Your adventure base camp for over 40 years!

I did not want to miss the opportunity to compliment you and your staff on your well-run program. We felt safe in your hands. Your guides were knowledgeable and responsible (plus funny and charming!) If anyone ever asks me for an outfitter in your area, I will definitely recommend you. –Mary R.

See what others say about us! Read more REVIEWS from our guests.

Mother Lode River Center is a family owned and operated organization we affectionately call “MaLode” and which is now beginning its fifth decade. Many of our participants come back every year and are now personal friends. We consider them part of our MaLode extended family which includes many generations of guides, well wishers and fellow river lovers.  We cordially invite you to join us this season for another great year of outdoor adventure, fun and learning. Whatever your choice of program or activity, rest assured that we remain committed to doing everything possible to make your experience enjoyable, memorable and of the highest quality. Our guides, facilitators and educators all have one goal – to exceed your expectations and achieve 100% satisfaction!

We look forward to sharing our love of rivers and other wild places with you, and in the process to further the appreciation and preservation of these sacred places.

Looking forward to seeing on the river,

Scott and Catherine Underwood, Penny, Scotty, Brian, Chris, Ryan and the MaLode team                                  

***Best Adventures on the River- Satisfaction Guaranteed***

“If for any reason you are unsatisfied with your experience we commit to making it right.”

A Few Reasons over 280,000 happy folks have chosen Mother Lode as their outfitter:

Best Safety Record

Mother Lode has over 40 years and approaching three million river miles of rafting experience with the finest safety record in our industry.

Great River Guides who are also Facilitators and Educators

Our river guides are among the most highly skilled, best trained, courteous and most respected on the river. They are also ropes facilitators, outdoor educators and river conservation advocates. This combination is unique and is an important reason our trips are so exceptional.

Our Amazing Camp….with on site Zipline and Challenge Ropes Course!

Established before such places officially existed, Mother Lode is one of California’s two original river camps and has been our privilege to own and love for over 4 decades. Each year we gradually add to its accessibility, upgrade its energy efficiency, and improve its facilities. This year we are pleased to announce improvements to the Ropes Course that include a new zipline, a “tension traverse” element and new routes on our climbing wall.  Meanwhile, such sources of natural charm as our unique river stone pathways, the Nisenan grinding holes, “The Island” and other favorite riverside nooks remain undisturbed. These are some of the things you will discover here:

**Wilderness ambiance with the comforts of home! Our camp is quiet and nature based because it is private and available only to our guests. Recently, when Frodo Baggins arrived at Mother Lode, he thought he had found the Shire! Fortunately, he had a reservation.

** 19+ gorgeous riverside acres graced with heritage oaks which shade our multiple areas of verdant cool grass ranging in size from small and intimate, to large and spacious. We can accommodate virtually all sizes of groups but respect each group’s privacy by limiting our overall occupancy to a small fraction of our capacity. This improves the quality of the experience for everyone.

**1/2 mile of riverfront with multiple charming eddies all connected by our Nature Trail. Explore, then sit and chill as you watch the sunset and listen to the river.

**On Site Zipline and Challenge Ropes Course provides additional thrills when added to rafting and camping and is a Mother Lode exclusive! Nowhere else on the West Coast can you combine zipping, team building and group activities with rafting like you can at MaLode.

**Healthy, delicious meals served from our two separate but complete commercial kitchens. This allows us to cater to the needs of multiple groups individually. We also have a third “wilderness kitchen” with sinks, hot running water, stoves and refrigeration that we rent to Scouts and other responsible groups so they can do their own thing without bringing everything from home.

**Tent camping choices abound: From pitching your own tent as an individual, to comfortable canvas tents you can stand up in, you choose.

……Two 40 person groups are easily accommodated in their own separate camping areas, each of which has 10 platform canvas tent cabins. These tents are artfully sited with plenty of space between. Cots are standard and foam mattresses are available for your comfort.

……Each camp has a separate bathroom facility with hot showers, flush toilets and changing areas.

** Our unique “glamour cabin” platform tents with actual beds and furniture offer both more luxury and privacy.

**Cabin and Eco-House: Not a tent camper? No problem…

……….Our charming one bedroom, one bath cabin has A/C, heat and a full kitchen.

……….Our 2 bedroom, 2 bath Eco-house has all the above, plus solar power,  and a patio with BBQ.

**Meeting Space: Two 30-foot in diameter yurts provide indoor space for meetings, yoga, meditation and group sleeping for youth. Each is located near a bathroom for your convenience.

**Camp Store: Our “greeting yurt” houses our check in, photo area and camp store for those last minute items such as Chums, a disposable waterproof camera, even sleeping bags if you forgot yours or just flew in from out of town.

**Sustainable Practices Program featuring solar electric power and water heating and uses waste vegetable oil (WVO) based B100 biodiesel for fuel to achieve an 80% carbon reduction over fossil fuels such as diesel and gasoline. We pride ourselves in striving toward achieving the lowest carbon footprint of any river company.

**Organic garden– we grow tasty veggies on site and the garden is a perfect spot to sit and watch the hummingbirds dart to and fro.

Our programs are super fun, educational and meaningful too!

The programs described below are all designed to be hands-on, educational, and equally important, engaging and fun. Each represents a challenge that is river based and when combined they act synergistically in important ways. Our programs are organized into four basic categories: whitewater rafting, challenge ropes, outdoor education and conservation/sustainable practices.  Each program begins with “challenge by choice” and ends with accomplishments of various kinds. The essence of challenge is that it pushes individual and group comfort zones. It is vital that participants understand the nature of the physical and mental risks they take, and choose to participate willingly in an atmosphere of support and safety. Our company has the finest safety record in our industry, and safety is always our first priority. It is also essential that our activities are fun…we love to have fun!

Our Purpose

The purpose of our company has always been to promote the conservation of rivers. We at Mother Lode share a love of rivers, and the most powerful reason is our direct experience of them. Rivers have become our teachers. They have humbled us, transformed us, and in the process we have become deeply connected to them. Whitewater rafting requires focus, precise teamwork, enhanced powers of observation, and making wise choices in challenging situations. Like an astronaut viewing Earth from space, once you see rivers in a wider perspective, you cannot imagine allowing the destruction of such a vital resource. It is in our natures to want to protect these special places through acts of stewardship.  Experience, Connection, Observation, and Stewardship: this is the process of ECOS, and we believe it is one of the best parts of what it means to be human.

Vimeo / MaLode – via Iframely