webstationlogos3 KHTK-sports-1140_FINAL-social_125x35b

Best Of

Best Rafting And Tubing Near Sacramento

July 20, 2013 5:00 AM

View Comments

The possibilities for running a river on a raft either in Sacramento or in the nearby mountains are wonderfully varied. The American River can put your heart rate in the red zone in places. The Sacramento and American both have some pretty lazy spots too. The Truckee, as it flows out of Lake Tahoe, is a stunner and a very nice float. Choose a river, lather on the sunscreen and enjoy a bit of time on the water.

(credit: raftrentals.com)

(credit: raftrentals.com)


American River Raft Rentals
11257 S. Bridge St.
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
(888) 338 7238
www.raftrentals.com

American River Raft Rentals has been floating folks down the river since 1974. It is an expert on how to do it safely and with a ton of fun. It bills itself as the “largest and most experienced rafting company in the state.” The Lower American is a class l-ll river and has the beautiful advantage of flowing through the American River Parkway. Take your pick of a four- or 12-person raft. Your float starts at the River Road site and ends at River Bend park. It’s a nice, no-rush way to see the lower American. The float goes through a wonderful riparian urban wildlands interface. Keep an eye out for raccoons, hawks and a deer or two. Beach the boat and cool off on one of the sandy beaches along the way, and have a wonderful time doing so.

(credit: river-rat.com)

(credit: river-rat.com)


River Rat Raft and Bike
4053 Pennsylvania Ave.
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
(916) 966-6777
www.river-rat.com
Seven days a week, since 1986, Randy Calvin and crew have been renting rafts and bikes to the outdoor crowd who wants to see what the Lower American River has to offer. The raft rental business offers more than just a raft for the float. You may want to opt for the fully catered lunch rafting trip. Gather 40 of your friends together, and for $50 a piece, you’ll enjoy raft rentals, life jackets, paddles, the shuttle back to the shop and a full barbecue lunch at Ancil Hoffman Park. Bring your own lunch, float to your heart’s content and take the shuttle back to the shop for $5. On a hot summer day, it’s a great deal.

(credit: Earthtrek Expeditions)

(credit: Earthtrek Expeditions)


EarthTrek Expeditions
7308 Highway 49 Suite 2
Lotus, CA 95651
(530) 642-1900

www.earthtrekexpeditions.com

Taking on the South, Middle or North Forks of the American River is a wildly different experience than the gentle float down the Lower American. These bits of river offer Class III and Class IV ratings, which is to say that they are much faster and have some pretty good rapids. Your adrenaline level will trend upward at spots. EarthTrek has been offering rafters this kind of ride since 1977. Reservations are a must, and it’s best to make yours in advance. It is an experience worth having and is very doable for even the most timid among us. The river guides here are the best. Unless you are really good on this class of river, it is best to launch with a guide who will get you through it with a smile on your face.

Related:  Best Public Beaches and Reservoirs To Spend A Summer Day Near Sacramento

(credit: Truckee River Rafting)

(credit: Truckee River Rafting)


Truckee River Rafting
175 River Road
Tahoe City, CA 96145
(530) 583-1111
www.truckeeriverrafting.com
For a completely different rafting experience, the Truckee River from Tahoe City to the River Rock Inn is a stunner. The river flows out of Lake Tahoe and gently carves its way towards Truckee. The stunning bit here is the scenery as your raft travels through lava formations and an alpine wonderland. It’s a five-mile trip you’ll like to take your time on. Truckee River Rafting started renting rafts in 1973. This is a wonderful family-friendly float. Rent a raft for two, four, six, eight or 10 people. For two hours, or more if you stop along the way, you’ll be building memories of a true mountain river with your family and friends. The rental shop is on the river, and after take-off at River Ranch, either enjoy a meal there or shuttle back to Tahoe City to explore one of the other fine restaurants to replenish your energy.

(credit: Mother Lode River Center)

(credit: Mother Lode River Center)


Mother Lode River Center
6280 Highway 49
Lotus, CA 95651
(530) 626-4187
www.malode.com
The Middle Fork of the American River drops through some of the most remote and beautiful stretches this famous river has to offer. Start at the Chili Bar dam and end up in Coloma. The guides and boats at the Mother Lode River Center will take you through this mind-bending river run in grace and style. They’ll feed you too. You’ll go through places with names like Good Morning, which is a stellar wake-up call, and Tunnel Chute. These are Class III rapids. Tunnel Chute is the result of miners and dynamite running lose during the Gold Rush. A 90-foot ride in a narrow chute ends in a quite pool where you can catch your breath.

Related: Out In Style: Most Comfortable Wilderness Retreats Near Sacramento

Charles Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in the Sierra, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, for the last 37 years. In 2010 he retired from teaching after 36 years . He and his wife hike, kayak, cross country ski, snow shoe, ride mountain bikes and road bikes, year round. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus