The Truckee River is a great place for a walk, a bike ride or a tubing ride.
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The Truckee River is a fantastic river to raft with a younger family but high school and college age kids love it too. If they are in life jackets I would think even children as young as 5 years old would have a blast. The trick is to bring your own raft. There are a few rafting companies along the river but they are expensive and this is really just more of a float, totally doable even if you've never done it before.
here's the how to:
*Buy a sturdy inflatable raft at a sporting goods store (cheaper if you buy it at home than in Tahoe) and maybe a few inner tubes.
*Bring an air compressor or inflate the raft at the gas station. You'll want to park one car at River Ranch Resort (the end point) and one at Fanny Bridge (the start)
*Bring sunscreen, life vests, a paddle or two and maybe a towel and a few snacks (we prefere to leave most towels in the car at River Ranch so that they stay dry.)
Put in at Fanny Bridge and float! There are some deep, quite parts of the river good for swimming on hot days, a few mild rapids and sometimes, if the water level is low, a place or two where you'll have to get out and carry the raft a few yards.
*If you're not sure exactly where to get in/out just follow the tours and notice how much more fun you're having than they are...and you payed a whole lot less!
Our family LOVES walking along the Truckee River. It is often busy but people are pretty good .about following the "rules of the road". Our kids love that they can watch people float down the river as well as walk, rollerblade, or bike by on the trail. The trail is semi-shaded with periods of walking under the trees and also out in the open. There is a great parking area opposite fanny bridge where there is immediate access to the trail. A great family activity
If you're in Tahoe with the family during summer or a warm spring day, this is a must. You can hang out at the water's edge, swim a bit, picnic and have a blast. There's a great bike trail that runs along the river if you want to bike before getting your feet wet. It's fairly flat and protected from traffic.
If you prefer to float down the river, either you need to bring your own floaty or make a stop at one of two rafting companies in Truckee. It's a few, hilarious hours down the river. Life preservers are provided and the river isn't too deep. It's a fun time. Bring friends!
We were so excited when we saw this river that we could float down...and then we saw all the guides (and then saw the enormous price tag to go along with it)...we realized the River is really not that intimidating - even for my hubby & I who have never been river rafting aside from theme parks...so we went to Rite Aid and bought our own $10 raft and had a GREAT time! We have the best memories rafting down that river and someday plan to take the kids when they are old enough.
One of the loveliest places to walk, Rollerblade, and bike a good distance is the paved Truckee River Bike Path, which winds 4.5 miles, one-way, along the river into Tahoe City, then heads south along the lake shore for 9 more miles through forested neighborhoods and parks. Much of the path is flat enough for baby strollers and wheelchairs. This is a beautiful path in fall, when the days are cri
sp and aspens turn gold. In the low-water days of late summer and fall, the river slides quietly along; in winter and spring it boils and crashes past ice-decorated trees and snowy islands.
Rafting the Truckee is a “must” on at least one of your Tahoe trips. It’s a Class 1 river, meaning it’s quite safe most of the year. Even if you’ve never rafted before, after a short lesson you can easily manage. If you have children under 5, be sure to call ahead to ask if the rafting company allows younger kids.
You can rent six-person rafts and life jackets and paddle merrily along downriver about 5 miles, stopping along the way to play and swim if you wish and maybe to picnic on a sand spit. Some people bring their fishing rods along. Paddling without stopping, it takes about two hours to reach your destination, which is River Ranch, where a shuttle bus takes you back to your car. Rentals are $30 per person, $20 for ages 6 to 12, at the Truckee River Rafting Center (530–583–RAFT) and Fanny Bridge Raft Rentals (530–583–0123), both on the southern end of Tahoe City.
A great float for most of the way. Nice places to stop along the river and get out, swim, eat, hang out. Some places along the river have big bush overhangs, so watch out. Also there are a few mini rapids that you need to navigate. Make sure you go with someone who can do this otherwise you will smack on the rocks and it won't be so much fun. The end is a little hectic and my kids were slightly scared. Probably because I was yelling at my husband to do a better job of steering the rapids and not because of the rapids. All in all, we had a good time, but would get out before the end. You need to have 2 cars to do it on your schedule. Buy a boat at Save Mart for $25 instead of paying $40 pp.
We love tubing down the Truckee river in early summer and spring. Start at the dam near the lake and follow the crowd to the pick-up point. It is so relaxing on a warm summer day. In fall and late summer there is often too little water, but it is still a fun area to bike and walk with the kids. Oh yeah, the paved bike lane is easy...not many hills.
I grew up on family vacations to Lake Tahoe and we always went "truckin' on the Truckee" one day each summer as a family. This is a great activity with kids- the river is mellow, the weather is usually great and the rafts you can rent are very sturdy and safe. There are plenty of places along the way to pull the raft over and picnic so bring a cooler or stash your car halfway down the river, as my parents always did. Fun for the whole family!
Get the inside scoop from parents who have been there!