River rafting should only be attempted with a helmet, a paddle, and a stick of gum that turns you into Man vs. Wild host Bear Grylls when chewed. Conquer nature with this Groupon.
$175 for a Two-Day Winery Tour and Rafting Trip with Overnight Camping and Four Meals ($358 Value)
The winery tour and rafting trip takes groups through the towns of El Dorado County to sample award-winning wines while gazing at the snowcaps of the Sierra Nevada. After a barbecue dinner, tourists settle down for a night of camping, then rise and shine to spend a day rafting 10.5 miles down the south fork of the American River. This package also includes lunch on the first day and breakfast and lunch on the second.
Mariah Wilderness Expeditions
Donna Hunter started whitewater rafting as a hobby, but after spending 15 years as a social worker in San Diego, she was drawn back to the river as a career. With a few friends for support and a goal to start a rafting-adventure company, she went to night school and honed her business skills. Today, with some of her staff boasting more than 20 years experience leading tours, Donna orchestrates trips down various forks of the American, Merced, Kings, and Tuolumne Rivers to pit participants against rapids as high as Class V. Certified guides lead these tours in Hyside self-bailing rafts and inflatable kayaks, with some rafts holding up to eight people.
Wilderness guides also connect their guests with civilization, often combining rafting excursions with wine tastings and trips to local vineyards. On these overnight trips and other multi-day rafting excursions such as family gold-panning trips, they build relationships with their guests, garnering a clear idea of their paddling skills and the amount of time they've spent practicing in their washing machine.
The company’s camp boasts tent cabins—with names like Eagle's Nest and Falcon's Nest—which populate riverside clearings between picnic tables, swimming holes, and volleyball courts. A camp shop prepares guests with river gear, and hot-water showers let them wash off river water. When not seeking action on the river, staffers organize camp entertainment, such as live music, games, and visits from a local gold panner who demonstrates his craft.