Spring Hootenanny April 4 in Coloma Benefits Junior Guides

Spring Hootenanny 2014Don’t miss the Spring Hootenanny in Coloma this Friday, April 4! Enjoy folk music, dancing and great eats and drinks. Proceeds benefit the non-profit Coloma Junior Guides Raft Camp Program.

Performers Arann Harris and the Farm Band have a special magic in getting kids to dance and participate. The first set of Live Music will be geared towards the younger folks. And not to worry; Arann Harris may be fun for the kids but he rocks it for the big kids also. He has a strong following in San Francisco and all around the northern part of the Bay Area. He has opened for some big name bands like Greensky Blue Grass and played venues like the Fillmore. The second set of the evening will be aimed at the adults who want to dance in the new season.

Dancing is thirsty work. You can enjoy craft beers on tap, and Maria’s Taco truck will have Mexican food to keep you fueled up for the dancing and hanging out with your community.

The party begins at 4:30 and goes until 10 PM. There will be two sets of music, the first of which will start at 4:30. The second set will be around 6:30 until 10PM. The event is held at the Gold Trail Grange #452 located in the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park.

Coloma Junior GuidesAdvanced tickets are $15.00 for adults and 12.00 for kids (under 18) with a $1.85 service fee. They can be purchased on the Coloma Junior Guides website.

Advanced ticket sales end Monday March 31 at midnight. Tickets will be available at the door unless we sell out ahead of time so order soon.

The Junior Guides Raft Camps are a non-profit 510(c)(3) status pending. They provide whitewater fun and safety learning for kids age 7-13 on the South Fork American River. This Hootenanny will raise money for their scholarship fund, to help kids that could not otherwise attend the camps. You can learn more about this organization and the Coloma Junior Guides at their website

BIG thanks to Spencer Rubin for providing this information and organizing such a great event!

Opening Day on the River, April 5, 2014

Paddlers, rafters and non-paddlers alike are invited to California Canoe & Kayak and Jackson Kayak’s 2nd Annual Opening Day on the River, April 5, 2014, in Coloma/Lotus, California.

American WhitewaterOpening Day on the River celebrates the start of the whitewater season on the South Fork of the American River. Starting with kayak clinics from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and concluding with a BBQ, Films, Raffle and Music from 4:00 – 10:00 pm, Opening Day is for all river enthusiasts. Water activities are at various locations on the South Fork; land festivities take place at the California Canoe & Kayak (CCK) Outpost, 7221 Hwy 49, Lotus, CA 95651.

The event is a benefit for American Whitewater, whose mission is “to conserve and restore America’s whitewater resources and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely.” Last year Opening Day on the River raised over $3700 for American Whitewater. This year the goal is to raise $5000.

The men and women from World Kayak are back to share their paddling expertise and will be teaching a variety of clinics. New clinics include Stand-up Paddling with Sean Morley and Fletcher Burton and Slalom with Sage Donnelly and the Loma Prieta Paddlers. A community slalom race will take place at the Nugget on April 6th at 8 am. Other clinics include Spice up your River Running with Colin Kemp and Noah Fraser, Intro to Creeking with Daniel Brasuell and Bryan Tupper, Class 2 River Running with Toby Edens and Diane Gaydos, and Intro to Playboating with Ruth Gordon and Jessica Yurtinus. Kokatat is providing demo drysuits and Werner Paddles is providing demo paddles for use in the clinics. Thanks to Bill Center for use of the Nugget and Dan Crandall of Current Adventure Kayak School for use of the slalom gates.

Everyone is welcome at the evening celebration hosted by CCK at their South Fork Outpost, starting at 4 pm. Food is provided by CCK and Gold Country Paddlers. Ninkasi Brewing is back again generously providing libations. Food and beverage donation is requested. Buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win your Jackson Kayak of choice, or an NRS Inflatable SUP among other great prizes including Gift Certificates from Sierra Rizing and Sierra Nevada House. Raffle tickets available to purchase $10 each only 250 will be sold. Need not be present to win. If you can’t make the event and still want to support the Raffle call our Oakland Shop at 510-893-7833 to purchase your Raffle tickets.

Film presentations are courtesy of Awetstate.com creator, Daniel Brasuell, with a showing of “Walled In” fromClear H2O films. Live music provided by Jah Mercury and Brod Rob.

If you would like to volunteer for land duty helping out with food prep and clean-up, please contact Tammy Borichevsky at 510-893-7833 or email at Tammy (at) calkayak.com.

Matt is all about the water activities and entertainment. Matt Parker at 530-957-4754 or email matt_parker (at)calkayak.com.

Big thanks to Tammy Borichevsky, Matt Parker, California Canoe & Kayak and Jackson Kayaks for providing this information and putting together this fun event!

Pilot Hill and Coloma Areas on Bike Race Route

Gold Country Gran FondoTwo of the three routes on the challenging Gold Country Grand Fondo bike race will be passing through the northern edge of the Coloma-Lotus area tomorrow, March 29. They’ll be coming down Highway 49 from Pilot Hill and then heading up Marshall Grade toward Georgetown. Please be extra careful about bikers tomorrow especially given the weather forecast. For more information including route details, see the bike race website.

