Only a few hours drive from Oakland, CA is an amazing little town called Lotus. It’s near in the Gold Country area near Sacramento. Lotus is along the American River and has great camping and river rafting. There are many rafting companies to choose from, but my favorite is Earthtrek Expeditions. They have a really neat set up next to the river with tent cabins that you can rent. They also provide meals so you don’t have to lug all your camping gear and coolers with food. Just show up with your sleeping bag and river clothes and you’re ready to go!
Last year we went with our extended family and friends for an amazing weekend trip. This year we celebrated a bachelorette weekend with some fabulous and adventurous women!
We arrived Friday and set up camp in our tents. The cabins are very comfortable and spacious, there was even one at the edge of the river for the bride-to-be. We walked across the camp parking lot to Gringo’s for Mexican food, margaritas, and salsa dancing. Then back to our campground to celebrate, get to know one another, and play some games.
The next morning we had a delicious breakfast with pancakes, sausage, fresh fruit, real coffee, and more. We changed into our river gear and went to a safety orientation and then met our incredible guides. We then carried our raft into the river with our life vests and helmets for a 5 hour trip down the South Fork of the American River.
The beginning of the river was mellow and pretty with many opportunities to cool off in the river, did I mention that it was near 100 degrees outside? We practiced paddling and safety drills and got lots of sun. The river was beautiful, the banks were loaded with wild flowers and families playing in the water.
About halfway through our trip, we stopped for lunch and rested in the shade.
The remaining part of the rafting was intense, lots of rapids and water coming into the boat. We were moving fast! We learned that the water upstream is damned up overnight and on days when rafting is scheduled, the water is released in the morning, so the drought has not really affected the rafting tourism in the Lotus area.
Campfires were not allowed because of the severe drought this year, but it was so warm and lovely in the evening, we didn’t really miss having the fire. I had forgotten how beautiful the area is from my previous trip there. And I had forgotten how much fun the rafting is as well. So, if you are craving some hot sunny weather, head up to Lotus to play in the river!
How will you celebrate summertime?