Kings River 1/2-day trips

Perfect for families!

$99 – $119

About the Trip

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An exciting 1/2 day of rafting in the gorgeous Kings River canyon. We raft the full 10 miles of river – we just do not provide lunch. Brown bag your own, and lunch at our picnic tables by the river prior to boarding our bus for the ride to put-in. This is our most budget friendly way to raft the full river.

  • Meet at 11:30, back to your cars by 3:30 to 5:00 depending on water levels
  • Class 3-3+ — Beginner / Intermediate
  • Min. age 6-10 depending on water levels

Kings 1/2 Day 2024 Trip Dates

Trips Daily from April 27 through mid-July or early August (depending on snow-pack).

Kings 1/2 Day Pricing

Start DaysPrice
Group Price (12+)
  • Prices are per person and subject to an 8% Government access/service fee
  • 5% discount for groups of 6-11.
  • Group rates apply for 12 or more, plus 1 free trip with 24 or more


  • Meet at 11:30AM
  • Enjoy lunch in our camp (Bring your own lunch!)
  • 12:15 pm board the bus for the 45 minute ride to put-in
  • Launch rafts 1:15 pm…raft all afternoon with stops for swimming, water play, swimmers eddy.
  • Back to camp between 3:30 and 5:00.  The higher the water, the quicker the trip.
  • Snacks and cold beverages, view photos, free to leave for home
Kings River

What’s Included

  • Free use of our wetsuits and paddle jackets for spring trips
  • All necessary river equipment
  • Beverages at days end
  • Parking and bus shuttle to the launch area
  • Full use of our Base Camp which includes flush toilets, rinse off shower (beach shower type), picnic tables, and beautiful views right on the river
  • 1/2 day trips do not include lunch. You are welcome to bring your lunch and eat in our Base Camp prior to your trip. Make sure that you have eaten well before your trip starts…you will need the energy!
  • Sorry, no camping is available at our base camp for 1/2 day express trips, unless prior arrangements are made through our office
Kings River friends

On the River

1/2-Day Trips include 10 miles rafting but no meals or camping.  No Add-on option.

Wet suits provided free of charge

As a service to our clients, Zephyr provides wet suits and paddle jackets free of charge. Wet suits are recommended on all trips through about mid June, depending on previous winter snowpack. The wet suits are designed for whitewater rafting, and are very comfortable. The suit is a full-length “farmer-john” style, with sleeveless tops. We also provide an optional nylon paddle jacket which can be worn over the suit when necessary. You are welcome to provide your own suit if you wish.

“What do I wear underneath my wet suit?” An important question that comes up often. We recommend wearing a thin nylon swim suit, or other non-bulky swim attire, underneath your wet suit.

On the river

  • Shorts/swim suit
  • Tennis shoes or river sandals (no flip flops please)
  • Sunglasses with tie-on
  • Camera (see above)
  • Light Windbreaker
  • T-shirt or long-sleeve shirt
  •  and a wool sweater can be worn with our free wetsuits for spring trips.
  • Hat/Visor with tie-on
  • Sunscreen
  • Wetsuit (we provide if needed)

Cool weather items

  • PLEASE NOTE: Cotton clothing is not appropriate for cool/wet weather, as it does not insulate when wet
  • Polypro or wool long underwear
  • Wool or fleece/pile pants
  • Wool or polypro sweater/jacket
  • Wool hat/Wool gloves

Logistics, Directions & Accomodations

All trips meet at the ZEPHYR KINGS RIVER BASE CAMP located 2 hours east of Fresno on the eastern edge of Pine Flat Lake.  Please scroll down for driving directions and maps.  

See the location of our BASE CAMP on Google Maps.

  • 1/2-Day Trips meet at 11:30 a.m. Bring your lunch to eat in camp prior to rafting.
Zephyr Kings Base Camp
Click to enlarge

Travel time from the Fresno area is about two hours. You will be traveling around the entire northern edge of Pine Flat Lake on what seems like an endless windy road. Stay on all paved roads and cross all bridges until you reach our Base Camp.

Coming From the North (Sacramento/Stockton) on Highway 99

Stay on Highway 99 through the main part of Fresno. Just about one mile past the Belmont Ave exit, take the Highway 180/Kings Canyon Exit. This exit will take you over Highway 99, and you will then be heading EAST towards the mountains. Stay on the 180 Freeway about 12 miles to ACADEMY AVE. TURN LEFT ON ACADEMY AVE, and proceed one long block to BELMONT AVE. Turn right on Belmont Ave (heading East) and now follow the directions for “EVERYONE” below.

