Truckee River

Truckee River Rafting in North Lake Tahoe

ABOUT THETruckee River

  • Truckee River rafting trips are available all summer from mid-May to end of September
  • Perfect summertime activity while visiting Lake Tahoe
  • Two white water sections: Boca run and Verdi run, depending on river flows
  • Outdoor activity to do in Lake Tahoe for families ages 7+
  • Unique mountain scenery with and craggy cliffs canyon
  • Our guided Truckee River rafting trips run even when the Tahoe City raft rentals do not

The Truckee River, flowing through the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin regions of the western United States, is a watercourse of significant ecological, recreational, and historical importance. Originating from Lake Tahoe and winding its way through Nevada before eventually reaching Pyramid Lake, the Truckee River covers a distance of approximately 121 miles. One of its notable features is the Tahoe City Dam, where Lake Tahoe’s outflow is regulated to maintain a balance in water levels.

Our trips are often available when the raft rentals in Tahoe City are closed. Sections of the Truckee River sometimes close near Tahoe City due to high or low water only coming out of Lake Tahoe which effect raft rental companies in that specific area. Our guided Truckee River rafting trips leave from Truckee which is north of Tahoe City by 20 miles.  We are able to run trips due to different water supplies to the river with our section being supplied from reservoirs and lakes such as (Boca, Donner and Stampede).

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Let's GoRafting

POPULAR
Dates: May
- September
Starting at

$99

FETCHING TRIPS

WHY THETruckee River

The Truckee River, flowing through the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin regions of the western United States, plays a significant ecological, recreational, and historical importance. The Truckee River covers a distance of approximately 121 miles and is the only river that flows out of Lake Tahoe. Originating from the great alpine lake, it winds its way through Nevada before eventually reaching Pyramid Lake. One of its notable features is the Tahoe City Dam, where Lake Tahoe’s outflow is regulated to maintain a balance in water levels. This controlled release not only impacts the river’s flow but also influences the ecosystems it sustains along the way.

The Truckee River is celebrated for its role as a recreational haven, attracting outdoor enthusiasts year-round. Along its banks, particularly in the Lake Tahoe area, visitors can engage in various activities such as hiking, biking, and fishing. The river is renowned for its trout fisheries, providing anglers with opportunities to catch rainbow and brown trout in its clear and cold waters. In the winter, the Truckee River’s surroundings become a snowy wonderland, drawing skiers and snowboarders to nearby mountain resorts.

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History & Wildlife

The Truckee River has a rich history shaped by Native American presence, the California Gold Rush, and the development of towns and industries along its course. Before the arrival of European settlers, the region was home to Native American tribes, including the Washoe people, who had a deep connection to the Truckee River and its resources. The river gained prominence during the mid-19th century Gold Rush, attracting fortune seekers who panned for gold along its banks.

In the mid-19th century, as part of the California Trail, explorers and settlers began to traverse the Truckee River region. The town of Truckee, California, was established in the 1860s as a result of the transcontinental railroad construction. The establishment of towns like Truckee and the development of industries, including logging and mining, were integral to the area’s growth. The Truckee River played a crucial role in powering stamp mills used for ore processing, leaving behind a historical legacy that is evident in the remnants of old mining structures and the cultural fabric of the region.

Truckee, California, has a rich history related to the ice industry and in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it played a significant role in the town’s economy. The Boca Mill, situated along the Truckee River owned by the Truckee Ice Company, was a major ice harvesting and processing facility in the region. Ice was cut from the frozen water bodies during the winter, stored in large icehouses, and then transported by rail, particularly via the Central Pacific Railroad, to various destinations, including the growing cities of California.

The Truckee River supports a diverse array of wildlife, contributing to the ecological richness of the surrounding landscapes. The river’s waters sustain populations of rainbow and brown trout, making it a popular destination for anglers seeking a pristine fishing experience. Riparian habitats along the riverbanks provide crucial breeding and nesting grounds for various bird species, including osprey, eagles, and waterfowl. Additionally, the Truckee River is home to an array of mammals, such as mule deer and beavers, which thrive in the diverse ecosystems supported by the river. Conservation efforts aim to preserve and protect the Truckee River’s habitats, ensuring the continued existence of its wildlife for future generations to enjoy.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THETruckee River

Where does the Truckee River end

The Truckee River ends at the Floriston take out for commercially guided white water rafting trips.

