2024 Snowpack-Perfect for Rafting!

Guide School Swim Practice- Go For It!

2024 will be a great year for whitewater rafting on the Forks of the American River!

How do we know? The fourth and final snow survey conducted by the Department of Water Resources on April 4th confirmed it : 123% of normal snow water content for this date. This means there will be excellent flows on the South and Middle Forks of the American River all season! This is the goldilocks scenario- not too low, not too high, but JUST RIGHT! 

Help us celebrate our 50th Anniversary!

Where did Mother Lode River Center begin?

It is hard to imagine that our company began its journey with one raft and a Volkswagen bus in the Summer of 1974- that was 50 years ago this season. Quite a “leap of faith”! There have been lots of changes along the way and if you are interested in how the company transformed over time from “Whitewater Otter”, to “Scott Free”, to a place called “Mother Lode” and finally into a “River Center”–read on here…..

So what has not changed at MaLode?

For one thing, we have always been a tightly knit family, and we remain so. Amazingly, now there are multiple generations of us! I am sometimes puzzled when one member of the “Fam” has never met or even heard of someone I consider a legend. For instance, do you know Cassidy Bell and the story of how he discovered the Nisenan grinding stones? If not, read on here..

Has our purpose changed?

“To run the safest, best organized and most fun river trips and to strive for the preservation of the rivers we cherish”. That phrase is from our original brochure from fifty years go. But what has that phrase really meant over the years?


What does the “preservation of rivers” mean? Is that real?

Judge for yourself. There are over 30,000 letters our participants have written in support of 15 of California’s most endangered rivers. When it all began with the loss of the Stanislaus River to the New Melones Reservoir, there was only grief and defeat. Since then we have helped successfully defend the North, Middle and South Forks of the American, the Tuolumne, Merced, Kings, Kern, Mokelumne, Cache Creek, Sespe, Yuba, Eel, Klamath, Bear and McCloud Rivers over the last half-century. It is a proud legacy attributable to Friends of the River, the California river community, and the last but not least, the MaLode Letter Writing Heroes.

We look forward to celebrating the fruits of those many hard fought battles again this season! We are still in the fight.

See you on the river,

Scott, Greg and the MaLode Crew


Picture of Scott Underwood

Scott Underwood

Company owner Scott Underwood has enjoyed the privilege of helping Mother Lode share his love of rivers with over 290,000 people. He is proud to have helped facilitate the writing of over 29,000 letters which, in turn, have helped save 15 rivers along the Sierra.
Activites at Mother Lode

On The American River

At The Adventure Center

Team Building & River Skills

50th Anniversary Ropes Rafting

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