsuit, shorts and long sleeve shirt for girls. FOOTWEAR IS MANDATORY.
  • Camp Clothes: A change of clothes for camp, packed in a duffel. Include a shirt, jeans/shorts, jacket, undergarments, beanie, gloves, and dry sneakers.
  • An old ball cap or visor to wear under your helmet. (The river loves to take hats, so don’t bring your favorite!)
  • Sunglasses with keeper strap. (Again, leave any expensive sunglasses you wouldn’t want to lose at home.)
  • Sunscreen and Chap Stick.
  • Water bottle(s), at least 2 liters total!
  • Snacks packed into a zip-lock bag. (We will have a group dry-bag for you to store it in while on river.)
  • Small flashlight or headlamp.
  • Cup, bowl, and spoon for camp meals.
  • Waterproof camera (optional).
  • Sleeping bag *
  • Sleeping pad *
  • Tent * (or a ground sheet/tarp if you want to sleep under the stars!)

* Make sure you check any equipment you need to rent on the registration form.


Contact Undergraduate Admissions Director Stacie Lyans at