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Even in the Wild West, there is “the law”

American River Mandates

This is the motto of a time that seems to have passed,  however, it is still something that we all need to keep in mind to preserve the area’s historic contents.  Thousands of years ago, Native American tribes, like the Sierra Miwok and Nisenan tribes, roamed the area, and evidence is still being found today. We all want it left for future generations to see and observe. Coloma is also the site of GOLD DISOVERY in California, in 1848. It is not uncommon to stumble across some of these pieces of our not too distant past. A lot of damage is caused by those few who ignore the above motto/rule.  Also, note that actually touching some of these, the oils on your skin can cause damage.
Although, many of us nowadays, bring fido along everywhere we go, a river rafting trip on the American River is not the place for a pet.  You are going to be on the river most of the day, and it gets really hot up in the Coloma-Lotus Valley during the summer.  There are some camp areas that allow pets, especially the RV Parks, you should check prior to coming up to make sure.  Most of the river rafting campgrounds do not allow pets, as some of the guests that come river rafting are, believe it or not, not fond of them and some might even have a fear of dogs.  It is best to leave them at home with a sitter in their own environment.
We get asked this all the time by our guests.  Tipping your guide is a nice way to show your appreciation that he or she did an outstanding job guiding your raft down the river.  Sometimes, though, just being able to afford to go on your vacation is a lot, and we appreciate that.  Most guides rely on their tips to live by, a lot are college-age guys and gals trying to save for college . . . and every little bit helps.  Anything is an awesome way to show you had a great time, and there is not a hard and fast rule about how much to tip.  An average tip for a half day trip is $3-$5 a person, a one day trip is $5-$7 a person, and a two day trip is usually $10-$15 a person.  Again these are just guidelines and you know your own situation, if you had a super great time then a little more is nice, and if you did not have that great of a time, then it should reflect in your tip (you should also let the management know about any problems that you encountered — they will usually take good care of you.
You have come to the area to see a wilderness, scenic area unspoiled by man (for the most part), please make sure that you dispose of your garbage in the proper places.  Most areas up in the American River will have re-cycle bins for your glass, plastics, and cans — let’s all make a difference.
Bring your camera, there is lots to take photos of — who knows, you might even see a bear!  Take lots of photos and video, you’ll be glad when you get home to be able to revisit your vacation by sharing these precisous moments with family and friends.  On the river, though, please do not bring an expensive camera that is not waterproof.  For inside the raft, a inexpensive waterproof disposable camera is best.  GoPro’s are also a great way to capture your exciting rapid moments, but please make sure you have a secure attachment, as we have seen quite a few go to the bottom of the river.
Weather in the Coloma-Lotus area during the summer is usually HOT!  However, there are times when a freek storm moves in and it gets cool and rainy.  It is easier than ever to check the weather forecast before you make your way up.  Spring time, the weather can vary from very hot one day to very cool the next.  When in doubt, pack warmer clothes than you expect to need — it’s always better to have them and not need them, than to not have them and need them!
Make sure you give yourself enough time to get to your reserved destination.  Trips are usually filled up with other guests and trips only wait a short, certain amount of time for late arrivers.  It is also, not great to get to a place on time or ahead of time, and then have to wait for those few who have not prepared or given themselves enough time to travel. 
    Please do not rely on our smartphone or gps for directions once you get off the main highways. In the Coloma-Lotus area only Verizon works well and it is often spotty. Make sure that you have the directions in hand, it will save you some heart ache and $$.