Average Gradient
26.60 ft/mi (5.04 m/km)
Days
1
Most difficult rapid
Class II
Distance
4.50 mi (7.24 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

As everyone who lives in Reno knows, winter offers the chance to get up to the snowy paradise of Lake Tahoe and the mountains, spring and fall are beautiful for the whole of their two-week-long durations, and summer is meant for nights outside and days spent on the water. To this end, floating the Truckee River may be one of the most popular summer activities in town, and it attracts hordes of floaters that are occasionally so thick it seems as if you could walk across the river without touching the water.

Generally a slow flowing river with occasional rapids, the Truckee is slow enough that seeing families with younger children, alcohol-lubricated college kids, and groups of up to a dozen tubes tied to each other are not uncommon occurences. In winter, the occasional wet-suited kayaker can be seen riding down the ice-lined waterway, but during summer, everything from tubes, sporting goods store rafts, large flamingo pool floats, and inflatable mattresses head downriver with riders aboard. 

Typically, shuttling cars or calling a rideshare from the end point back to the starting point works. There are a couple of popular starting and ending points, depending on distance and length of time on the water desired. 

Popular start points include:

  • Mayberry Park - 101 Woodland Ave, Reno
  • Dorostkar Park - 6331 Mayberry Ave, Reno
  • Crissie Caughlin Park - 3415 Idlewild Dr, Reno

And popular end points inlclude:

  • Idlewild Park - 2055 Idlewild Dr, Reno
  • Wingfield Park - 2 S. Arlington Ave, Reno

During normal summer flow, float time from Mayberry Park to Wingfield Park is about 2.5 hours

Though easy and doable by most people, the river is definitely not without its potential hazards. Water flow is dependent upon volume released from Lake Tahoe and can vary throughout the season. There have been fatalities by floaters, especially during periods of higher flow. Flow is often highest and fastest during the spring, and the snowmelt and drops over the summer, meaning that the tail end of the hot season may include a bit more walking across shallow parts and taking submerged boulders to the bum if you're not careful. Rocks like to scrape and pop tubes as well, so definitely leave the cheaper pool toys at home for this one!

Float season is arguably the best time of the year in Reno! Just remember the life jackets and the sunblock.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer

Parking Pass

None

Motors Allowed

No

Difficulty

Easy / Class A

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Ideal summer activity.

Cons

Sunblock is a must! Potential for a bruised butt!

Pets allowed

Allowed

Features

Family friendly

Access

Vehicle

Typically multi-day

No

Shuttle required

Yes

Portage required

No

Overall difficulty

II

Route Characteristics: Character

Continuous
River

Suitable for

Kayaks
Rafts

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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