Well Hello 2017.
Much of what is happening in the Coloma Lotus Valley happens around the river.
Whether you are a person who likes to hike, mountain bike, horseback riding along one of our many trails or if you are a boater floating down the beautiful South Fork of the American River. Today it looks a bit different out there. From the recent rains the river has come up to 40,000 csf overnight.
For the last 3-4 days residents along the river have been preparing for this event. The last time we saw water like this was back in 2007. And they did a banger of a job. I don’t think anyone was unaware of the water to come. The local community came together to help one another out. This is what small town living is all about. And the Coloma Lotus folks are all about community.
Whether you live here or are just visiting our community check out these great flood photos from Monday, January 9, 2017.
Rivers Bend Campground
Hwy 50 Bridge
Looking south from the Hwy 49 Bridge
Slab Creek Dam January 9, 2017
When referring to the Gold Rush in Coloma the phrase often used is “the world rushed in” Well, if you want to see this in person this is the weekend to visit Coloma! With the World Gold Panning Championships happening at the Placerville Fairgrounds you can bet that Coloma, the site where gold was first discovered, is going to be a hotbed of activity. Who wouldn’t visit the iconic location. This, followed on the hills of a major gold nugget discovery in the Sierra Foothills this last week is drawing attention to the area.
If you have Saturday and Sunday free, head up to the 10th annual American River Music Festival and in between sets check out Coloma Gold Rush Live in Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. And remember, the rafting companies and still in full swing and the forecasts are in the 90’s all weekend. Once again, something for everyone!
The World Gold Panning Championships held at the Placerville Fairgrounds September 11th through the 18th will be bringing lots of activities to the Coloma Valley and the surrounding areas. Be sure and check out each of these activities in the historic location where gold was first discovered.
Kick off the celebration of the discovery of gold with the Divide Gold Rush Days September 10th and 11th. This family friendly event features a variety of activities with a kick-off dinner and dance on Friday night.
The American River Conservancy will be offering guided and self-guided tours of the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony during the entire World Gold Panning Championships.
The 10th annual American River Music Festival September 16th through the 19th is a must for music lovers of all ages. Enjoy talented musicians on the banks of the South Fork American River and at local restaurants in the evenings throughout the community.
Coloma Gold Rush Live held September 17th and 18th to coincide with the World Gold Panning Championship will be held at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, the site where gold was first discovered.
As quickly as the gold rush waned, agriculture in the region stepped in to be the “true gold” The American River Wine and Ag Trail is hosting a farm to table dinner on October 1st in front of the newly constructed Sutters Mill with the sights and sounds of the American River in the background. Visit the website to purchase tickets. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Gold Discovery Park Association non-profit.
Don’t let kids heading back to school fool you…it is still summer in the Coloma Valley! The Whitewater Industry is still hopping with boats that are filled with people enjoying the water in the triple digit weather. Enjoying the water whether in a boat, float, wading or just enjoying the scenery is fun for everyone. While you are in town to cool down, make sure and stop to check out Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, MGDSHP, which is gearing up for the World Gold Panning Championship held at the Placerville September 11-18th. Although the actual competition takes place at the fairgrounds in Placerville, you can be sure that the site in Coloma where gold was first discovered and triggered the Gold Rush will be a hotbed of activity. Once you visit the Sutters Mill monument in the State Park, stop by one of the wineries, another hotbed of activity as Crush is beginning and you may catch the winemakers in action harvesting grapes. Agriculture is the Coloma Valleys true Gold and new on the block, the American River Wine and Ag Trail is telling that history. In a new partnership with the Gold Discovery Park Association, GDPA and the MGDSHP, there will be an inaugural long table farm dinner on October 1st 2016 in front the newly redesigned Sutters Mill replica overlooking the South Fork American River. Join in on the Golden Harvest for a 5 course meal with local products and wine.
While Coloma is known for it’s history of Gold Discovery and that is a significant and defining period of history for this magnificent region, agriculture has been a constant presence and is the Coloma Valley’s true gold. Yes, the Gold Rush brought a plethora of people to the region and along with that brought an increased need for farming, but as gold discovery waned, agriculture boomed.
