Tuolumne River


Explore the Wild and Scenic Tuolumne River

2024 Season: April - September 2. More

Located just outside of Yosemite National Park, the Tuolumne River provides one of the finest all-around whitewater rafting trip experiences in the country. Spectacular scenery, thrilling Class IV rapids, great side hikes, and beautiful white-sand beaches are hidden inside an 18-mile stretch of pristine canyon.

Difficulty & Scenery

  • Intermediate-Advanced Class IV+
  • Long, boulder-strewn rapids
  • Beautiful, remote "National Wild & Scenic River"

Who Should Go

  • Experienced rafters
  • People wanting wilderness & challenge
  • Usual min. age: Summer 13; Spring 15

Trips Include

  • Pro guide & instruction
  • Equipment & shuttle
  • Fresh, delicious meals

Trip Planning

Tuolumne River Rafting Trip Options


More About the Tuolumne River

The rapids: technical boulder slaloms

Technical boulder slaloms will make your heart pound

Steep, technical rapids characterize the Tuolumne. The action starts immediately as you discover seemingly non-existent passageways through rock-strewn corridors like Rock Garden and Nemesis. Rapids comprised of tight chutes, tall drops and immense boulders follow until we reach the highlight of the trip– Class IV + Clavey Falls. The middle section of the river mellows, allowing time for reflection before entering the final challenging miles. You'll forge a strong team with your fellow paddlers–and have an incredible time testing your skills on this river.

The river scenery: Rugged, steep, stunning Sierra foothills

Rugged, steep, stunning Sierra foothills

Whether you are young in years or just in heart, the Tuolumne canyon will uncover your inner adventurer. A National Wild and Scenic River, the Tuolumne's deep canyon, pristine side streams, and crystal-clear water inspire awe and gratitude. You'll want to enjoy the cooling swimming holes and waterfalls found in beautiful tributary streams, take advantage of every relaxing beach, and explore the many intricacies of this impressive wilderness area. Only two small 20-person commercial trips are allowed in the canyon per day, so you will always feel like one of the few privileged humans in this wonderful place.

Located just outside Yosemite National Park

3.5 hours from San Francisco, 40 minutes from Yosemite

Just two hours from Sacramento and only three hours from San Francisco, the Tuolumne is close to many metropolitan areas. Highways 140, 120, and 49 are all in close proximity. Explore other Yosemite whitewater rafting trip options.

The rafting season on the Tuolumne River

April - early September*

The Tuolumne's flows are dam controlled, which makes river levels more predictable during the summer season. However, early-season snow melt pushes the river to very high levels that are best for experienced rafters. At these flows, the Tuolumne becomes one of California 's most powerful whitewater runs. As the season continues, water levels recede and become appropriate for both experienced rafters and very adventurous beginners.

* Season length, river flows, and days of water releases may vary. For this year's flow predictions and real-time water levels go to the River Flows page.

Meals: Freshly prepared riverside feasts

Freshly prepared riverside feasts

On 1-Day trips we provide a gourmet "build-your-own" sandwich lunch that includes all the fixings you’ll need to assemble the perfect sandwich along with kettle style potato chips, dried fruit, and chocolate. On Multi-Day trips, our meals are freshly prepared with a selection of healthy ingredients. Dinner will typically begin with beverages and hors d'oeuvres in camp while your guides prepare your hearty main entrees and a tasty dessert. The next morning you can wake up with your choice of cowboy coffee or tea while your guides prepare a hearty classic camp breakfast OR a continental breakfast.

If you have special dietary requirements, we encourage you to tell us at the time of your reservation so we can discuss options.

How You Participate in Rafting the River

How You Participate in Rafting the River

During normal water flows, All-Outdoors runs paddle-rafts on the Tuolumne multi-day trips and oar-paddle combination rafts on 1-Day trips. In a paddle-raft, each guest and a professional guide have a paddle and navigate the river, working as a coordinated team. In an oar-paddle combination raft a guide helps steer the boat with oars while simultaneously calling commands to paddlers. The oar-paddle combination rafts can move at a quicker pace during the calmer sections which is helpful on 1-Day trips. In high-water situations, we may opt to run oar-paddle combination rafts on all trips. All guests should be able to swim.

Highly Recommended with Great Reviews

All-Outdoors is the most recommended whitewater rafting outfitter in California. See for yourself:

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You have to do this..with THIS company

"Loved this trip..professional guides..Love you Louis!!! Just two teenage boys and their mid age Mom..always felt safe, river was exhilarating and gorgeous and lunch was PERFECT. Worth every penny and I am a picky girl. I will come back..don't even try another company this one is top notch."

Screaming Mimi from Anaheim CA

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Group Rafting Trips

We Can Accommodate Groups as Large as 20 People

One of our specialties is creating fun and memorable whitewater rafting trips for small or large groups.

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