California has plenty of great river destinations, but most of them are single day trips and are near enough to large populations centers to be overrun by people. The Klamath River in Northern California hosts incredible multi-day trips and is a hidden gem within the state, away from the crowds that plague so many other locations. Based out of a former logging town, slowing turning into an adventure travel destination, Happy Camp California is becoming a launch pad for river adventures, biking trips, hiking opportunities, the Oregon Caves and general exploration of some of California’s most hidden treasures.
Starting in Happy Camp, our two day trip floats downstream enjoying the warm Klamath River water as we run numerous class III and even a couple class IV rapids. The trip includes some mandatory stops to swim in crystal clear side streams and possibly even a highly adventurous hike to a hidden waterfall. The night is spent relaxing on a riverside beach, enjoying a delicious dinner, hopefully roasting some marshmallows and spending time with your family SCREEN FREE.
Sign up today for two days away from cell service, devices and instead filled with adventures, swimming, and relaxing. This will be the overnight escape your kids talk about for years, so make this the year you do it!
Trip at a glance
Family groups looking for an exciting 2-day trip.
Dates / Rates
We meet at the Happy Camp ranger station and put-on the river less than a mile from town. At the put-in our gear is loaded into the rafts and downstream we go. We will return you to your vehicle at the Ranger Station sometime around 4pm the following day.
Klamath River 2-day Itinerary
Day 1: Meet us at the Happy Camp CA. Ranger Station at 10:15 AM. Here your gear for the trip will be loaded into dry bags for the trip. You will have one bag for overnight gear and another bag available to place items you want to have access to during the day.
At the put-in you will receive a thorough orientation for whatever river craft you choose to travel in. After everyone is geared up and ready to go we start our down river journey. Today will include numerous big and exciting class III rapids including rattlesnake, trench and a number of others. Usually a little after lunch the group will stop at clear creek for some swimming and for the brave, jumping off rocks into the crystal clear water. If you brought some goggles this is an amazing spot to swim and explore.
In the early afternoon we will find a nice beach to call our own for the night and set up camp. While the guides are setting up take some time to swim in the river, play a game of bocce ball, enjoy some camp snacks or just sit riverside with a cold beverage and take in the incredible wild surroundings. Before long appetizers will be served and then a delicious dinner. After dinner the group may roast some marshmallows or just lay back to enjoy stars like you can only see in the wilderness next to a river.
Day 2: Rise in the morning for a filling breakfast as the day starts to warm up. After breakfast the group packs up camp onto the raft and continues the trip downstream to tackle most of the biggest whitewater of the trip. Today is filled with extremely fun rapids culminating in Dragon’s tooth, a boulder filled chute that is always exciting. Before the takeout highly adventurous groups may take the challenging hike (with required swim up a gorge) up to a scenic hidden waterfall. Sometime shortly after lunch the group typically arrives at the takeout where they load up and head back towards happy camp and your vehicles.
If you are headed west after the trip ask about having your car shuttled to the takeout so you can leave directly from there.
Where to Meet Orange Torpedo Trips
We meet at the Forest Service Ranger Station in Happy Camp California. We meet in the parking lot at 10:15 AM. Your vehicle will be left here parked next to the forest service employee barracks.
We recommend staying the night before in Yreka California and then drive into Happy Camp in the morning. While staying in Yreka leaves you with a 1.5 hour drive in the morning it has many more lodging opportunities than Happy Camp. In Yreka we recommend
Miners Inn/Best Western Yreka California 530-842-4355
If you want to camp in the Happy Camp area the night before or after your trip there are several campgrounds in the Kalmath River corridor. The one we prefere and the one closest to the meeting place in the morning is Curly Jack Campground
Fly into either Medford Oregon or Redding California. Flying into Sacramento California puts you about 2 hours further away but it’s often significantly cheaper.
Southern Oregon and Northern California are known for great summer weather. The Klamath River is especially known for hot weather making swimming ideal. While rain does occasionally sneak in during the summer months it is rare and usually only stays for a short time. Averages are:
- May · High (F)76 Low (F)41 Avg. Rainfall 1.55 in.
- June · High (F)84 Low (F)47 Avg. Rainfall .66 in.
- July · High (F)92 Low (F)51 Avg. Rainfall .31 in.
- August · High (F)92 Low (F)51 Avg. Rainfall .54 in.
