Where To Stay

Looking for a place to stay during your course? The below information is camping and lodging recommendations that our near our training sites:

Coloma, CA – South Fork of the American River

You have some choices for accommodations for either hotels or camping. There are some B&B’s and an older hotel right in the Coloma area. The other hotels and eating options are either in Auburn, CA or Placerville, CA. Placerville is about a 20-minute drive and Auburn is about 25 minutes. Auburn has more options than Placerville does.

Hotels in Coloma, CA:

  • American River Resort – Offers premier riverside lodging in Coloma, CA. River Rafting, Camping, Cabins, RV Hookups, Wedding and Banquet Facilities are just a few of the amenities ARR offers their guests. 530-622-6700.
  • Café Mahjaic & Lotus Inn – Ideally located on the American River just 5 minutes from Mother Lode River Center. Built in 1857, the Lotus Inn offers six rooms of varying size and accommodation.
  • Coloma Resort – Campground located on the South Fork of the American River, with RV and tent camping sites on one mile of river-front spaces. 1-800-238-2298

Hotels in Auburn, CA:

  • Auburn Holiday Inn – Located on I-H80. 30 minutes from Mother Lode River Center
  • Best Western Golden Key – Located on I-H80, 30 minutes from Mother Lode Center.
  • Comfort Inn – Located on I-H80; 30 minutes from Mother Lode River Center.

Hotels in Placerville, CA:

  • Best Western Placerville Inn –  Located about 20 minutes from Coloma, CA – (530) 622-9100
  • Gold Country Inn – Located on Broadway Street near downtown Placerville, this motel offers clean, comfortable, affordable rooms.
  • Holiday Inn Express – Located on Hwy 50 in El Dorado Hills, 30 minutes from our campground.
  • Historic Cary House Hotel – Nestled in the heart of the California gold country, the Cary House is “The Jewel of Placerville.

Camping in Coloma, CA – There are many campground options in the Coloma Valley. Here are a couple we recommend:

  • Camp Lotus:  (530)622-8672 Great folks, great camping!
  • American River Resort:  (530)622-6700 If you make your reservation early, you can camp right above Trouble Maker rapid! A great spot!

Knights Ferry, CA – Stanislaus River

The reality of where to stay near Knights Ferry, CA is that some folks like Sonora, CA better and some like Oakdale, CA better. Sonora is 25 miles and 30 minutes away.  Oakdale is 13 miles and 20 minutes away.  Both towns have great places to eat within a short distance from the hotels.  The hotel rates are similar.  Information about both places can be found at sonorachamber.com or oakdalechamber.com.  Here are some of the hotel options below:

Hotels in Sonora, CA: 

Hotels in Oakdale, CA:

Camping in Knights Ferry, CA

The camping at Knights Ferry is exceptional and very close to our training site.  The camping area is riverside and is a nice place to spend time after class.  There are group sites with picnic tables, parking, and tent sites.  Bring your own camping equipment or some students opt to sleep in their vehicles.  The site has hot showers, bathrooms and plugins for laptops, ect…  To get to the campsite, drive through the historic town of Knights Ferry.  As the main road veers right, take an immediate left onto Cemetery Road.  The site is immediately on the left with a metal gate.

Dorothy is manger of site next to Knights Ferry with the hookups.  Her number is (209) 402-0108, although some students show-up the day of class and have had success getting a camping space. The cost for camping is $40/night for up to 4 people.

Another great place to check out is River Journey Adventures (www.riverjourney.com). They have camping available on the river in Knights Ferry. The cost is $25 per person per night. Tent camping only. For reservations, visit their website or call (209)847-4671.

Directions: Take Hwy 120/108 east to the Knights Ferry exit. Turn left onto Kennedy Road. Go 1/4 mile and turn left on Sonora Road. Cross over the river and turn left at the stop sign onto Main Street. Drive slowly through town and turn left onto Cemetery Road. The SECOND driveway on the left is the River Journey Stanislaus River Campground.  Look for the RIVER JOURNEY signs.

