From Our Editors
Mother Lode River Center sits amid tall oak trees on a 19-acre plot of Sierra wilderness. Also adding to the site's natural majesty is a half-mile stretch of land on the American River's south fork. When guests arrive here, staff members welcome them with an open embrace and an encouraging smile, pointing the way along indigenous river rock pathways to the many camp activities and accommodations. With its perch on the American River, it's no surprise that the center's marquee activity is its whitewater rafting, which the center has been practicing for four decades.
Even with all the outdoor creature comforts that await guests—a commercial kitchen, modern showers, "glamour" camping—Mother Lode maintains a steadfast commitment to education and wildlife. A river science program acquaints students with the local riparian environment, and the gold rush/Native American history program shows youngsters what life would have been like here many years ago. The center also prides itself as a beacon of environmental stewardship, engaging in sustainable practices such as solar power, organic gardening, and yodeling to produce energy.