There are two companies to choose from when you want to try river rafting in Truckee. The two main companies are Truckee River Raft Company and Truckee River Rafting. For the purposes of this article, I’ll be focusing on Truckee River Raft Company although both have similar processes! Read on for the ultimate guide to river rafting in Truckee!
Reserving a Spot for River Rafting in Truckee
Truckee River Raft Company offers online reservations. We printed the waivers ahead of time and Truckee River Rafting Company provided very clear and easy-to-use instructions for how the experience would go. Make sure to complete the waiver form online so check-in won’t take long.
Tickers are priced as follows:
$60 Adults Ages 13+
$40 Children Ages 6-12
Free Toddlers Ages 2-5
Rafting the Truckee River Raft- Our Experience
We arrived at the launch site in Tahoe City around 8:30 after parking and catching the bus near River Ranch. Each party visiting the Truckee River Raft Company gets loaded into a large raft with paddles. The rafts are fairly large and while we had 4 people, we saw rafts of up to 8 people. One great aspect of this experience is there was no sharing with other parties.
Truckee River Raft Company is also VERY dog friendly, as in, you can bring your dogs because they might love rafting with you. The staff accommodates well-behaved dogs as if they’re one of your kids.
The river itself was calm the day we floated it and we each took turns paddling. During our float, we saw ducks, geese, and chipmunks. The water level in Truckee River ranges from knee-deep to areas of more than three feet. We stopped and had lunch on a random rock island and watched other parties float by.
Chances are you WILL get stuck along the river on rocks or on the banks. The easiest thing to do is to have rafters carefully bounce to break loose. Toward the end of the river run where the strongest rapids are, we got caught in a strong current that pushed our raft into a large rock and we were stuck! Trying to paddle against the rapids and move to break free was exhausting especially since we were at the end of the trip.
When you are done with your float, your car is already there across from the River Ranch, and you don’t have to get in a shuttle bus all wet and drive back to get your car!
How Long does River Rafting in Truckee take?
For groups that paddle the entire way, the journey will take about 2.5 hours. You can easily extend it to 3-4 hours if you take your time including stopping along the spots to relax or eat lunch.
What to Bring for River Rafting in Truckee
Truckee River Raft Company has a little store that sells items like sunscreen, hats, and tee shirts. I would recommend bringing your own hats and sunscreen in advance to save some money and protect yourself from the sun.
Water Proof Bag
We anticipated our kids getting out of the raft and splashing so we invested in waterproof bags. Turns out they were a lifesaver because water got in the raft even though we thought we were being careful. We were able to pack our belongings in the bags and they were small enough that they didn’t take much room in the raft.
Bring water shoes if you have them so you can get out and walk around in the creek, in some of the beautiful shallow spots along the way. Flip flops also will work but I’m glad we got some inexpensive water shoes since some stops along the river are incredibly muddy.
A small cooler for snacks and drinks is necessary on the river especially if you intend to stop along the way!
Can you pull off at any point and sit and enjoy some lunch?
Yes! There are so many spots on the banks or islands to stop and enjoy lunch or a snack.