Tubing the Truckee

Things to Do, What's New — By christinanellemann on July 4, 2010 at 10:00 am

The main river that dumps out of Lake Tahoe is the Truckee River. It is one of the main sources of water for the Tahoe/Reno and Truckee Meadows area and is considered the lifeline of the mountains and the deserts of the area. It can also rage down the mountainside filled with freezing cold snowmelt, causing flooding and property damage. However, when it calms down a bit, it is the perfect place to escape the heat and tube or raft.


This year, since the water has been fairly high and fast moving, the Truckee has been very popular for tubing and rafting. Flotillas of partyers with coolers full of beer, children on boogie boards and families on matching inflatable turtles from Costco have been taking advantage of the nature-made adrenaline rush.

The two best places to catch a ride on the river are at Mayberry Park in Verdi, just West of Reno, and from the lake outflow in Tahoe City to the River Ranch. Each route is about five miles and will take about three hours. The portion of the Truckee near Tahoe City is a bit deeper and calmer than the Reno portion. The Verdi to Reno portion dumps out into the Whitewater Park near Wingfield Park in downtown Reno. This portion can get steep and a little dangerous to people who may not swim very well, or for small children.

Here are some additional safety tips for a fun and safe trip down the Truckee.

If you get dumped out of your tube or raft, try to hold on, if you can’t point your feet downstream and just float on your back until you can get to an eddy and climb out.

Don’t stand up in the river. Rocks on the river floor are slippery and you can get your foot wedged in between them.

Drinking a couple of six packs on the way down is part of the Truckee tubing tradition, but don’t become too inebriated to understand that you can still get hurt in the river.

Otherwise, grab a tube from several of the rental places around the river and have fun!

Photo courtesy of [nungunslinger]

Tags: cool, off, party, rafting, river, summer, tahoe, truckee, tubing


  • Tori says:

    We have two cars and were wondering if there is parking by River Ranch, I know there is parking in tahoe City but not sure what the parking situation is at the end. We are bringing our own tubes not renting a raft.

  • Christina says:

    Hi Tori. Yes, if you can get there early enough (around 10 a.m.) you can get parking around the River Ranch Restaurant. There is parking on the side of the road, a small pull off area, and I think you can park in the Hidden Valley parking area where the raft companies stop and pick up passengers. If those areas are full, and you don’t mind a bit of a walk, you can park at Alpine Meadows.

  • Tori says:

    Thank you so much!!


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