By Tim Hauserman
Rafting the Truckee River has been a summertime must do for people visiting Tahoe for over 35 years. The four mile journey to the River Ranch is always a good time whether you are relaxing through a gentle float, attempting to soak some complete stranger with the latest water shooting device, or hanging out in your swimming attire with a large group of fellow partiers at one of the gathering spots.
This year the rafting companies began putting the rafts in the water over the Memorial Day weekend. The surprisingly good news is that even with the poor excuse for a winter we just had, there should be rafting for a portion of the summer. But if you’re making plans for a rafting trip in the middle of August, you might want to step it up a bit. Like a lot of things in life, when it comes to rafting this summer. If you wait too long, it will be gone.
Jennifer Courcier, one of the owners of Truckee River Rafting, says “the rafting levels are great right now and should be through mid July.” Water release is measured in cubic feet per second (cfs). The best release levels for rafting is between 200-350 cfs. This week the level is about 220, and hopefully the flow will stay in a nice range and even increase a bit between now and mid-July. After that the levels will start to slowly drop every day, as the level of the natural rim of the lake approaches. While Courcier is hopeful that the rafting will continue into August, we are all beholden to both the whims of nature (how fast the water in the lake evaporates) and the complicated rules that decide how much the Watermaster must release in order to satisfy all of the thirsty users downstream. In other words, just do it. Soon.
For the latest information on current rafting conditions, or to make a reservation, contact Truckee River Rafting at 583-1111 or go to www.truckeeriverrafting.com