Tumbling though the Sierra from its headwaters in Yosemite National Park, the Tuolumne River has long been revered as California’s premier whitewater rafting experience. And for good reason: “The T” is a gem. Its steep gradient makes for superb long rapids such as Nemesis, The Squeeze, Gray’s Grindstone and the notorious Clavey Falls (with optional footpath). 18 miles of roadless isolation and limited use permits ensure a primitive wilderness experience. Exquisite side canyons cradle clear pools for swimming; short hikes reveal Gold Rush and Miwok Indian history and abundant wildlife. The Tuolumne’s proximity to Yosemite and the San Francisco Bay Area make it easily accessible to California travelers.
Whitewater rafting on the Tuolumne river is a unique way to enter and experience the Yosemite region. The Main Tuolumne was declared a National Wild & Scenic River by Congress in 1984. Commercial rafting permits limit trip size to just 20 persons. From the moment we push off the boats from shore at Meral Pool guests enter a part of the Sierra Nevada that few get to see.
Our multiple-day Tuolumne river rafting adventures include camping on fine sandy beaches. Overnight trips are an opportunity to refresh your spirit. