Things To Do In Placerville

$65 for a One-Day Whitewater-Rafting Trip on the South Fork American River Chili Bar ($119 Value)

W.E.T. River Trips

W.E.T. River Trips

$119 $65

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Experienced guides lead one-day rafting trips down American River with gear included

10.5-Mile Upper or Lower South-Fork Rafting Trip from Sierra Whitewater (Up to 50% Off)

Sierra Whitewater Rafting

Lotus

$128 $64

Guides and rafters careen down the cliff-lined Class III and Class III+ rapids of the American River

$29 for One Month of Unlimited Boot Camp at AMP Fitness ($69 Value)

AMP Fitness

Multiple Locations

$69 $29

Run and complete bodyweight exercises during outdoor boot-camp classes

Half-Day Rafting Trip or Winery Tour and Rafting Trip from Mariah Wilderness Expeditions (Up to 50% Off) 

Mariah Wilderness Expeditions

North El Dorado

$95 $49

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Raft the South Fork for half a day, or visit 3–5 wineries via chauffeured transportation, go rafting, and enjoy 4 included meals

$136 for a Discovery Flight Package at Placerville Aviation ($227 Value)

Placerville Aviation

Placerville Airport

$227 $136

FAA–certified flight instructor gives ground instruction before a 30-minute flight over Placerville with student at controls

Winery Tour and Tasting with Shared Plates and Bottles of Wine for Two or Four at Crystal Basin Cellars (Up to 57% Off)

Crystal Basin Cellars

Camino

$88 $39

After a tour of the winery's barrel room and a tasting of some award-winning wines, visitors head next door for bistro-style shared plates

Two-Hour Dual Sport Training and Motorcycle Rental for One, Two, or Three at Sierra Dual Sport (Up to 57% Off)

Sierra Dual Sport

Camino

$250 $125

Clients learn how to ride a roaring dirtbike before riding off on their own

Wine Tastings for 2, 4, or 6–10 at Jodar Vineyards (Up to 63% Off)

Jodar Vineyards

Camino

$60 $25

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During reserve wine tastings guests taste four wines and food pairings; groups of 6–10 can taste with the winemaker on Thursday or Friday

One-Day Rafting Trip with Lunch or Two-Day Rafting Trip w/ Wine Tasting from Adventure Connection (Up to 51% Off)

Adventure Connection

Lotus

$161 $79

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Experienced guides escorting groups to respected wineries of El Dorado region and lead excursions down Class III rapids

Nine Holes of Golf for Two or Four with Cart Rental and Lunch at Camino Heights Golf Course (50% Off)

Camino Heights Golf Course

Camino

$50 $25

Golfers work up an appetite playing the 1,932 yard, par 31 course, which is at a 3,000-foot elevation and features picturesque views

Select Local Merchants

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.

6280 Hwy. 49
Coloma,
California
US

To Action Whitewater Adventures' guides, setting is everything. During their full-day excursions, guides and groups mounted in rafts battle Class III and IV rapids just to make their way to a gourmet deli lunch set against the backdrop of the lush Lotus River Valley. Of course, they might argue the fun part is getting there.

They lead excursions down both the South and Middle Forks of the American River, some of the most popular rafting waters in the nation. On the South Fork, they conduct the "Chili Bar" run, a trip that covers up to 21 miles favored for its rough-and-tumble class III rapids and stellar countryside. The Middle Fork provides even rougher-and-tumbler Class IV rapids, the 18-mile journey punctuated by clear-flowing stretches populated by trout and adorable baby Poseidons.

5461 Bassi Road
Lotus,
CA
US

Together, Pirate Rafting Company's guides have logged more than 15,000 miles on dozens of rivers. Their steadfast paddles continue to lead the charge as groups, seated in sky-blue rafts, crash into whitewater, spraying guests with mist like a surprise party for Shamu. Three separate stretches of river set the stage for these adventures. The North Fork American River includes Class IV+ rapids that blast the snowmelt against the dusk-colored rocks. The South Fork American River and Middle Fork American River include intense stretches, but are generally better suited to beginners.

Off the water, the guides demonstrate their expertise by setting up camp along the tree-lined banks and pitching tents beneath the stars.

7308 Golden Chain Highway
Coloma,
CA
US

Founded in 1978 out of a love of the plentiful whitewater rafting around Sacramento, W.E.T. River Trips has been outfitting rafters and leading trips continuously for the last 34 years. They maintain a ratio of one guide per six to eight guests on their trips to ensure less crowded boats and to make each trip more intimate and personal. W.E.T.'s tours explore more than 18 rivers' rapids ranging in difficulty from Class II to V. Trips often include camping, meals, river stories, and musical entertainment provided by the staff.

5461 Bassi Rd
Lotus,
CA
US

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.

7170 Golden Chain Highway
Coloma,
CA
US

Tim Carter, Jim Curtis, and Steve Bonak??the FAA?certified flight instructors at Placerville Aviation??pave pathways to the sky for their students by preparing them for the FAA Knowledge Exam and instilling basic and advanced piloting skills. Knowing that flight is a thrilling way to commute and the best way to challenge seagulls to staring contests, they, along with their crew of aviation-maintenance professionals, offer everything from basic flight experiences and private pilot training to hourly instruction. A fleet of planes encourages the learning of different instruments and equipment while also being available for rent for private use.

3501 Airport Rd.
Placerville,
CA
US