Trinity River

Class III, IV & V Rafting Trips

ABOUTTrinity River Rafting

  • Trips vary in difficulty and length
  • Whitewater rafting available all summer long
  • Class III half-day trip options
  • Class IV & V trips with 1 day and 2 day options through the Burnt Ranch Gorge section
  • Located in Northern California in the Trinity Alps only
  • Dense forests, mountainous terrain and scenic canyons
  • Raft the Wild & Scenic River section
  • Trinity River trips require group bookings

The Trinity River, a major tributary of the Klamath River, flows through the rugged and picturesque landscapes of Northern California. Originating in the Trinity Alps, this 165-mile-long river courses through a diverse range of environments, including dense forests, mountainous terrain, and scenic canyons. Known for its stunning beauty, the Trinity River offers outdoor enthusiasts a wealth of recreational opportunities, from whitewater rafting and fishing to hiking along its meandering shores.

Trips meet at the near Big Bar, California. We will provide the shuttle to/from the river as needed.

Tributary Whitewater Tours operates under a special use permit issued by the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and is an equal opportunity service provider.


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Let's GoTrinity River Rafting

Dates: April
- July
Starting at


Dates: April
- July
Starting at


Dates: April
- June
Starting at



WHY GOTrinity River Rafting

The wildlife and scenery are excellent along the Trinity River or “Hoopa”, as it is called by the local Hoopa tribe. The silent river runner can often sight deer, hawks, eagles, osprey, herons, kingfishers, and the occasional bear, mink or otter.

The area has a rich gold mining history. In 1851, nearly 10,000 miners were working the Trinity River and its side creeks. The total population of California at this time was roughly 50,000 people. Legend has it that many Chinese miners lost their lives in a land slide near the “China Slide” take-out.


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History & Wildlife

The history of the Trinity River is deeply intertwined with the cultural legacy of Native American tribes, particularly the Hoopa Valley Tribe. For centuries, these indigenous communities have revered the Trinity River for its spiritual significance and its role in sustaining their way of life. The river has served as a vital resource for fishing, providing a source of sustenance and a focal point for ceremonial practices. However, with the arrival of European settlers and the California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century, the Trinity River faced significant environmental changes, including disruptions to its ecosystems due to hydraulic mining and other anthropogenic activities. In recent decades, collaborative efforts, such as the Trinity River Restoration Program, seek to restore and balance the river’s health, taking into account both its ecological importance and its cultural value to Native American communities.

The Trinity River is renowned for its diverse wildlife and serves as a critical habitat for various species. The river supports significant runs of salmon and steelhead, making it a prized destination for anglers seeking world-class fishing opportunities. Chinook and coho salmon, as well as steelhead, undertake remarkable migrations along the Trinity River, contributing to the overall health of the region’s fisheries.  The silent river runner can often sight deer, hawks, eagles, osprey, herons, kingfishers, and the occasional bear, mink or otter. The riparian zones along the riverbanks provide essential habitat for a variety of bird species, contributing to the area’s rich biodiversity. Conservation efforts aim to protect and restore the Trinity River’s ecosystems, ensuring that its wildlife populations continue to thrive and that the river remains a haven for both nature enthusiasts and the diverse species that call it home.



QUESTIONS ABOUTTrinity River Rafting

Where should I stay near Big Bar?

The Strawhouse Resort & Cafe is a great place for a short or extended stay. Located in Junction City, CA overlooking the Trinity River.

What class rapids are on the Trinity River?

The Trinity River features a range of whitewater rapids, typically ranging from Class II to Class IV, providing thrilling opportunities for whitewater enthusiasts seeking varying levels of challenge and adventure.

Where is the Trinity River?

The Trinity River is specifically located on Highway 299 between Redding and Eureka, California.

What to do on the Trinity River?

There is plenty of opportunity for Visitors to experience wild steelhead fishing. Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy the challenge of catching these prized fish, particularly during the fall and winter runs, making it a premier destination for steelhead fishing

The Trinity Alps serve as a beautiful backdrop for visitors. Hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing opportunities abound in this stunning wilderness, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the region while exploring diverse ecosystems and alpine landscapes.

What makes the Trinity River Wild and Scenic?

The Trinity River is designated as a Wild and Scenic River under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act due to several factors. The Trinity River beautifully flows through the pristine Trinity Alps which contributes to its Wild and Scenic classification. Additionally, there are many recreational opportunities including white water rafting, steelhead fishing, and hiking. This river is also home to the indigenous Native American tribe called the Hoopa Valley Tribe and nourishes the diverse ecosystems surrounding it.

Where to fish on the Trinity River?

The most popular places to fish along the Trinity River is the Junction City area, Douglas City, Lewiston, Willow Creek, and Del Loma. In these areas, anglers can expect to find Chinook and coho salmon, and steelhead fish.

What are some fun facts about the Trinity River?

The Trinity River is dammed at Trinity Dam, forming Trinity Lake, which is part of the Central Valley Project. The dam and associated hydroelectric facilities contribute to the generation of electricity for the region.

The Trinity River is fed by numerous tributaries, including the Stuart Fork, Swift Creek, and Coffee Creek.

What is the Trinity River famous for?

It is famous for being home to one of the most prehistoric and largest fish on the river is the Alligator Gar. These fish can grow over eight feet long, weigh three hundred pounds, and live up to fifty years.

Similar to previous rivers, this river also played a crucial part in the history of the California Gold Rush.

The Trinity River holds significant cultural and spiritual importance for Native American communities in the region, particularly the Hoopa Valley Tribe.

What are the biggest rapids on the Trinity River?

The biggest rapids on the Trinity River are Class IV rapids such as Powerhouse, Pigeon Point, and Burnt Ranch Fall.

I can’t swim. Can I still go rafting?

It depends on the trip! One of the options offered is open to non-swimmers while the Burt Ranch Gorge is a Class V trip where swimming experience is required.


The land around the Trinity River is traditionally inhabited by Native American communities, with a notable presence of the Hoopa Valley Tribe. These indigenous peoples have deep-rooted connections to the land, and the Trinity River holds profound cultural and spiritual significance in their heritage.

Acknowledging the Indigenous communities whose lands we visit is a crucial step in understanding our shared history and the ongoing challenges faced by these populations today. For more insight, visit our Territory Acknowledgement page. We encourage you to learn about the people whose land we’re privileged to explore by following the links above.

Our Territory Acknowledgement is an evolving project. If you find missing information or acknowledgments, please share it with us. Together, we can ensure accuracy, inclusivity, and respect. Thank you.