Truckee River Raft


Are you planning a trip around the Lake Tahoe or Reno area, or near Truckee River?

Are you ready to experience the thrill of white water rafting that is so popular there?

Do you want to get more details about rafting in Truckee River before you plan your trip?

If you are in the mood for some thrill and adventure that is set amidst gorgeous nature, then planning a white water rafting trip on the Truckee River could be a fun idea! Never done it before? Well, then all you need is to read this article till the end and found out all the information you will need.

We tell you about exact locations, detailed directions about how to reach the spot, the time it will take for your adventure ride, any age specifications you need to keep in mind, the best time to visit as well as a lot of other details that will make it easier for you to plan as per your convenience. So, without waiting any more, read on and let your adventure take shape!

Where is Truckee River located?

It moves from the state of California all the way to Nevada, and is 195 km long.

  • The Truckee River is the only outlet that comes from Lake Tahoe.
  • It also drains some parts of the high Sierra Nevada and empties into the Pyramid Lake that is located in the Great Basin.
  • The elevation of the river is at 5528 feet.

Is it in a recognized destination for rafting?

This is the closest rafting spot near Lake Tahoe as well as near Reno, and is quite popular with locals as well as tourists. There are many rafting enthusiasts who keep coming here for an awesome adventure.

3 reasons people keep coming back to Truckee River for rafting

  1. Can complete the trip in smaller duration, even when you are short on time
  2. Lots of providers to choose from
  3. Gorgeous scenery and terrain

All you need to know about Truckee River rafting:

Difficulty/skill level required here: Easy/Beginner to Moderate

Trip duration: Half day trip

Exact location and how to get there

Here are some easy directions that will help you reach the Truckee River from different points:

From South Lake Tahoe

  • Head north on US-50 E for 15 miles – you’ll go around east side of Lake Tahoe
  • Turn left onto NV-28 S till Kings Beach
  • Turn right onto CA-267 W/N Shore Blvd (in Kings Beach) for 11.6 miles
  • Turn right to merge onto I-80 E toward Reno
  • Follow I-80 E for 5.1 miles
  • Take exit 194 to Hirschdale Rd
  • Turn to Truckee River RV park

From Tahoe City

  • Take Hwy 89/W Lake Blvd North towards Truckee for 13.6 miles
  • At Truckee traffic circle merge onto I-80 E for 7.8 miles
  • Take exit 194 to Hirschdale Rd
  • Turn to Truckee River RV park

From Incline Village

  • Take NV-28 W/Lakeshore Blvd to Kings Beach
  • Turn right to CA-267 W/N Shore Blvd (in Kings Beach) for 11.6 miles
  • Turn right. Merge onto I-80 E toward Reno
  • Follow I-80 E for 5.1 miles
  • Take exit 194 to Hirschdale Rd
  • Turn to Truckee River RV park

From Reno

  • Take I-80 W towards Sacramento for 24 miles
  • Take exit 194 to Hirschdale Rd
  • Turn right to Hirschdale Rd
  • Truckee River RV park will be first on right side 

From Sacramento

  • Take Interstate 80 East to Reno for 98 miles
  • Take exit 194 to Hirschdale Rd
  • Turn to Truckee River RV park

Description of the area

  • This is one of the closest white water rafting locations around Lake Tahoe and Reno.
  • It is a class II to III adventure and is usually open and safe throughout the summer season.
  • This particular section of the Truckee River that is popular for rafting moves towards the east and flows to the High Sierra desert.
  • It also has cottonwoods around its banks.  

Is it family-friendly?

  • Rafting on the Truckee River is suitable for families, but you will have to follow certain age guidelines. 
  • The minimum age for water rafting in the Truckee River is at least 7 years.
  • In case the water levels are high, the minimum age can be increase to at least 9 or 10 years.
  • Make sure you check about the same in advance, when you are booking your trip.

Notable things to see and do there

  • Moves through scenic trail
  • The river moves through beautiful tall pine trees
  • There are various spots in the river that are sometimes really shallow and sandy, while sometimes, they can turn deep and rocky
  • You will see beautiful clean emerald water along the way in many patches
  • You can also notice tall grass in the water, as well as spot ducks that move under the bridges in the area
  • While you are floating on the water, you may come across some sandy beaches where you can take a break.
  • You can do so if you are on a self-guided trip, and if your guide on land has said it is alright for you to stop (they usually do)
  • Some trip operators also schedule mid-trip snacks on these beaches, which makes for a fun picnic kind of feeling
  • You may get off near the Alpine Meadows area, which is a beautiful part of the Truckee River

Onsite gear rental:

  • You can speak to your trip provider and check about the availability of the same on the spot.
  • While most providers will have onsite gear rental facilities available, these may run out during peak seasons.


  • Mild and easy to navigate water
  • Surprise rapids add more thrill


  • Too much traffic around main spot during peak season

When is the best time to come to Truckee River for rafting?

The perfect season for going for river rafting in Truckee River is between the months of May and September. This is the summer season and the time when you can make the most of the rafting trip in the area.

Advantages and disadvantages of visiting during peak season or off season

Visiting in peak season


  • Lots of trip timings and options to choose from
  • Meeting new like-minded rafting enthusiasts
  • More activities as part of the trip


  • This offer may have lot of traffic on the routes to and from the spot as well as on the water
  • Reservation spots fill up very fast

Visiting in off season


  • Lesser traffic on the routes to and from the spot as well as on the water


  • Most trip providers may not be working during the off season

Some other activities you can do in the area when you visit

Few other things you can try out:

  • Visit Donner Memorial State Park
  • Hit ski slopes
  • Hike around Truckee
  • Visit The Village at Northstar
  • Drive on Donner Pass to Summit Point

Once you reach the spot from where you are going to start the rafting, make sure that you pay attention to all the details from your guides. Follow all the safety procedures, and to be safe, make sure that you wear the life jacket at all times.

Also, please inform about any current or previous health condition at the time of booking your trip.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones and have a great time!

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