AUBURN, Calif. — The ever thickening blanket of snow that is piling up in the Sierra is good news for whitewater rafting companies, which expect a longer season this year.
“We are already getting calls,” said Marty McDonnell, owner of Sierra Mac River Trips in Groveland (www.sierramac.com), which organizes rafting trips down the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers as well as Cherry Creek, just west of Yosemite National Park.
McDonnell advertises whitewater trips starting as early as March. He expects to be able to offer trips on the Merced River into July and into September on the Tuolumne River, whose flows are controlled by a dam.
Some outfitters start even earlier.
“We plan to start our rafting tours (this month),” said Acsha Rothe, manager of Sierra Whitewater Rafting in Coloma (www.sierrawhitewater.com), which provides rafting tours of the North and South Forks of the American River.
This is good news, of course, not only for whitewater rafting companies, but for other businesses that cater to the needs of whitewater rafting enthusiasts.
“Campgrounds that serve as base camps for whitewater rafting enthusiasts anticipate a great deal of business this year as a result of recent winter storms,” said Debbie Sipe, CEO of Camp-California.com, the travel planning website for camping enthusiasts.
She added that campgrounds can make great base camps for whitewater rafting enthusiasts, including:
In the Coloma Area:
- Camp Lotus in Lotus: This park has RV and tent sites as well as cabin rentals. It is located on the South Fork of the American River. www.camplotus.com
- Coloma Resort in Coloma: This park, which is open to the public on weekends during the winter and spring, has RV and tent sites as well as furnished cabins, a bunkhouse and a country cottage. The park is located on the South Fork of the American River within walking distance of the historic site where James Marshall discovered gold in California in 1848, sparking the California gold rush. www.colomaresort.com
- Ponderosa RV Resort in Lotus: This campground, which is located along the South Fork of the American River, has RV sites and furnished cabin rentals. http://www.rvonthego.com/california/ponderosa-rv-resort/
In the Groveland Area:
- Yosemite Pines RV Resort & Family Lodging: This campground features RV and tent sites as well as furnished cabins, yurts and retro trailer rentals. www.yosemitepinesrv.com
- Yosemite Lakes RV Resort in Groveland: This campground is situated inside a 400 acre preserve five miles from the western entrance to Yosemite National Park. The campground includes RV and tent sites as well as cabin and yurt rentals. The South Fork of the Tuolumne River runs through the preserve. http://www.rvonthego.com/california/yosemite-lakes-rv-resort/
In the Kernville Area:
- Frandy Park Campground in Kernville: This campground, which as frontage along the Kern River, features RV and tent sites. Three different whitewater rafting also have locations on the campground. These include Kern River Tours (www.kernrivertours.com), Whitewater Voyages (www.whitewatervoyages.com) and Sierra South (www.sierrasouth.com). www.frandy.net
- Camp Kernville in Kernville: The campground, which has frontage along the Kern River, has RV and tent sites as well as RV rentals. www.campkernville.com
For more information on campgrounds in the Sierra Nevada and other locations across California, visit Camp-California.com.
SOURCE: Camp-California press release