Places to visit in Coloma

THE 5 BEST Things to Do in Coloma, CA

Places to Visit in Coloma

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Top Attractions in Coloma

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*Likely to sell out: Based on Viator’s booking data and information from the provider from the past 30 days, it seems likely this experience will sell out through Viator, a Tripadvisor company.

What travellers are saying

  • imub4ur
    Hesperia, CA382 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    In an hour's time you can see a reproduction of Sutter's Mill, and some ruins of a nineteenth century town. It takes no more than an hour to see it all, unless you pan for gold, there seems to be a bit of a wait for that. Ten dollars to park, make sure you go into the Chinese buildings, they have some nice displays there. In mid July I was able to find some ripe wild blackberries, but the weather was hot.
    Written 15 July 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Frank H
    13 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    I've been visiting the area for over 25 years. The activities are mostly centered around a tiny town called Coloma, which incidentally has the historical distinction of being the epicenter of gold discovery in 1849 leading to the famed Gold Rush. The seasonally active town mainly caters to visitors to the South Fork of the American River which is one of North America's most popular whitewater destinations. Boasting countless outfitters for rafting, Coloma also features several RV-capable campsites along the water's edge as well as about a dozen small restaurants and cafes. Being a whitewater kayaker, this is my "neighborhood river" even though I drive 2.5 hours each way from the San Francisco Bay Area. The scent of wild foliage greets you as you drop into the valley from N. Shingle Road into town if you are traveling from the west via US 50. During the summer months, you will almost immediately notice vehicles carrying various forms of water-borne fun from bundles of colorful kayaks on roof-tops to the stacks of commercial 13-foot rafts on trailers. Along with them are the passionate river folk from all walks of life from weekend warriors intent on maximizing their days off from their day jobs to career paddlers whose entire existence revolves around the rushing of the river. Mixed in, especially near major holidays or when the thermometer bursts past 90F, are also families with teens and small children with inner tubes eager to be carried downstream. The South Fork also boasts some extensive trails that let you hike all the way down to Folsom Lake if you were so inclined. Along the way, you can find wild grapes and blackberries late summer. There are equestrian options as well as an outdoor historical museum run by the CA State Park. The Coloma Shuttle (run by the El Dorado County Air Board), which is capable of carrying both boats and passengers, services multiple stops along the full length of the river. Search their website for online reservations. The River Store is the local spot for providing paddling equipment and works in conjunction with Current Adventures for instruction. If you've ever wanted to try whitewater kayaking, they are your source. Check them out online.

    For visiting paddlers, the river is composed of three sections. The upper section (aka Chilibar), is a 7.4 mile class III run that begins just below the Chilibar dam and ends at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park (MG) in Coloma. The middle section (aka C2G) is a 5.5 mile class II run that starts from MG and end at the Greenwood Creek BLM river access. From there the lower and final section (aka the Gorge) is a nearly 9 mile class III run with a steep gradient that ends at the Skunk Hollow SP near Folsom Late. For detailed information of river features go to the American Whitewater site. Locals are keen to give you the beta if you ask especially at the put-in and take-out spots as well as the River Store.

    First-time and casual visitors for water recreation have the option of signing up with one of the many rafting outfitters in the area for class III-IV fun or float down on their own for some class I-II excitement. A word of caution for those who want to float on their own, the is water dam-controlled snow-melt. Even in the peak of the summer months, the water has the potential to be quite cold. Depending on the location, the current can range from barely perceptible to churning even in the class II C2G section. Tubes and floaties for beach and pool use are typically unsuitable for the river. River capable ones are availble for rent or purchase nearby. If unsure about the safety of your equipment, please do take the time to speak with the staff at the River Store, Lotus-Henningsen county park or the Marshall Gold Discovery SP. Life jackets, highly recommended even for strong swimmers, are available to borrow or to purchase locally. Your safety contributes to everyone's enjoyment of this beautiful gem in Northern California.

    Most families or groups looking to tube for the first time or have kids can park at the Lotus-Henningsen County Park (fee), walk their tubes a quarter mile to the Highway 49 bridge and float down. More experienced tubers can hike a bit further to the Marshall Gold SP put-in spot a tiny bit further up Highway 49. Even more experienced tubers can consider ending their float at Camp Lotus, but that run requires more involved self-shuttling logistics and an additional fee to use the campsite. It is NOT recommended to float beyond Camp Lotus as the lower half of the C2G section boasts the more consequential rapids of the C2G section.

    Also, the left bank between the Highway 49 bridge and Lotus-Henningsen County Park along Lotus Road is public and has many first-come-first-served locations to set up a picnic and swim. Again life jackets and supervision for children is a must at all times.

    Visitors, please pack out your garbage and no open fires!
    Written 11 July 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kerry K
    Garden Valley, CA74 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great local theater presenting very good melodrama style shows which are easy to get involved with. Booing and hissing the villans is always satisfying.
    Written 27 August 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Julie T
    Napa, CA8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Marcello was a fantastic guide, we had a blast so fun! Great lunch! Easy to book the front office was very helpful in assisting us in which trip we wanted to do! We did middle fork and it was so fun!
    Written 3 July 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Richard H
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    I’ve done quite a few rafting trips, and have done this one a few times. It is such a good stretch of river with a great balance of white water fun and flat water relaxing. Whitewater excitement do such a great job at organizing and making the day great. I will absolutely use the them again. Brilliant day, brilliant company.
    Written 19 July 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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