Coming From the South (Los Angeles) on Highway 99

As you approach the town of KINGSBURG, take the 18th AVENUE EXIT ( also signed as “Road 12, 18th Ave exit”). Turn right onto 18th Ave (18th Ave turns into Mendocino Ave after a few blocks) and head EAST following the signs to SANGER, which is 14 miles away. Heading north on Mendocino, go through Kingsburg and into Parlier. Go approximately nine miles on Mendocino until you hit ADAMS AVENUE. Turn left (west) on Adams, and drive 1/2 mile to ACADEMY AVENUE. Turn right on Academy, and you are again heading North towards the town of Sanger. Continue traveling through Sanger, until you come to the stop sign at BELMONT AVENUE, which will be about 1.5 miles out of Sanger. Turn right (East) on Belmont. Now follow directions under “EVERYONE”. Last gas stops are in Kingsburg, or in Sanger on Academy Avenue.

Coming From the Coast on Highway 41

Heading North on Highway 41, continue north through Fresno and you will merge onto the 180 FREEWAY heading EAST toward Kings Canyon and the mountains. Once you have merged onto the 180 FREEWAY and are heading EAST, continue approx 12 miles to ACADEMY AVE. TURN LEFT on ACADEMY AVE, and proceed one long block to BELMONT AVE. Turn right on Belmont Ave (heading East), and now follow the directions for “EVERYONE” below.

Coming From Kings Canyon/Sequoia Park

Take Highway 180 toward Fresno. In the small town of SQUAW VALLEY, turn right on ELWOOD ROAD. Stay on Elwood road until it hits PIEDRA ROAD. Turn right on Piedra Road until you hit Trimmer Springs Road (Trimmer Road). You are now in PIEDRA. Turn right (heading east) and pick up directions from Piedra detailed below under “EVERYONE”.

Merced river meeting location map.


  • At the BELMONT AVE/ACADEMY AVE intersection in the town of SANGER, set your trip odometer to zero. You have a 1.5 hour drive ahead.
  • Proceed East on Belmont, which eventually turns into Trimmer Springs Road. Stay on Trimmer Springs, and match your trip odometer with the following checkpoints:
  • At approximately 13 miles you will pass the tiny community of PIEDRA (no services)
  • Last gas is at the I Forgot Store ( open 7am to 7pm daily) 4-5 miles past PIEDRA
  • The community of Trimmer (no services) will be at mile 25.6.
  • At mile 30.7 you will pass Sycamore Campground (Closed).
  • Big Creek bridge is mile 33.3.  You will cross this bridge!
  • STAY ON ALL PAVED ROADS AND CROSS ALL BRIDGES until you reach our Base Camp.
  • LAST CELL PHONE RECEPTION is at “Cell Phone Point” ( the highest hill you will climb before our Base Camp).  This is a large right side turnout at the top of the hill with a small sign saying “Cell Site”
  • You will be getting close when you pass a power station on your right (brightly lit at night).
  • At mile 42, you will pass Kirch Flat Campground (good campground), and immediately past Kirch Flat you will cross the Kings River bridge.
  • Once across the bridge, stay on the paved road and go approximately 1/8 mile to our Base Camp. The sign there says ZEPHYR RIVER EXPEDITIONS BASE CAMP. You will also see our blue buses and our parking area.
Zephyr Base Camp

Important: Make sure you have a full tank of gas before you leave Fresno.

NOTE: Driving time from the Belmont/Academy intersection to our camp is approximately 1.5 hours

  • As you approach our Base Camp, there will be a large marked parking area on your right. This is where your vehicles will be left for the duration of your trip.
  • To unload your gear, go 100 yards or so past our main parking area, and there is a small turnout on your left. There are steps leading down into our main camping area from this turnout, and this is the best place to unload your car. After your gear has been unloaded, please drive back to the main parking area to park your car for the duration of the trip. Up until 11 p.m., this turnout spot is lighted.
Zephyr Kings Base Camp

If you elect not to camp with us the night before your trip, there are plenty of motels in the Fresno area.

The closest camping to our base camp (other than our base camp) is Kirch Flat campground operated by the US Forest Service. Kirch Flat is only 1/4 mile from our base camp, and right on the river.

Camping is also available at the Choinumne Campground, located near Piedra on the Kings River. For reservations, please contact the Fresno Department of Parks and Recreation at (559) 600-3004. Driving time from Choinumne to our base camp is about 1 hour.
Additional lodging in Kings Canyon, try Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP Lodging.
For lodging in Fresno, check out the Best Western Fresno Inn, only 1.5 hours from our meeting spot.

If you do stay in the Fresno area, don’t forget it will take you about 1.5 to 2 hours to drive to our base camp, and we need you there by 11:30 a.m. sharp!


Kings River
Sunrise on the Kings

The Kings River is an incredible area to relax, escape from cell service, play games, swim, and watch the sunrise over the river. Our 1/2 day trips are excellent, though we highly recommend camping in our base camp or checking out our Full Day or Two Day options that include camping and meals.