Future 2nd Generation Farmer on the Old Tractor at the Wakamatsu Community Farm
Agriculture: the practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products. That is what the Coloma Valley has embodied for more than a century. Whether you are a fifth generation farmer or a first generation farmer there is a place for ag of all types. On any given day you can drive the figure 8 loop starting at Lotus and Gold Hill Road and find honor system roadside stands with sunflowers, tomatoes, blackberries, peaches, cucumbers and so much more. Come take a drive on parts of the historic Highway 49 and taste the bounty of the region.
The American River Conservancy has been a long time fixture to the Coloma Valley and helps protect and enhance the community we all love. Join them in celebration.
Trails and Tales Fundraiser
Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream. This is the song my 4 year old son sang as he rowed with his dad on a Fathers Day private trip from Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park North Beach Put-In to the beautiful Camp Lotus Take Out. This 3 mile stretch of mild class II rapids (can you even call it a rapid, I’m not sure) was enough to let our kids get “splashed” and enjoy a day on the river.
The South Fork American River is one of the most popular rafting destinations in the West and that includes kids. Whether you are a private group or choose from one of many family friendly commercial floats in rafts and inflatable kayaks (IK’s) there is fun to be had by all ages. As we floated along we ran into neighbors, friendly faces and lots of “out of towners”.
Did you know that you can purchase an annual pass at these favorite put-in’s and take-outs? State Park, Hennigson-Lotus Park (If you go more than twice in a year you pay for your pass) and Camp Lotus. These parks can not only be used for put-ins and take-outs but for all types of activities. This is a small price to pay for big fun! If you don’t know the in’s and out’s of a private trip, contact one of many family friendly commercial whitewater companies. Look in the business directory listings for companies offering trips for all ages. See you on the river!
The recurring theme this year for the Coloma Valley has been unpredictable and unusual weather patterns. Based on the upcoming weather forecast there will be a 30 degree temperature difference between Wednesday 15th and Wednesday the 22nd. Almost unbelievable difference, 71 degrees as the high in mid-June, we’ll take it! Make your plans this week to come and enjoy the cooler weather. With cooler temperatures on the horizon it s a great time to hike the many trails, from novice to advanced. After a great hike, enjoy the nice weather and stop by one of many local restaurants with outdoor seating and grab a bite to eat. After Fathers Day its 100+ degrees all week, get online and book your whitewater trip for the triple digit weather now! Or visit one of the wineries and cool off in the cellar! Take your pick or do both. See you around town.
Wine taste and Farm hop in this historical agricultural district
Memorial weekend has come and gone and welcomed summer in the Coloma Valley. Soaring temperatures over the coming weeks beckons locals and visitors to all forks of the American River. Memorial weekend is historically a kickoff to the “busy season” for the whitewater industry, particularly the South Fork American River, one of the most heavily rafted sections of river in the West.
Not just the whitewater industry is busy, the whole community is too. Those enjoying the communities beloved river need to eat and recreate. After getting off the river grab a bite at one of many local eateries, from quick and easy take out to fine dining there is something for everyone. While you wait for your whitewater photos grab a treat and take a hike on one of the many trails along Highway 49. Love wine and food, stop by one of the local wineries or farms to take home goodies to enjoy. The Coloma Valley has something for everyone.
Enjoy scrumptious food
Rain in Mid-May we haven’t seen this in years!
This weekend the Coloma Valley was full of rain and thunderstorms but that didn’t slow the flow of traffic to enjoy all the area has to offer. The Coloma Valley has several new food venues that have opened in the past week or will be opening soon to the public. The forecast is low 80s with sunny skies this upcoming weekend so it’s a great opportunity to visit these gems. Take advantage of the perfect weather and visit Sierra Rizing, a long time local favorite for coffee, pastries and great lunches. Sierra Rizing is now open for dinner on the weekends. The Bear and the Bee made their debut on Saturday with amazing organic produce, open currently on Saturdays and will increase days as produce kicks into action. Squallys on the River, although there isn’t a set date for opening the outdoor area is shaping up and looks like the kickoff will be soon. Each venue has something different to offer so hit up all three and enjoy!