Gold Country is a region of California that includes foothills of the western Sierra Nevada mountains and many historic towns that date to the 1849 California Gold Rush. Today highway 49 winds its way through small towns that protect the legacy of California's early settlers.
- Amador County
- Calaveras County
- El Dorado County
- Madera County
- Mariposa County
- Nevada County
- Placer County
- Sierra County
- Tuolumne County
- Grass Valley
- Nevada City
- Twain Harte
The California Gold Rush began in 1848 at Sutter's Mill (near Coloma) where the first gold nugget was discovered, touching off a massive influx of people seeking their fortune. This was arguably the largest migration of the human race in such a short time. While most of these prospectors failed in their efforts to gain riches (the ones who made the money were the shopkeepers), their legacy remains in the many towns that now cluster amongst the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
- Whitewater Rafting. Rafting is the destination sport for the Coloma valley. The South Fork of the American River continues to be one of North America's premier (and most popular) river trips. Mother Lode River Center can help arrange rafting trips.
- Beyond Limits Adventures (American Rafting), 7231 River Park Drive, Lotus (Highway 49 to River Park in Lotus), ☎ +1 530-622-0553. 4. Class 3 River Rafting year round on California's South Fork of the American River. Guided tours depart daily. From $75.
- O.A.R.S. (Outdoor Adventure River Specialists), Angels Camp, CA, ☎ +1 209-736-4677. O.A.R.S. offers rafting trips on California's South Fork American River near Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, as well as on eight other California rivers.
All should have a healthy respect for the changing conditions of a naturally flowing river. Watch children and yourself!!
- The Sierra Nevada and Western Nevada to the east
- The Sacramento Valley and San Joaquin Valley to the west
- Shasta Cascades to the north