Ready for some excitement in the high Sierras and desert sun? Discover whitewater rafting near Lake Tahoe, the Truckee River and surrounding areas of Reno.
The Lake Tahoe area offers easy access to nearly every outdoor activity, including some awesome whitewater river rafting. Most whitewater rafting in the Lake Tahoe area takes place on the Truckee River, which flows for 121 miles from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake and offers everything from easy flows to exciting rapids.
For whitewater rafting enthusiasts, there are plenty of ways to get out on the river. Local companies that offer whitewater tours include:
Tahoe Whitewater Tours has a trip for everyone. You can search for a rafting trip by class (relaxing, intermediate, advanced), location (Truckee River, American River or Carson River) and length of trip. They have trips ranging from 1/2 day to 3 days!
Tributary Whitewater Tours have been safely guiding California whitewater rafting and American River rafting trips since 1978 and offer something for all levels, from mild to wild. They have packages great for kids and family vacations, in addition to extreme whitewater rafting adventures for the expert.
The IRIE (Isolated Rivers Incredible Experiences) offers a half-day trip from Boca to Floriston twice daily. This trip includes some Class III rapids like Jaws and Bronco Rapids. Visit their site to book your experience today.
Reno acts as a great base for whitewater enthusiasts. It’s close to the Truckee River and the Carson River, both of which have whitewater opportunities.
The Truckee River offers some of the wilder rapids near Reno (class 3 & 4) and one of the more popular routes is from Boca to Verdi.
This route is best experienced in spring when the water flow is at its highest. Guided tours for this section of the river can be reserved with Tahoe Whitewater Tours.
The Carson River is known for its milder rapids (class 2) and one of the more popular routes is a 21-mile stretch known as “Hangman’s Run.” This route can be enjoyed in the spring and through the summer. Guided tours are available through Tahoe Whitewater Tours.
Sierra Adventures also offers scenic and challenging Truckee River whitewater rafting for those looking to get the most out of their experience. Their trips take you through some of the most scenic stretches of the Truckee. Bring the whole family or your favorite group of thrill-seeking friends for some major rafting fun.
Looking to check out Reno’s whitewater action? Check out the Reno River Festival!
Looking for something a little less extreme? Floating is a great way to enjoy the river without rapids. One of the most popular Tahoe floats starts in Tahoe City and runs an easy-going five miles to River Ranch. There are some rapids near the end of the trip, but they’re short and easily manageable. This route is a leisurely, self-guided trip that’s perfect for family float trips. Rafters can launch from Tahoe City with their own raft or tube, or they can rent one from the Truckee River Raft Company.
The Truckee River Raft Company is located on Highway 89 (River Road) and offers shuttle service, parking and raft/equipment rentals. The shuttle is one of the better perks of the deal, as it’s quite a walk back to the starting point.
For those looking to float the river in Reno, visitors can experience Truckee River rafting right in the heart of the Biggest Little City. Wingfield Park is located in downtown Reno and offers easy access to the Truckee River. This park acts as the endpoint for most float trips, and visitors that head upstream will find plenty of places to launch their rafts. Popular launching points include Mayberry Park, Dorostkar Park and Crissie Caughlin Park, so you can have your choice of time you’d like to spend on the river.
Floating the Truckee River in Reno is most popular in the summer months.