Tuolumne River rafting is one of those ‘must-do’ California rafting experiences, seriously. The Tuolumne River is California’s Class IV+ premier white water river, rushing through one of the most spectacular canyons in the Sierra! Flowing from the high Sierra, the Tuolumne River creates the “Grand Canyon” of Yosemite as it spills into the Hetch Hetchy Valley behind the O’Shaughnessy Dam above our put-in at Meral’s Pool. Between water control projects, the Tuolumne races through the deep granite canyons, creating some of the most exciting rapids and breath-taking scenery of the entire Sierra! This “Wild and Scenic” river section flows into the Don Pedro Reservoir below take-out at Ward’s Ferry.
Step up to the exciting thrills of a Class IV+ whitewater river! It’s a good idea to have rafted a Class III-IV river and be adventuresome and in good condition before moving up to Tuolumne River rafting. The river starts right out with a series of Class IV rapids with chutes, steep drops, holes and reversals to keep us on our toes. Tight, technical and steep describes rapids like Rock Garden, Sunderland’s Chute, and Ram’s Head, leading up to one of the biggest drops in the U.S., the Class V Clavey Falls! This dramatic staircase rapid takes us through two big drops and, hopefully, around a boat-eating hole and away from the left wall — enough exciting, adrenaline rush adventure for us all! The river continues on another 12+ miles through pristine forest/canyon land and many more Class III, IV, and IV+ rapids to our take out at Ward’s Ferry.
The isolated Tuolumne River is home to abundant wildlife; the river itself offers great fishing for rainbow and brown trout. Eagles and hawks circle overhead; if we’re lucky, we might spot a visiting bobcat or raccoon along its banks. We feel the serenity of the wilderness canyon as well as the excitement of great rapids for a complete whitewater wilderness adventure!