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Things To Do

The area surrounding the American River is packed full with things to do year-round. From activities such as whitewater rafting, kayak instructions, gold mining and hiking & biking . . . entertainment like the American River Music Festival and the Olde Coloma Theatre . . . four great wineries . . . and shopping. These ideas will fill your trip itinerary to overflowing.

Hotshot Imaging

Hot Shot Imaging is your source for action whitewater photos taken on the American River. They have professional photographers stationed at the major rapids of the South, Middle, and North Forks of the American river. Shooting from the best angles at each rapid, they will campture 20-30 shots of each raft going through the rapids, making sure they photograph each rafter in the raft's precious moment! On the South Fork, they will shoot "Troublemaker", Satan's Cesspool",and "Hospital Bar" rapids. While on the Middle Fork, they shoot the famous "Tunnel Chute" rapid, that is one of the wildest rapids on the entire American River. Their photo shop is located in central Coloma and has great set up for viewing and ordering your photos and CD's.
Kayak Instructions

California Canoe & Kayak

California Canoe & Kayak is celebrating our 40th year! Now, conveniently next to Marco’s Café, we provide whitewater kayaking instruction, free demos, sales and service. We are the Gold Country’s oldest whitewater kayaking school and are a Jackson Kayak Authorized dealer.

Current Adventures Kayak School

20th year guiding adventures in California and beyond! Professional, local instructors, small classes of 3:1 ratio. Whitewater and lake outings. Kids & Adults camps.
Gold Mining

Search for Gold

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. James W. Marshall discovered gold in 1848 on the South Fork of the American River in the valley the Nisenan Indians knew as Cullumah. This event led to the greatest mass movement of people in the Western Hemisphere and was the spark that ignited the spectacular growth of the West during the ensuing decades. The gold discovery site, located in the still visible tailrace of Sutter's sawmill, in present day Coloma California, is one of the most significant historic sites in the nation.
Hiking & Biking

Cronan Ranch Trails

7 min from Coloma.
The Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park is located in Pilot Hill, California. The Park contains 12 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, bird watching and other passive recreation. The Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset year round. There is a wide variety of terrain to choose from, including gently sloped to challenging hills, oak woodland and gentle riverfront trails. Each season offers a diverse experience.

Magnolia Ranch Trails

5 min from Coloma
This meandering trail is beneath the canopy of foothill oak woodland with views of the South Fork American River in the distance. This area is abundant with wildlife and is home to California newt, bobcat, deer, golden eagle and more than 30 species of song birds. Visitors can also connect with the Greenwood Creek river access area and the Cronan Ranch Trail network, both adjacent to Magnolia Ranch.

Salmon Falls Trail

15 min from Coloma
Several points along the way offer great views of the American River. Although you cannot get to the river without a lot of effort.  At about mile 4, the trail drops into a valley with narrow winding singletrack in amongst the trees. At this point the trail offers some great views of the canyon and surrounding area. There are a couple of places that have picnic tables for your enjoyment.  Bring lots of water as there is no water on the trail and it gets hot in the summer.

Omstead Loop Trail

10 min from Coloma
Starting behind the fire station in Cool, on Highway 49, El Dorado County. This 9 mile trail takes you around a beautiful area of oak trees and scenic views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  It does have a number of climbs (steep hills) but well worth the effort.  You can even branch off towards the Middle Fork of the American river to view where the Auburn Dam site was going to be built. Thank goodness it was never built.  Again, bring lots of water and sunscreen as it gets hot in the summer.

Confluence and Quarry Trails

Hwy 49 - 15 min from Coloma
Highway 49 at the North Fork of the American River and the Old Foresthill Road. Known as the "Confluence", due to the meeting of the North and Middle Forks, this area is the main trail head area for hiking and mountain biking.  Trails from this area lead to Lake Clementine, Mammoth Bar, Stagecoach Trail (Russell Road) and along the North Fork. Nearby is the Quarry Trail, on Highway 49. Roadside parking is available. Often very crowded on summer weekends.
Quarry Trail is off of Highway 49, 1/4-mile south of the American River  crossing. The trail connects with the Western States Trail and all trails in  El Dorado County (south of the American River). Limited parking in a small lot.
Entertainment

American River Music Festival

The 8th Annual American River Music Festival is a celebration of music and moving water. The festival is September 18-21, 2015 on the banks of the beautiful South Fork of the American River in the friendly community of Coloma.

Olde Coloma Theatre

Olde-tyme melodramas performed Friday and Saturday nights from April to December. Come boo, hiss and cheer! Great for all ages.
Wineries

Hart 2 Hart Vineyards

Come relax and enjoy premium wines in the beauty of terraced picnic grounds, shaded by heritage oaks, surrounded by vineyards, roses and lavender. Tasting room, gift shop, weddings & events and vacation home rental.

David Girard Vineyards

Spectacular views and award winning wines! Come see and taste for yourself!

Gold Hill Vineyard and Brewery

Premium wine & beer tasting, picnic area and two picturesque wedding facilities.

Boeger Winery

Greg and Sue Boeger purchased the ranch in 1972 and started planting vineyards and built a new state-of-the-art-winery the following year. The old Fossati-Lombardo house was converted into a tasting room and was opened to the public in 1974. For over three decades the Boeger family has dedicated themselves to bringing you some of the Sierra Foothill's finest wines. The old cellar has been restored and is now used for special events and private gatherings. The winery, especially the historic structures on the property, represents a snapshot of time and place, and evokes a strong feeling of connection to the past. The high integrity level of the structures and surrounding vineyards encapsulates visitors into a time and place that was so very different from present day.
Shopping

Sutter Center Market

Sutter Center Market - Groceries, beer, wine, liquor, lotto, river/camping supplies & fishing licenses. Near Gold Discovery Park. Open Everyday.

Holiday Market

Upscale grocery story that is only 10 min from Coloma-Lotus area.  Full sized deli and produce departments as well as fine meats and wines.