At Mother Lode River Center’s 19-acre riverside camp, wooden bridges and river-stone paths crisscross beneath the shade of heritage oaks. For 40 years, the staff has upheld a mission of conserving this verdant expanse along the American River through recreational and educational programs. Leading half- and multiday whitewater-rafting trips on the South, Middle, and North Forks, guides ride with paddlers into Class III and IV+ rapids. Back on land, Mother Lode's team helps guests overcome real and perceived barriers through obstacles on the ropes course. Practicing what it preaches, the center adheres to sustainability practices such as heating water using solar energy, operating vehicles that run on 100% waste vegetable oil, and letting wild tents forage freely on the campgrounds.
The founders of Adventure Connection believe in magic. Not the trickery of the stage or spells cast by mysterious neighbors, but of the spiritual, environmental, and economic boons of the rivers they have spent their lives traversing. More than 25 years ago, a group of believers came together to share their love and passion for the rivers of California, building a company that combines whitewater rafting, wine tasting, and camping along the waterways they love.
Over the course of the last two decades, the staff has guided boats of up to 18 people through the rapids of the American, Kaweah, and Tuolumne Rivers, coasting through mild ripples or white-knuckling class V rapids. Groups often leave the rafts behind to explore the scenic countryside and renowned wineries of the surrounding El Dorado region or to pitch tents and sleep under the stars.
At East Wind Yoga, instructors have options for every skill level. Basic classes ease newcomers and returning students into the body mechanics of yoga. Flow classes improve their breathing and cardiovascular endurance, and yin classes combine postures from hatha yoga with deep stretches to address any joint compression and misalignment. Held in a room heated to 105?110 degrees, hot yoga classes help purge toxins after a long day of sleep-testing sarcophagi. Intense Yosu yoga targets balance through the use of soft and rubbery BOSU balls. Each of the studio's two locations offers a welcoming interior of paper lanterns, exposed brick, and stacks of colorful yoga mats for rental.
Hailed by the Auburn Journal as the Best Yoga Studio of 2010, Canyon Spirit Yoga's experienced instructors unfold a varied schedule of Vinyasa flow yoga to nourish strength, flexibility, and concentration. Seize control over internal ventilation systems and bickering organs during Beginner Yoga, which interlaces breath, gentle movement, and relaxation. Instructors assist experienced pupils as they glide through Energizing Flow's seamless sequence of challenging Vinyasa flows, head-over-heel inversions, and bicep balances. Stress flees from practitioners of all levels during Yin and restorative yoga, as sustained postures unlock stiff hips and waves of serenity wash over the mind, infusing it with a fresh-from-the-clothesline scent. Within Canyon Spirit Yoga's confines, enthusiastic instructors ensure a serene practice space by enforcing a no-cell-phone policy and piping in soothing serenades performed by on-staff crickets.
River and Rock Adventures' experienced guides help whitewater rafters traverse the three exciting and challenging forks of California’s American River. The Class-III south fork is ideal for first-timers testing the waters, and the Class-IV middle fork keeps intermediate paddlers on their tippiest of toes. Floaters on the popular lower south fork trip, also known as The Gorge, will journey through 14 miles of beautiful scenery and legendary rapids. After taking off from the base camp in Rivers Bend Resort at 11:30 a.m., rafts will pass through a relaxing stretch of Class II rapids as the Sierra foothills taper off to give the river a rocky hug. Photographers will be present to catch flashes of adventurous heroism and poorly timed nose picking while rafters swirl around in Class-III whitewater before the 2.5-hour tour comes to an end.
Epic voyaging need not be reserved for classical heroes who speak in dactylic hexameter. Just as Odysseus slayed the hurricane from aboard his inflatable raft, you too can conquer vengeful waters with today's Groupon to Gold Rush Whitewater Rafting. For just $50, you'll go on a heart-pumping, rapid-raging tour of the South Fork of the American River (44% off a $90 value).