There are many famous rivers in California, and this large state is home to many nature escapes. From the majestic beauty of Yosemite Valley to the quaint fly-fishing streams tucked away in small towns, California rivers provide relaxation and sport to many who enjoy the outdoors. No matter what your pastime, be it rafting, kayaking, fishing or just relaxing along a riverbank, there is a locale in California ready to play host to your outdoor dreams. So if you are a resident or are visiting the Golden State, go play outside.
The Merced River
Located in Yosemite Park, a national forest running along the rim of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Merced River flows out of the park every spring. While it can be very dangerous early in the season due to the tremendous amount of rushing water, you will find plenty of good places to go fly-fishing close to the national park entrance, and there is a lot of river for rafting in the mild to moderate sections. You can also visit the town of Mariposa, about 30 miles away from the park entrance, where you will find plenty of lodging options along the river.
Sacramento is the state capital with nearby lush farmlands. You will find the Sacramento River running through the city center, framed beautifully by skyscrapers, restaurants and novelty amusements. The Sacramento River is full of college-aged tubers during the summer, and is a fun place to let loose and just relax as you enjoy friends and a drink while you float on by. Many sports also take place on the river, including boating and whitewater rafting. The Sacramento has official lower and upper sections, and both offer their own unique pleasures and challenges.
The Carson River in California spans mountain and desert, and includes rocky twists of picturesque beauty that make it a favorite California tourism photo op. You can go horseback riding through the Silver King trail, or fish near Dumont Meadows. The river has many different personalities from calm and tranquil to freezing and roaring. Check with the local park commission to find out what time of year will work best for your activity plan.