The Truckee River Whitewater Rafting trip is a great beginner run for those who are in nearby Reno, Lake Tahoe or Truckee. This is a seven-mile stretch of Class II and III rapids with a challenging Class III+ at the end. This section of the river passes through the High Sierra dessert, with stunning alpine views and cottonwoods lining the banks.
The Truckee River’s headwaters run from 9,000-foot peaks that flow from Carson Pass into Lake Tahoe, one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes. The lake overflows at its northwest corner at Tahoe City and a small dam regulates the flow. The section from Tahoe City to River Ranch is popular with tubers because of its access to town and mellow Class I rapids.
Most trips leave from the Little Truckee River and the action starts immediately with continuous Class II and III rapids. There are plenty of opportunities for rafters to walk around rapids if they seem too big, though those that stay in the boat are in for a wild and splashy ride through the High Sierra dessert.