Irie Rafting Co.
When most people envision whitewater boating in the Sierra Nevada, they automatically think of the American River. While the American has some awesome runs, just focusing on the three sections that the American includes does very little justice to the plethora of great rafting and kayaking within a stones throw of the Tahoe Basin. Most, but not all of this boating exists in the Northern section of the lake—and beyond. Years ago, the local counties outlawed renting boats for whitewater excursions, meaning that your best chance of getting on the Rio is through one of the area’s premier whitewater outfitters. From my experience as a boatman, I’ve come to respect and trust the expertise of the Truckee based Irie Rafting Company (IRC). Easily found at 11253 Brockway Rd., the boys and girls at Irie Rafting will show you a great time—and a face-full of water.
While there are a few rafting companies in North Lake, Irie sets itself apart by the breadth of experience they possess and the diversity of options they offer as a business. If you want an easy family float a short drive from North Lake, IRC will take you on the Carson or Truckee rivers (class II/III). If you and your friends/family are a bit more seasoned and want an intense challenge—Irie can offer some closer sections (North/Middle American) or you can choose to be bussed up to Bigfoot country where they’ll lead you down the swashbuckling Upper Klamath. If you want to throw caution to the wind--sign-up for the legendary Class V stretch: the Cal Salmon.
The Irie Rafting Co. also distinguishes itself by holding an annual guide-school that serves to enrich the Tahoe Basin community. An added benefit of their guide-school is that the IRC sources only the best talent from these classes, meaning that the person captaining you down the river is excellent—plain and simple.
If you’re a longtime local, an intrepid tourist, or somewhere in between, going rafting and seeing the world from this perspective can have the potential to change your life for the better. If you’ve been thinking about trying river-sports, but have never got around to it, take a leap of faith and go get wet…