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Address: 6280 State Highway 49, Lotus, CA 95651-9704
Phone Number:
+1 530-626-4187
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours

With 45 years of experience and the best safety record in the industry,...

With 45 years of experience and the best safety record in the industry, Mother Lode River Center has guided over 290,000 happy guests on the 3 forks of the American River. We are the only outfitter with an on-site ropes course. Our private campground spans 1/2 mile of riverfront with hot showers running on solar power, canvas tents rentals that sleep up to 8 people, three outdoor commercial kitchens, flush toilets, changing rooms, volleyball court, charming river stone walkways leading to beautiful views of the rapids, a calm eddy pool for swimming and soaking your feet, and close access to 25 miles of adjacent hiking and biking trails along the river. Our experienced and professional guides and staff will help with all your needs from whitewater rafting to gourmet meals. The River Center is an essential stop between the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. We start rafting in March and go all the way through October. In addition, we offer outdoor education and team building ropes course programs for schools and businesses.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 45 reviews
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  • 38
  • 5
    Very good
  • 1
  • 1
  • 0
Camping & Rafting at the Mother Lode

We just got back after spending two nights camping at the Mother Lode. The Camp ground is very nice. We did the Ropes Coarse and Rafted one day. Our Guides for the ropes coarse... read more

Reviewed 6 September 2016
Palmdale, California
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45 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 45: English reviews
Palmdale, California
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2016

We just got back after spending two nights camping at the Mother Lode. The Camp ground is very nice. We did the Ropes Coarse and Rafted one day. Our Guides for the ropes coarse were Denali and Chris. They were both amazing!!! We lucked out and got Chris again as our rafting guide and boy was he great!!! I felt... More 

Thank Fabflores
El Dorado Hills, California
2 reviews
Reviewed 1 September 2016

Our group of about 40 came together to celebrate our friends wedding the night before, so we had a large group. They were able to get us all safely down the Gorge on the South Fork of the American River. Our guide Alek was fantastic! He had great knowledge of the river, pointed out all of the rocks, areas and... More 

Thank Srlykistle
San Jose, California
2 reviews
Reviewed 29 August 2016

I had purchased the Living Social Deal for 1 night of camping + breakfast/lunch/dinner/smores + the rafting trip for myself and my sister. The food was all really great and they even made us vegetarian sausage patties for breakfast (we are both vegetarians). We were staying in a tent and they set it up with the sleeping pads that they... More 

Thank speterson719
Mission Viejo, California
1 review
Reviewed 31 July 2016

The American River is a beautiful area for white water rafting. The rafting goes through 2, 3, and 4 rapids. The guides are extremely professional, and conscience of the safety for all. The lunch at the half way mark was good. Cold cuts to make your own sandwiches with lettuce, tomoto, cheese, onions. different condiments and breads. They had watermelon... More 

Thank candersen53
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2016

We had a fantastic time! From making the reservations, learning about the different trips available and difficulty levels, to overnight accommodations and area interests, and the trip down the river, we give Mother Lode all 10's. Our tent cabin faced the river so we could enjoy a relaxing evening with our feet in the water, watching and listening to the... More 

Thank Kathie C
Belmont Shore, California
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed 28 July 2016

My teenage granddaughters and I had a great weekend rafting the American river. Our guides were experienced and fun to be with. The food was good and we met many nice people enjoying nature.

Thank vicki4347
Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 July 2016

Well, our raft flipped at the first rapid, the Meatgrinder. It was terrifying. 7 out of 8 of us fell into the water, swirling in the rapids. I have been around water all of my life and am a good swimmer, but as I opened my eyes all I could see was the white water, I was very disoriented but... More 

1 Thank Michele89519
Half Moon Bay
Level Contributor
116 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2016

My friend and I stayed two nights in Glamtent and took two rafting trips. My friend had never rafted, so the first day it was the easy Chili Bar. We both enjoyed it greatly with a fabulous pair of guides for our wonderfully and unexpected small group. The next day it was the more advanced Middle Fork trip. What a... More 

1 Thank patiD
Merced, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2016

I just loved the rafting experience! We were with an experienced guide and a trainer. The trainer wasn't too bad but he needs to learn more about the route so he would be familiar on which water we would be hitting next and he also needs to learn to guide the raft better because we got stuck 4 times on... More 

1 Thank xina1976
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 July 2016 via mobile

We had an amazing half day rafting on the south fork of the American river with these guys! Even though we have rafted before- L'Herault and the Ardeche in south of France- as our daughter is only 11 we needed something that suited her and we got it!! There were a large group of college kids in the party and... More 

1 Thank Seana M

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Mother Lode River Center and other visitors
2 questions
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San Francisco, California
5 months ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?