A Lazy (Fun) Float Down the River

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Added by Robin Penning

Is there anything better than floating with friends and beverages. A very unique and locals way to enjoy the river that could take about 2-3hrs depending on how many breaks you have.

Start your day by heading to Tahoe City where the East and North Shores of Lake Tahoe meet. Be sure to grab supplies along the way including drinks, picnic lunch, sunscreen, coolers, floating devices (if you aren’t interested in renting) and maybe even some super soakers if you are planning to make some new friends along the float. There are two most popular methods of floating – personal oversized inner tubes which can be purchased for about $25 at various convenience and grocery stores or you can rent large, commerical rafts from the Truckee River Raft Company right at the start of the River in Tahoe City. 

Along the 5-mile, 2-3 hr float you will be entertained with many sights, thanks to both the scenic beauty surrounding you as well as the diversity of fellow floaters alongside you. The river weaves through tall pine trees, varies between shallow sandy portions and deep, rocky emerald waters, tall grasses, ducks under wooden bridges, introduces sandy beaches great for picnic lunches and glides along the bike path as well as Highway 89 to your right. During a day on the river you are likely to meet visitors and locals of all ages and purpose. You will meet multi-generational families on family summer vacations, romantic couples and rowdy entourages setting up “party” camp along beaches and shallow portions of the river. I have seen it all… from floating small Weber BBQs to queen-size bed air mattresses as floating devices, you will be sure to be entertained by the sites around you. 

Celebrate the end of your journey, dry-off and reward yourself with food and drinks at River Ranch Lodge and Restaurant at the entrance to Alpine Meadows, where floaters must stop their journey along this section of the Truckee River. Enjoy your return to dry ground and watch the other adventurers rush down the last and largest section of rapids into the large pool of emerald waters in front of the restaurant’s large viewing and sunning deck (shown to the right). Then, when you are ready, pile your equipment and damp belongings into busses provided by Truckee River Raft Company to shuttle you back to your vehicle at the beginning of the river. Source

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Floating Down the River

We bought our double tube and single tubs close by at the Ace Hardware and Gas station. You can fill up the air right at the gas station and drive or walk your kto the river. We had 2 cars and decided to do a drop off and pick up location. There are parking along side the river so you can decide where to launch. There are only a few spots that you can legally park so it is not difficult to figure out. It was a relaxing floating down the river for a couple hours and we spent $100 vs $225-$250 with the rafting companies. It would be cheaper if you bought the raft/tubes elsewhere before you arrived. Worth doing yourself and easy enough.

BEST SUMMER ACTIVITY

Don't rent. Take your own float, inner tube works! Tie up a cooler and all your friends together and get ready for hours of fun

Great Spot For Cheap Thrills

Definitely a fun and easy trip- only downside was how low the water was when I went in late August. Otherwise great location, easy to walk back to the parking lot on bike path. Highly recommend sunscreen and a cooler!! :) If you already have your own tubes, it's a great cost free activity!

Trailblazer

almost 5 years ago

Summer Fav

4th of July fave. Pack a floating cooler and fill your Yeti. Fun in the summer sun.

Party Island!

307 total saves

4.5/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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