Why Choose Us?

Why Malode?

50 years of experience

Since our founding in 1974, we’ve safely guided over 300,000 guests down 3 million river miles. Our Guides are attracted by our special purpose. They are friendly, fun and great communicators who receive extensive training not only as river guides, but also as ropes course facilitators and outdoor educators. Our Safety Record is one of the best in our industry and our guide training has always set new standards. For instance, we helped Rescue 3’s founder, Jim Segerstrom, adapt their Swiftwater Rescue Training, originally intended for first responders, for river guides. We then became the first company to incorporate Rescue 3’s Swiftwater Rescue Training into our Guide School. This has since become an international standard for excellence.

California’s Best Whitewater Rafting

Rafting with Mother Lode on The South Fork American River Gorge
Native American Grinding Rocks at Mother Lode River Center

Ancient Grinding Stones Overlook the South Fork of the American River

Find Your Escape

Yes, Mother Lode River Center is more than a rafting company, it is a scenic twenty-acre river oasis meant to help you relax, unplug, connect with others, and learn about nature and yourself. Take the camp tour here!

Protect our Rivers

At Mother Lode, our mission is to share our love of California’s rivers with you and to help protect these sacred places for future generations. During our five decades, over 30,000 guests have volunteered to write letters in defense of 15 California rivers including the North, South and Middle Forks of the American, Tuolumne, Merced, Kings, Kern Rivers, Cache Creek and most recently the addition of the Mokelumne River to the State Wild and Scenic River system.

Together, our work has helped keep many California rivers running so we can continue to enjoy them today. Visit our Stewardship page to discover more ways we support rivers and how you can help.

Chosen as “River Heroes” by Friends of the River, Marc Dubois, Scott, Emily and Adrienne Underwood celebrate!

Celebrate our 50th Anniversary with deep discounts on rafting & more!

Special 50th Anniversary Ropes and Rafting Events

Join us on  for a thrilling half-day of high ropes and rafting—no minimum group size required! Celebrate with us and book your adventure now!

Event Dates: June 15th, June 22, July 20th, July 27th, August 10th, August 17th