The Truckee River from Boca to Floriston, running east towards Reno, is a seven mile run, with many Class II-III rapids for the first six miles and exciting Class III+ rapids in the last mile. This stretch is extremely convenient for visitors to Lake Tahoe and Reno. This run is a guided whitewater adventure, and should no be confused with the three mile flat water raft rental stretch from Tahoe City to Alpine Meadows. Though the river parallels Interstate 80, the road is out of sight and sound. The surroundings seem quite remote and one can occasionally see a beaver toiling amongst the giant cottonwoods lining the bank.
Typical Class of WaterClass 2-3+
Best Seasons for Experiencing
Mid-May through September. For the larger part of the season the water is dam controlled receiving releases from Lake Tahoe, Donner Lake and Boca Reservoir. Due to irrigation requirements downstream, the flow is 24 hours a day, and very consistent. When the water level drops from Lake Tahoe, additional water is released from the other reservoirs, so when the raft rentals from Tahoe City to River Ranch are shut down due to low flows, this section of the Truckee River is still flowing and raftable. During times of peak snow melt, the Class 3+ rapid near the end should definitely be avoided at flows much over 1500 cfs. It is possible to portage on river right along the railroad tracks, but do so with caution.
Prime access points are on the Little Truckee River near the old Boca town site, or under the I80 bridge at the Boca/Hirschdale interchange. The take-out is normally at the I-80 Floriston interchange. There is a lot of private property along the river, so boaters should be cautious about disembarking anwhere along the river until the Southern Pacific access near Floriston.
ADA Accessibility Notes
Due to narrow and steep trails at the access points, this trip is not particularly suitable for people with disabilities.
Pet Friendly Notes
Due to the Class 3+ rapids towards the end, most pets would probably not be suitable on this section of river. If you decide to take your pooch, make sure both you and your pooch have well-fitted life jackets.