We’ve got water! Summer 2014 Whitewater Rafting!

We are finally getting the rain we so desperately need, but drought still seems to be the word on everyone’s tongues. Even though the drought is very serious, there is some good news concerning the South Fork American River and Whitewater Rafting for the Summer 2014 Season. Splish, splash! We’ve got water!!!

Due to a long term water lease that was negotiated with Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), the South Fork American River will have 6 hours of guaranteed flow for whitewater rafting, kayaking and recreation from Memorial Day to Labor Day from Thursday to Monday, all Summer long! The low flow days with no rafting options will be Tuesday and Wednesday.

Banish those fears of a waterless Summer and start planning your next Whitewater Rafting vacation in the Coloma-Lotus Valley! Please visit the business directories on either www.theamericanriver.com or www.coloma.com to see all the fantastic options for whitewater rafting, lodging, camping, restaurants and other recreational opportunities!  Cheers!

Coloma Shuttle Fall Schedule

Here is the Coloma Shuttle Fall schedule for the next few weeks:

Fri 9/13 - We need more riders for Friday to get the shuttle on the road.  If you are looking for an upper or lower shuttle let us know.
Sat 9/14 – 9:00 Chili Bar SOLD OUT- Looking to put a 10:30 on so if you need a ride & a 10:30 P/U is doable let us know.
                     5:00 Skunk – wide open
Sun 9/15 – 9:00 Chili Bar have room for 10
                      5:00 Skunk room for 12
Now a look at the next weekend 9/20-22
Fri 9/20 - both runs open
Sat 9/21 –  9:00 CB wide open
5:00 Skunk - SOLD OUT
Sun 9/22 – 9:00 Chili Bar - SOLD OUT
5:00 Skunk wide open
WE CAN ADD more runs if needed so let us know if you are interested in any of these sold out shuttles.
Call or email Liz at: 530-303-2404colomashuttle@gmail.com
Thanks for using the shuttle and recreating on the South Fork American River!

American River Slalom Races & Friend’s of the River Gear Swap~Sept. 7-8

Come one , come all to the fun and spectator friendly slalom races on September 8th, 2013 at The Nugget.  Entrance to the Nugget is free for racers and spectators alike that weekend, and race entry is on site for $10/person. Registration is on site at the registration table Saturday 9a-2p and Sunday morning 8a-9a. The slalom races are open to and appropriate for all class 2+ and above paddlers, so don’t feel like you can’t participate because you are a newer boater.
    In fact, we still need a few more volunteers to help judge and facilitate the races on Sunday, so anyone can come and play a part and have fun at the same time.  E-mail Dan@kayaking.com  to volunteer to help out or with any questions or concerns regarding the slalom events or American River Festival (ARF).
      Saturday, September 7th will be practice sessions and impromptu clinics for non racers or any paddlers wishing to engage and learn how much fun and how enlightening kayaking on slalom gates can be. Current Adventures will have a few kayaks there for demo, and be helping provide gate education and registration for the slalom races. Camping is available for kayakers at the Nugget for Saturday night ($11/person paid on site at the registration table). Potluck dinner and homemade music are expected.

We are transitioning the full American River Festival event to a Spring happening for 2014, but we are continuing the long tradition of slalom races in the Fall and of the popular Gear Swap put on by the Friends of The River (FOR). The traditional Saturday ARF party and raffles etc. will not be held this year (watch for Spring dates), but smaller grass roots evening parties will be held by FOR and at the Nugget on Saturday night.

Stop by Henningsen Lotus Park on Saturday and Sunday, September 7-8, and check out the great deals on used rafting and kayaking equipment at the Friends of The River Gear Swap!  A portion of the sales go to support Friends of the River!
Please e-mail:  gearswap@friendsoftheriver.org for info or answers regarding the FOR Gear Swap.
Thanks to Dan Crandall for promoting these events and providing the info. and details for this blog entry!

South Fork American Coloma River Shuttle has rolled into town!

Take the stress out of planning your South Fork American River trip with the Coloma River Shuttle! Whether whitewater rafting or kayaking, this is easy to use and beneficial for all river rats!  A Shuttle membership costs only $10/day with unlimited use.  There are also multi-day passes available for an even better price! Currently the Coloma River Shuttle is only operating one shuttle van and trailer, so make your reservations ahead of time.  Reservations with the number of riders and preferred pick up time can be made at: coordinator@colomashuttle.com. You can also visit the website for more detailed information: www.colomashuttle.com.  Here is the shuttle schedule:

Weekend and Holidays Schedule
Shuttle 1 – Chili Bar Route
8:30 am ­ River Park Village pick-up
8:45 am ­ Henningsen-Lotus Park pick-up
9:30 am ­ Chili Bar drop-off

Shuttle 2 ­-Chili Bar Route
10:30 am ­ River Park Village Pick-up
10:45 am ­ Henningsen-Lotus Park pick-up
11:30 pm ­ Chili Bar drop-off

