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Rafting the Truckee River (Tahoe City, Lake Tahoe)

Rafting the Truckee River was one of the mainstays of my childhood summers, and I’m so excited that my kids will have the same wonderful memories as they grow up! Here’s what you need to know to enjoy this adventure:

💦You can hit the Truckee with one of the rafting companies, or head out on your own with tubes. With little kids, I recommend the former because they handle EVERYTHING — the gear, getting you into the raft, pulling you out at the end, and transporting you back to the start via bus. We use @truckeeriverrafting and love it!
💦Truckee River Rafting has boats for 2-8 people; if your group is larger, you get 2 boats. You pay per person: adults are $60, kids 6-12 are $35, and kids 2-5 are FREE!! They provide life jackets (kids MUST wear) or you can bring your own.
💦You can bring food/drinks (lol, everyone takes advantage of that! 😂🍻) in soft coolers/bags (no hard coolers/styrofoam). Don’t bring glass; do bring a garbage bag. (They have trash cans at a few beaches along the route.) There are several “beaches”/islands/shallows where you can pull over to eat.
💦There are bathrooms at the start/occasional portables on the route.
💦Pack waterproof bags (the floor of the raft may get wet) — if you forget, they have garbage bags/ziplocs at the shop where you take off. Definitely ziploc your phone!
💦70% of the ride is like a lazy river — just cruising with the flow. Maybe 25% requires light paddling to navigate away from bushes/rocks. And about 5% requires active paddling/steering — the brief rapids as you approach the end definitely require hanging on to the kids!
💦Rafts depart right at the Y in Tahoe City (the outlet from Tahoe into the Truckee) and get pulled out at River Ranch. The trip takes 2-3 hours depending on stops. There’s no time limit — go at your own pace.
💦It gets HOT out there — no shade! Lots of opportunities to swim/wade, but full sun. Rash guards/hats/sunblock are musts. The seats get hot, so consider shorts instead of just suit bottoms for girls. Bring spray bottles or water blasters for added fun!
💦Make reservations online!
💦Let me know if you have questions — and ENJOY!!💦