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Truckee River Rafting Company, in Tahoe City has seen firsthand what the drought can do. Usually the rafting company sends customers down the Truckee River until Labor Day. This year, because of the drought, the rafting company closed shop on Friday for the rest of the summer.
The rafting company has seen the water progressively dwindle down this year, and rafters have reported being stuck on rocks. Tourists who travel to Tahoe are used to swift moving waters, where water is generally abundant in normal rainfall years. The five mile stretch of river takes about 2-3 hours to float down, but may take longer if rafters take their time. Many regular rafters know the five mile stretch gets slow towards the end of the season, and hitting rocks might be normal, but that is part of the fun. It’s customary for rafters to have to push and paddle off the rocks while traveling downstream.
The financial impact on the company not only effects business, but also the 75 people it employs. Each float down the river costs $30 per adult with a two person minimum.
Other rafting companies like Truckee River Rafting have also closed for the Summer.
The Lake level is so low that a state park’s boat ramp will close soon. According to Tahoe Gal owner, Larry Boerner, although the lake is low, there are still plenty of activities to do around the lake. The Back Country in Truckee will continue to rent paddle-boards and suggests that this trip down the Truckee River is just as fun. Kris Thomas, bike technician at Back Country, said that self guided trips are still an option for floating down the river. He also said that visitors shouldn’t be discouraged about commercial rafting companies shutting down for the remainder of the summer, and that there are plenty of activities for guests to do.
Tahoe Gal Cruise Company is fully running with day cruises, and anticipates going through until at least September.
The East Shore has a lot of little rocks, and there’s a lot of obstacles starting to show now, so you’ve got to be much more careful.