Shuttle 3 – Skunk Hollow/Gorge Route
4:30 pm ­ Skunk Hollow pick-up
5:15 pm ­ Greenwood Creek drop-off
5:30 pm ­ River Park Village drop-off
5:45 pm - Henningsen-Lotus Park drop-off

Shuttle 4 – Skunk Hollow/Gorge Route
6:00 pm ­ Skunk Hollow pick-up
6:45 pm ­ Greenwood Creek drop-off
7:00 pm ­ River Park Village drop-off
7:15 pm - Henningsen-Lotus Park drop-off

The Coloma River Shuttle is funded by a grant from the El Dorado County Air Quality Management District and operated by the non profit American River Recreation Association. Feedback and suggestions are welcomed and encouraged.  ALL ABOARD the Coloma River Shuttle!

Gear up for May running & cycling events!

On May 5th, David Girard Vineyards and Oak Ridge High School are helping to sponsor the 1st Annual Ruff Road Race, in memory of Coach Josh Ruff. The race includes one-mile and 5K options. Please visit the website for race prices and details, and to learn more about this wonderful event.

The Mother Lode Century bike ride is coming up on Saturday May 11th. There are 28, 64 and 100 mile routes, all with support, meals snacks and a wind down BBQ on the river. Proceeds go to benefit the American River Conservancy and the El Dorado Trail. Visit this website for more information.

Rather run that 100? The Sacramento Running Association is hosting the Inaugural Gold Rush 100K on May 11, 2013. It begins at Sutter’s Mill in Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma and goes all the way to Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento. See their website for more information.

On Saturday May 18th you can start off your day by hitting the local trails for the 2nd Annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Coloma River Run! There are 5k, 10k and 10 mile loop options on this tough, but rewarding trail run beginning at 8:00 AM. All proceeds to benefit the JDRF. For more information please contact Eric at (916) 920-0790 or visit the website.

After the race head over to the highly anticipated 3rd Annual Wakamatsu Farm Festival: A Celebration of the diverse history of the Wakamatsu Tea & Silk Colony Farm. This festival runs from 10-4, and is rich with history, culture and fun. For a complete itinerary and list of events, exhibits and vendors, as well as ticket info, please visit the American River Conservancy website.

Thanks to Christie Pugliese for providing all the details!

2013 Chili Bar Season Passes

kayaking Troublemaker Rapid on the South Fork of the American RiverFor private boaters on the South Fork of the American River, we’re passing along new information about season passes for put-ins at Chili Bar. The Chili Bar Season Pass prices are going up for for the general public, effective January 1, 2013. Members of the American River Conservancy will continue to enjoy 2012 prices.

The Chili Bar Season Passes have four options:

  1. Full unrestricted Season Pass (FUR) includes 4 people + 1 car per day x 7 days
    ARC members $75.00; non-members $90.00
  2. Full Restricted Season Pass (FR) includes 1 person + 1 car per day x 7 days
    ARC members $50.00; non-members $60.00
  3. Mid Week Unrestricted Pass (SUR) includes 4 people + 1 car mid-week (M-F) ONLY
    ARC members $50.00; non-members $65.00
  4. Mid Week restricted Pass (SR) includes 1 person + 1 car mid-week ONLY
    ARC members $25.00; non-members $35.00

You can purchase passes online at the American River Conservancy online store. Purchases by December 31 will enjoy the current rates. You can also join the ARC at the same website.

Season passes are good for 1 year from the date of purchase. The ARC will call to confirm and a pass tag will be mailed to the buyer at the address supplied. Passes can also be purchased as gifts.

Chili Bar revenue goes directly back to the American River Conservancy and is used to support conservation and trail stewardship projects in the South Fork watershed.

High-Water Warning for South Fork

Coloma, California, November 29, 2012 — As of 9 a.m. today, the California Nevada River Forecast Center is predicting flows on the South Fork of the American River to reach approximately 27,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) sometime late Saturday or early Sunday, December 1-2. This is over ten times the typical summer flows of around 1500 to 3000 CFS. See the flow projections here.

Levels could be significantly higher downstream from the dam, as side creeks feed into the river. In addition, when Slab Creek dam upstream from Chili Bar starts to spill (at 1850 feet), the flows into Chili Bar exceed the reservoir’s capacity, and the flows can change quickly. See the Slab Creek release.

RV trailer crashing against Hwy 49 bridge piers, Dec 31, 2005 (©Sederquist)Lotus resident Harry Mercado points out that in the December 31, 2005, flood event (see photo right), the Chili Bar gauge underestimated the flows through Coloma. A release of 25,000 CFS indicated at the dam turned out to be closer to 40,000 in Lotus. The levels can also change rapidly. He notes that flow “jumped from 5,000 to 42,000 CFS while we slept.”

Residents are advised to remove possessions from low-lying areas. Whitewater paddlers are advised that boating is hazardous at these flows. See our South Fork Flows page for more information on river flows and how the river changes at different levels.

Thanks to Nick & Christina Pugliese and Harry Mercado for the alerts, and to Betty Sederquist for the photograph of the 2005-2006 flood event.