Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose Tahoe Whitewater Tours?

For over 20 years we have been running some of the best rivers in the Lake Tahoe area. Throughout the years we have been aiming to be the premier rafting company in California/ Nevada. Our effort to continuously do better is reflected in or safety protocols, our experienced guides, our trips, and the experience you will get when choosing us.

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What Type of food do you serve?

On our Full and Multi-day trips we bring our tag along kitchen with us to whip together some of the best food in the outdoors. We serve the finest quality fruits, vegetables, and meats. Your guides will prepare meals that will make you wonder which cooking school they attended. If you have any special dietary needs please notify us a few days prior to departure of your trip, we will do our best to accommodate your requests. 

I can't swim! Can I still go rafting?

Yes you can!!! Previous experience rafting or swimming is not required to be able to enjoy one of our fun and exciting river trips. We provide Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Devises (also known as life jackets) to be worn by everyone. For those who are non-swimmers or still learning we recommend choosing no higher than a class III trip. 


How do you ensure safe practices for your trips?

At Tahoe Whitewater Tours safety is our number one concern, and that your well being is always our priority. We take great steps to ensuring that our safety record is excellent. Our guides are professionally trained and continuously work to become better guides each season. They are well trained in swift water rescue techniques and CPR/ first aid. Every trip begins with an introduction to the appropriate gear to be worn, and a thorough safety orientation. Our guides are trained to perform the following: 

• Be capable of operating the emergency communications equipment carried and know the evacuation procedures. 
• Be knowledgeable of state regulations applicable to boats carrying passengers for hire. 
• Possess a current certification in CPR. 
• Possess a current Food Handlers Certification. 


What should I bring?

The answer depends upon the season.
For Spring, in general, you need to be prepared for cold air temperatures, cold water, potential inclement weather, and the sun. For cold weather wear fabric that remains warm when wet such as polypropylene or wool. Cotton is the worst fabric to wear on the river, for it retains water and loses warmth when wet.
For Summer Cold air temperatures are not as important in the summer, but having something extra to put on in case of a sudden change in weather is desirable. Waterproof sunscreen with a high SPF is often sufficient sun protection. Sunglasses and a hat are also desirable, as long as you have retention straps for them. Be prepared to get wet so plan on wearing fabric that is either fast drying such as nylon, polyester, or capilene.

Spring/Fall (April, May, and October): Warm base layers: wool sweater, leggings. tennis shoes with polypro, wool, or wetsuit sock.

Summer (June, July, August, and September): Swimsuit, shorts, old tennis shoes or sandals that will not come off your feet, hat, string to tie hat on, sunscreen, sunglasses, safety strap for glasses, long-sleeved shirt for sun protection, shorts.

How many can fit in your boats?

At Tahoe Whitewater Tours we use different sized rafts. We generally use 13, 14, and 16’ rafts for our trips. We use certain size rafts for certain rivers. Depending on which trip you sign up for will decide the size of raft used.

On the Truckee River we use 13’ rafts that allow up to 6 passengers, plus a guide.
On the Middle Fork American, we use 14’ rafts that allow up to 6 passengers, plus a guide.
On the South Fork American, we can use 14’ers and16’ rafts that allow up to 8 passengers, plus a guide.

Depending on water levels we may choose to limit the amount of guest per boat. To ensure the boats can get through some of the tighter more technical sections. If your group size exceeds the raft limits we generally split your group into multiple rafts.


When is payment due?

Payment is due the day of your trip. If you meet us at one of our office locations we prefer payment in cash, check, or debit. If we are meeting you at a location away from our offices payment can be done in a number of ways. you can either pay your trip leader the full amount of the trip in cash or check. Or our office will charge the credit card that was given to make the reservation. 


What is your cancellation policy?

Tahoe Whitewater Tours currently offers the most customer-friendly cancellation policy in the river industry. We ask our guests to please honor the policy so we can continue to offer it to our future guests. 

Our policy is as follows:
You may cancel or change group size up to 48 hours in advance of your reservation with no penalty.
Within 48 hours of the tour time, any cancellations, changes, or “no shows” are responsible for payment in full. 


Is there a weight limit for your tours?

Safety is our number one concern while you’re here with us. Taking a trip on a whitewater river is taking part in an active sport, so being in good physical condition is important. On our trips, all guests are required to paddle and work as a team to ensure a successful run. Accidentally falling out of the raft and swimming are potential risks that can and do occur. Most end up enjoying their whitewater swim afterward, however, if for any reason you end up in the water it is important to be able to self-rescue. Our policy is to not take guests over 250 lbs, however, if you are in good physical condition at or above this weight we are happy to take you. Please call our office with any questions or concerns about this policy. 


What is the age limit

Since whitewater rafting is an adventure sport with inherent risks involved we ask all participants to be 7 years old and above. This age is an age in which kids are aware of their surroundings and can listen to directions when asked to do so. 

Over the years we have come up with this as our minimum age requirement. 

What to expect after making a reservation

After you make your reservation with us you will receive an email with information concerning your trip. Items such as what to bring, directions to meeting locations, plus more. 

We recommend sharing confirmation emails with each member of your group to ensure everyone has all the information to plan accordingly. Pack lists and directions are most important for everyone in the group to have. 

Recommended Gear Checklist 

What to Bring Whitewater Rafting

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