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Average Gradient
2.60 ft/mi (0.49 m/km)
Days
1
Most difficult rapid
Class II
Distance
5.00 mi (8.05 km)
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Naturally, summertime in Tahoe draws attention toward the water. While Lake Tahoe itself is the star attraction, those in search of a fun, social water activity can take a float down the Truckee River. Floating the Truckee offers a relaxing way to cool off when the Sierra summer sun is at its peak.  Floaters can bring their own equipment or hire a raft (self-guided) from one of two outfitters.

Flowing out of the northwest corner of the lake at Tahoe City, the Truckee runs north through a forested river canyon. The first 5 miles of the river, the float stretch, are calm with the occasional light rapid to break up the flat water. The float takes between 2-3 hours, passing through meadows and opening to occasional mountain views. The river parallels Highway 89, which sees a fair amount of summer traffic, but with attention focused on enjoying the river and cooling off, you'll hardly even notice. A shallow river bottom and plenty of accessible banks afford the opportunity to stop and soak up the setting along the way. The take-out is located at River Ranch Inn, near the entrance to Alpine Meadows.

Two rafting outfitters, Truckee River Raft Co and Truckee River Rafting, both located west of the Highway 89 bridge in Tahoe City, provide a free shuttle service with the raft rental. Floaters can either opt to leave cars at take-out and ride the shuttle at the beginning, which is recommended due to limited parking at put-in, or park at put-in and ride the shuttle following the float.

Visit the following links for additional information on Truckee River rafting outfitters:
truckeeriverraft.com
truckeeriverrafting.com

 

 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer

Parking Pass

Not Required

Motors Allowed

No

Open Year-round

No

Pros

Relaxing summertime cool-off. Family-friendly. Shuttle service.

Cons

River flows next to Highway 89.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Put-in location (lat, long coordinates)

39.167005, -120.144288

Take-out location (lat, long coordinates)

39.185859, -120.195566

Features

Family friendly
Boat ramp(s)
Big vistas

Access

Vehicle

Typically multi-day

No

Shuttle required

No

Overall difficulty

I
II

Route Characteristics: Character

River

Suitable for

Rafts
Inflatable Kayaks

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

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