Dog Friendly Rafting Trips in California

Taking your dog on the water can be a lot of fun, but it is also a big responsibility. Just because your dog does well swimming in your local lake does not mean it is ready to hit the river. Before taking your pup rafting, make sure you know the stretch well, or speak to a professional outfitter to ensure that it is safe. A doggy PFD is a great idea keep your dog stylish and safe. The American Kennel club has a good write up about choosing the right PFD, here.

With that in mind, here are some of our favorite stretches of river to take dogs in California. With summer float season right around the corner, don’t let that your pup miss out on the fun!

Truckee River

Truckee River Rafting in North Lake Tahoe offers a serene 5-mile self-guided trip on the Truckee. The trip is mellow, with several easy rapids, and takes 2-3 hours. The water is shallow, only 3-4 feet deep generally, but deeper pools allow for great swimming opportunities. The road does parallel this route for much of its course, but the beauty of the surrounding forest shines through. Truckee River Rafting rents boats that can easily fit a few people, as well as your pup.

Lower American River

Just east of Sacramento, the Wild and Scenic Lower American River winds its way past forested hills, farms, and the outskirts of the state’s capital. Floating the Lower American River is a popular activity during the summer months, and rightly so. The access and ease to this trip is unbeatable for people starting in the Sacramento region. The float itself is class I-II, so you can expect to have a calm ride. American River Raft Rentals offers dog-friendly boat rentals for your adventure. The stretch can be done in a half-day, and is perfect for the hot summer months.

Russian River

The Russian River is a classic run and one of the closest options to the Bay Area for a good float. Russian River Adventures offer inflatable canoe rentals for a 9-mile float. The float is dog-friendly, and passes through lush greenery, vineyards, and redwood groves.