Truckee River Rafting with the family
Client quote from a Truckee River rafting trip

Truckee River Rafting and Whitewater Rafting near Lake Tahoe & Reno

Truckee River Whitewater Rafting:

This rafting trip on the Truckee River is the closest summer white water rafting to Lake Tahoe and Reno. It is a fun and exciting, 7-mile guided Class 2-3 whitewater adventure, with exciting Class 3+ rapids in the last mile. This Truckee River whitewater rafting trip should not be confused with the self-guided float out of Tahoe City. As water is obtained from several reservoirs and not just Lake Tahoe, this rafting trip is always available, even when the raft rentals are closed. Trips are normally scheduled from mid-May thru September.

 We are hoping to resume our whitewater rafting trips on the Truckee River in 2016! Please contact us at the end of March more more info or check our Predictions page for the most up to date info. 
See all the other options near Lake Tahoe by clicking here. 

There will still be guranteed water on the South Fork American, Middle Fork American, and Lower Middle Fork American Rivers located approx. 1-2 hours from Lake Tahoe (depending on location)!

Also check out California rafting HOT DEALS for many great discounts on some of these other river trips. Don't miss out BOOK NOW!

Truckee River rafting trip time is approx. 3 1/2 hours, including the short shuttle to the river and back. Clients are transported from our meeting location in Truckee, to the put-in site 7 miles east of Truckee on the Little Truckee River near the old Boca town site. Before embarking on your Truckee River rafting trip, life jackets and paddles will be provided and a safety talk will be given. Each whitewater raft will be under the control of a professional river guide who will call out commands and help steer. Early in the rafting trip, maneuvering and paddling skills will be explained and practiced. The Truckee River west of Reno passes through the High Sierra desert, with cottonwoods lining the banks. Though the river parallels I80, the road is out of site and hearing. Above the rapid "Bronco", it will be possible for the more timid passenger to disembark and hike from here to the take-out at Floriston. Most will opt to run the most exciting rapids on this Truckee River rafting trip. At the take-out point, the equipment will be loaded while refreshments are served and we then return to our meeting location in Truckee.

Reservations for Truckee River Rafting:

This is a popular trip and RESERVATIONS ARE ALWAYS REQUIRED so please, book well in advance. See Reservations for that detail - staff at the meeting location cannot assist with making a reservation or with cancellations/no shows etc. During peak season, the afternoon trips particularly fill up 7-10 days in advance. If you decide to take the chance, please CLICK HERE TO PRINT OUT THE MAP in case we cannot get a confirmation package to you at your Lake Tahoe location. We may have space available for last minute bookings, so please call to check on availability. Payment in full is required in advance of the trip, and usually 21 days prior, so please have that information available when you call. Please note our Cancellation Policy. You may submit a reservation online if making a reservation at least 7 days in advance, or if you check by phone about availability first. Make sure you provide phone number as well as email on any online reservations.

What is needed for your Truckee River Rafting Trip:

During normal summer rafting conditions, previous experience and swimming ability are not required, and no special attire is needed. Swim suits with fast drying shorts and shirts are recommended and footwear should be sneakers (that will get wet) or sturdy sandals (not slip-on's). Any hats and glasses are best attached with a strap, though we provide helmets on this trip. Leave expensive cameras and any other valuables locked in your car. Waterproof, disposable cameras are fine, but professional photographers are usually present at the last rapid.

During early (May-early June) and late (Sept) season trips, wetsuits and/or splash jackets may be required and are available at no charge, but please ask when you make your reservation. In the mountains, the occasional thunder storm does happen in the summer,  but we do raft rain or shine, and would have splash jackets available at those times. We will only cancel a trip when there is lightening in the immediate vicinity of the river trip.

Who may participate on a Truckee River Rafting Trip:

Youths from 7 years up are welcome. For children under 7 years, the Class 2 run on the Lower Middle American or the East Carson (south of Lake Tahoe, before July only usually) are recommended (see Rafting with Children). We also welcome seniors, but younger and older members of a group may wish to walk around the last section of Class 3+ rapids. Also see our information on Safety if you have any questions about abilities or physical limitations.

Truckee River Rafting Prices:

$69 per person. Youths 7-17 years old and seniors ages 62 and over receive 10% off base rate (plus 5%-15% group discount when applicable).

Group discounts of 5%-25% - see Discounts on our full price/cost page, or call for a quote. To obtain the group discount, we require payment with one credit card, or ask us for information about our special online booking program (maximum 5% discount for online bookings).

All trips are subject to an additional 3% government river use fee added to the invoice.

Meeting Location/Times for Truckee River Rafting:

  • Meeting location is at the Granite Chief store, near the town of Truckee.
  • 2 trips a day at 9:00 am and 1:30 pm. Custom trip times are sometimes available
  • Reservations are ALWAYS required. For last minute reservations call to check on space. An online reservation does not guarantee your booking until we confirm.

AFTER LABOR DAY weekend, there may only be 1 trip a day at 12:30 pm, except on Saturdays.

Group transportation can sometimes be arranged for a fee from the Reno and Lake Tahoe areas.

Distance/time for travel to the Truckee River:


Northstar.............12 mins

Squaw Valley ......20 min/12 miles
Tahoe City ..........25 min/14 miles
Kings Beach .......25 min/15 miles
Incline Village ......30 min/19 miles
Reno ..................35 min/33 miles
Carson City .........1 ¼ hrs/41 miles
So. Lake Tahoe...1 ¼ hrs/48 miles
Sacramento ....... 1 ¾ hrs/103 miles
Quincy ............... 2 hrs/71 miles

There are always road works in the Reno and Tahoe area throughout the summer, so PLEASE allow extra time. If you are on and afternoon trip, we suggest coming into Truckee for lunch so you are in the area ahead of time.

Click on the map below for more detailed map and directions to Truckee River Rafting Trips

Truckee River and Lake Tahoe location map

Lake Tahoe rafting & Truckee River rafting - where to meet, where to stay:

Other options for Lake Tahoe Rafting:

If you are traveling to Lake Tahoe via Sacramento, we suggest you check out your options for rafting on the American River, which usually has better space availability, longer trips, more continuous rapids, and options for both easier and more exciting white water, including trips for the youths under 7 years.

Click here for other rafting options near Lake Tahoe and Reno

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