Truckee, CA – Truckee River

There are numerous camping and lodging options around Truckee, CA. Swiftwater Rescue course locations are on the river between Truckee, CA and Reno, NV. The Technical Rope Rescue locations are near Donner Summit and West of Donner Summit on Eagle Lakes Road. We recommend staying close to Truckee for the rope courses, or at the Clair Tappaan Lodge. Anywhere near Truckee, or Reno is fine for the Swifwater Courses. The hostel in Kings Beach is a fun and economical option! Truckee is only 45 minutes from Reno, NV which offers lots of affordable room options and at the numerous casinos!

Hotels near Truckee, CA

  • Clair Tappaan Lodge – In years past, students have enjoyed the economical and fun Clair Tappaan Hut on Donner Summit operated by the Sierra Club. The price is around $55/day without meals. During the fall, their price is $70-$80 which includes meals! It’s a great deal and a fun community environment! Winter rates have a two-night minimum. You need to mention you are part of a Sierra Rescue course when making a reservation to receive the Sierra Club rate. The Clair Tappaan Lodge was constructed in 1934 and named after Judge Clair Sprague Tappaan, an outstanding outings leader and an officer of the Sierra Club for many years. It is located in the Sierra Nevada on old U.S. 40 near Norden, two miles east of Soda Springs.


  • Holiday Inn Express Truckee Hotel  (877) 863-4780
  • Truckee Hotel  (530) 587-4444
  • Inn At Truckee  (530) 587-8888
  • Cedar House Sport Hotel  (530) 582-5655
  • River Street Inn  (530) 550-9290
  • Northstar at Tahoe (530) 562-2267
  • Best Western Truckee  (530) 587-4525
  • Hampton Inn and Suites  (530) 587-1197
  • Donner Lake Inn (530) 587-5574
  • Loch Leaven Lodge (530) 587-3773
  • Hostel Tahoe (530) 542-3266
  • Shinneyboo Creek Cabin Resort – located at 11820 Eagle Lakes Road.  This is about 10 miles past Donnor Summit and about 1 mile from the Eagle Lakes Road location.  It is an option for those of you who would like quiet nights and to do your own food.  There are very few food or entertainment options; but it is quiet and relaxing!  They will give you an off season discount if you mention Sierra Rescue and the swiftwater course.  Their phone number is (530)587-5160. Go north on Eagle Lakes Road (south turns quickly to dirt) for about 1 and 1/2 miles.  Don’t turn off the paved road.  The road dead ends at Shinney Boo Creek Cabins.

Camping in Truckee, CA

Camping is available at many USFS campgrounds around Truckee. There is a Forest Service campground also on Eagle Lakes Road.  It is called Indian Springs Campground and they charge a $20/night/site fee. The campground is about one mile north on Eagle Lakes Road.   They have fire rings and bathrooms.

Other camping options include Donner Memorial State Park Campground & Silver Creek.

Globe, Arizona – Upper Salt River

Globe is the closest place ( about a 35-40 minute drive) and has great restaurants too. I highly recommend the Motel 6 in Globe.  It is a newer Motel 6 and is the best deal in town besides the smaller, lower budget hotels.  You can check it out at motel6.com.  I have listed some of the other lodging available.  There are also many budget hotels along Highway 60 as you driver through Globe.

Hotels in Globe, AZ

  • Motel 6 Globe #4223 (928) 425-5741 
  • Travelodge Motel (928) 425-7008 – an excellent Hotel offering Large Nicely Appointed Rooms, all with a View of the Mountains. Guest enjoy High Speed Wireless Internet Access, and Free Ultra Deluxe Continental Breakfast and more.
  • Globe Days Inn (928) 425-5500 – located off Highway 60 overlooking views of the Pinal Mountains. They offer a complimentary deluxe continental breakfast between 6AM & 10AM, hi-speed internet and and more.
  • Knights Inn (928) 425-7124 – Conveniently located on Hwy 60 Close to several major attractions State of the Art Water Softener System Next to 24-Hours Jerrys restaurant Copy & FAX services available for guests.

Camping near Globe, AZ

There is camping available in undeveloped sites for a fee payable to the Apache tribe right at the class site and along the river in the Canyon.

Kernville, CA – Kern River

There are several options available through this LINK. The biggest consideration is to stay IN or NEAR Kernville.