California History – School & Educational Programs

The American River Resort is the perfect location for your school field trip or educational pursuits for people of all ages. There are many experiential educational opportunities at and near our resort, such as:

Indigenous Native American History: Enjoy teaching your students about the first people of this area, the Miwok and Southern Maidu “Nisenan” Indians. Look along the river banks of our resort for “Chaw’se”, or grinding rocks, which were used for meal and medicine preparation by the original native inhabitants of Coloma.

Learning Resources for teachers:

A History of the tribes

American History: Impart knowledge to your group about the gold rush of 1849 and how it impacted the indigenous native first people as well as the new immigrants of the area. Our resort is decorated with original mine carts and other relics from the gold mining years. You can also experience Gold Panning at our South Fork access points or you can take a field trip to the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park to discover the history of the gold rush! The state park offers a cultural living history event on the second Saturday of every month.

Learning Resources for teachers:
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park Brochure

Whitewater Expeditions: Our resort offers guided river rafting trips down the South, Middle and North Fork of the American River. A whitewater rafting trip offers an engaging, lively and memorable learning experience. Our safety equipment and highly experienced, knowledgeable guides will provide your class with a fun and educational trip. Age ranges for whitewater rafting start at age 6 and up. Contact our resort at 530-622-6700 for information on booking your class trip.

Riparian knowledge: Watch your students “soak up” your interactive riverside lessons on watersheds, snow-pack and river formation. Use the American River to provide demonstration on dams such as the Chili Bar Dam, or the Folsom Lake Dam, which provides hydropower electricity, prevents flooding and feeds water to the Nimbus Fish Hatchery .

Learning Resources for teachers:

Folsom Dam and Reservoir

Nimbus Fish Hatchery School Tours

Conservation: Use our riverside location to organize a river clean up and teach your students about pollution reduction and green living or zero-waste initiatives. Take a trip down the street to the American River Conservancy to learn about the efforts to save and preserve our river, the importance of the American River and how it sustains life.

Learning Resources for teachers:
American River Conservancy Education Programs

Biology: This biologically diverse region offers many opportunities for biology lessons, including native plant knowledge, waterflow, rain erosion, river ecosystems, river vegetation and water chemistry, to name a few. You can also enjoy the conservation project and history of Wakamatsu Farms, a once fully-functional tea and silk farm occupied by Japanese settlers.

Learning Resources for teachers:

California Native Plant Society (Local Plants)

Geography and geology: Our riverfront resort provides the perfect demonstration environment for explanation of the Sierra Nevada Batholith, the Sierran Arc volcanoes which formed this area, and the types of geologic rocks or minerals (including gold) that are found in our area.

Learning Resources for teachers:
UC Berkley Geologic History of the Northern Sierra Nevada

Wilderness or safety training: Teach your students how to build a campsite fire, how to identify native plant life, or even engage in CPR training with local companies such as Placerville Cal Safety.

Learning Resources for teachers:
Wilderness First Responder training with Sierra Rescue

Student Meals and Accommodations:

Our chef will be able to provide your school or class with delicious catered snack and lunch options if requested in advance. Our gated resort offers a large picnic or a sit-down lunch area for your students to enjoy a meal.

Our resort offers overnight lodging in cabins, platform tents, group camping sites and individual camp sites. All camp sites offer a picnic table and fire pit. Our resort amenities include river access, a volleyball court, renovated restroom and shower facilities, a pool and walking trails.