There are also some sections of Truckee River suitable for self guided floats at certain times in the summer.

How long is the Truckee River?

The Truckee River is 7 miles long between the Boca reservoir raft put in and the Floriston take out. There are mainly Class II rapids with a mile of several Class III rapids in the last mile including Bronco and Jaws rapid.

How to float the Truckee River

The best way to float on the Truckee River is with a guided white water rafting professional outfitter. The section from Boca reservoir to Floriston features many technical rock gardens and large Class III rapids towards the end of the run.

There are also some sections of Truckee River suitable for self guided floats at certain times in the summer.

What class rapids are on the Truckee River?

The Truckee River typically features Class I to Class III rapids, offering a range of whitewater experiences suitable for both beginners and intermediate paddlers.

Where is the Truckee River?

The Truckee river is located in Truckee, CA.

Where is the Truckee River located?

The Truckee River is located in the Sierra Nevada region of the United States, flowing through the states of California and Nevada, with its headwaters originating from Lake Tahoe and its course extending to Pyramid Lake.

What to do on the Truckee River?

There are many things to do on the Truckee River. It is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, with healthy populations of rainbow and brown trout. The scenic surroundings of the Truckee River make it an ideal destination for hiking and biking. Additionally, birdwatchers can spot eagles, osprey, waterfowl, and other birdlife while exploring the riverbanks.

How long does it take to float the Truckee River?

The duration to float the Truckee River depends on the specific section chosen, but a popular and scenic float from Tahoe City to River Ranch typically takes about 2 to 3 hours, providing a leisurely yet enjoyable experience along the water.

What makes the Truckee River Wild and Scenic?

The Truckee River is designated as a Wild and Scenic River due to its outstanding natural, recreational, and cultural values, recognizing its unique characteristics, scenic beauty, and importance to the ecosystems and communities it traverses.

Where to fish on the Truckee River?

Prime fishing spots on the Truckee River include the stretch between Truckee and Boca Reservoir, renowned for its healthy trout populations, as well as the section below the town of Floriston, offering opportunities for anglers to catch rainbow and brown trout in its clear and cold waters.

What are some fun facts about the Truckee River?

The Truckee River played a significant role in the westward expansion during the mid-19th century.

The river has been harnessed for hydroelectric power, with several dams along its course.

What is the Truckee River famous for?

The river is renowned for its exceptional wild steelhead fishing, drawing anglers from around the world.

The Truckee River played a role in the mid-19th century California Gold Rush, and towns like Truckee emerged as historic hubs for pioneers and prospectors.

The Truckee River is famous for connecting Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake, forming a vital part of the region’s waterway system.

What are the biggest rapids on the Truckee River?

The Truckee River doesn’t have extremely challenging whitewater, but the section near the Boca Reservoir and Floriston is known for Class II to Class III rapids, providing a moderate yet enjoyable level of difficulty for paddlers.

I can’t swim. Can I still go rafting?

If participants cannot swim, they are still welcome to go rafting in the Truckee River. The trip is designed for families, groups, and first time rafters.

ACKNOWLEDGING Ancestral Lands

The Truckee River region has historical significance as the ancestral lands of various Native American tribes, most notably the Washoe people. The Washoe people have a deep and enduring connection to the land, including the Truckee River and its surrounding areas. Their cultural practices and traditions are intricately woven into the landscape, reflecting a harmonious relationship with nature. Over generations, the Washoe people have sustained their unique way of life by relying on the resources provided by the Truckee River, from its clear waters to the abundant wildlife along its banks. Today, efforts are made to recognize and preserve the cultural heritage of the Washoe people, fostering partnerships that aim to ensure the continued appreciation and protection of their ancestral lands near the Truckee River.