When you meet us in Happy Camp all items for this trip will be packed into a dry bag before we head downstream. Please consider all of your items will be going into a medium sized duffle bag for the duration of the trip. Additionally, we recommend leaving tablets and other devices at home as dry bags can leak if they are not rolled correctly. You will not have cell or internet service at any time during the trip.
What to pack
On the River
- 2 or 3 swimsuits or shorts and top (cotton not recommended)
- Sports sandals or hard-soled wetsuit booties
- Synthetic paddling gloves (not required but if kayaking can be a good idea)
- Wide rimmed hat or ball cap (ball cap fits well under helmet)
- Polypro, synthetic or hydro-skin shirt (nice for mornings and chilly days)
- Water Bottle (1 liter) with carabiner
- Waterproof sunscreen
- Sunglasses with strap (consider bringing two pairs)
- OTT will supply wetsuits and splash-tops
- 1 pair pants & shorts
- 2 shirts
- Fleece jacket or sweatshirt
- Light rain jacket
- Sleeping bag (synthetic material recommended - rated to 45F)
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Camera or phone for taking pictures
- Personal hygiene items
As on most of our trips we offer a variety of river craft to choose from. Orange Torpedo Trips is best known for inflatable kayaking with 80% of our customers choosing this as the way to go down the river, but on this trip we offer 3 types of river craft on this trip. Watch the video to learn more about our 3-boats.
Learn to paddle your own inflatable kayak (Torpedo). We have guides in Torpedo’s teaching you how to paddle and leading you through the rapids in a 4 to 1 ratio. If you happen to fall out the guides have you out of the river in seconds. 45+ years of doing it on the Rogue River and tens of thousands of satisfied returning customers prove that it is extremely fun.
A more traditional type of rafting, paddle rafts are a great way to go if you still want to do some work, but think the torpedo is just a little to much. Work with a team of your friends paddling the big boat through the rapids as the guide sits in the back to help navigate.
Hop on an oared raft and ride in luxury. This is the relaxed way to travel. If taking in the scenery and letting the guide do the work is how you vacation then hop on board. This is how kids 4-11 years old will usually travel.
An Orange Torpedo is our custom-designed inflatable kayak. We have brought our 45 years of guided inflatable kayaking experience into our partnership with world renown raft builder SOTAR to introduce an industry leading high performance, beginner friendly inflatable kayak which we exclusively use.
Yes, but with some limitation. If you start in an inflatable kayak and decide quickly that it’s not for you. We will get you out of the kayak. If you start in a raft and decide you want to kayak, we cannot always guarantee that ability. Based on what people tell us they want to do we pack a specific amount of equipment and bring an appropriate number of guides for a trip. Sometimes that does not leave much room to add kayakers mid-trip. People will often be willing to switch out throughout the trip, but if someone signs up to tackle the river in an inflatable kayak, we want to make sure they have chance to paddle the entire trip if they want.
Gratuity is certainly appreciated but by no means required. At the conclusion of a trip please just give any gratuity to the head guide who will divide it evenly among the crew. Standard restaurant gratuity percentages tend not apply on these trips, so what we have seen over the years on the Klamath River Hotshot is an average of approx: $50-$70 per person in a group. So a group of four would be about $200-$280. That is what we typically see on this trip as an average, please don’t feel obligated.
On single day trips your $10 per person deposit is refundable up to 72 hours before your trip. Cancellations within 72 hours of the scheduled trip launch will be subject to loss of their deposit.
On all of our multi day rafting trips we do not offer refunds on deposits or balance payments. We strongly encourage all customers to purchase travel insurance through travel guard to help protect your travel investment against the things that come up in life. It’s a small additional price for the comfort to know that if something comes up (illness, work change, etc) you will have the ability to recover your significant travel investment. Get a Travel Guard Quote Here.
As on all OTT trips, this trip requires a 30% deposit. The remaining balance is due 30 days before the trip launches. Upon making your reservation you have the option to set up your credit card to automatically run the balance on the due date.
Orange Torpedo Trips was founded on the Rogue River in 1969 by rafting visionary, Jerry Bentley. Within just a few years OTT had spread to numerous rivers throughout the Northwest including the Klamath River, the Main Salmon River and Snake Rivers.
Youth is 17 and under.
We are proud to have one of the highest head guide tenure’s in the industry. The majority of our multi-day trip guides are teachers in the off-season. This off river profession makes them naturally great guides with a desire to teach our customers about the rivers, but it also makes them stable year to year guides. The average tenure, with our company, of our head guides is 29 years.