Publisher’s Perspective: Rafting the wave of recreation in the Tahoe region |

Publisher’s Perspective: Rafting the wave of recreation in the Tahoe region

It’s no secret that Lake Tahoe is one of the foremost outdoor recreation destinations in the world. It seems a little silly that I’m even writing about it.

However, after discussing ideas on recreation coverage in the newsroom a few months ago, we came upon an intriguing topic: whitewater rafting.

I’ve lived in this region for 21 years. In that time, it’s been very apparent that there’s just about every type of outdoor recreation at your fingertips and within a short driving distance. When your home base is Tahoe, the distance between you and available options gets even shorter.

You’re a mere hop, skip and a jump from skiing/snowboarding, biking, SUP, golfing, kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, fishing, and just about any other outdoor activity, including whitewater rafting.

It — rafting — is a great weapon in the arsenal of the Lake Tahoe recreation ammo belt, but I don’t think it gets talked about as much as the others.

As we started down this road to covering this topic, it seemed like a no-brainer. We just went through a Godzilla-style winter so all that snow is going to make the rivers epic this summer, right? Well …

We quickly remembered that Mother Nature is still the same force to be reckoned with that she always has been and we are not to take her lightly. Several tragic instances around the lake were quick to remind us to use caution and the runoff we were experiencing was no joke.

Areas along the Truckee River are still not advised and the idea of having a story that related to rafting started to lose steam.

That is, until we turned toward the West Slope of El Dorado County and looked at the American River.

I have to admit that most of the time when I would think about rafting in the region, I would think of the Truckee because of its direct correlation to Lake Tahoe. Sure, I knew of the American, but I didn’t know then what I know now. And what I do know now is that we have one of the most rafted rivers in the world, right in our backyard — and that’s pretty cool.

When you can take a distinction like this, and add it to the tool chest of recreation adventures that surround Lake Tahoe, it makes it that much more of an enticing destination. Another feather in the cap, another diamond in the tiara, however you want to look at it, it just gives this area another notch in the belt of world-class recreation.

Take a minute to read our story about the American in this edition and make sure to go online and watch the videos. You’ll get a better sense of what makes the river unique with the people that use it the most.

There’s also Go-Pro footage of yours truly getting smacked in the face with whitewater — which never tasted better.

Publisher Rob Galloway can be reached at or 530-542-8046.

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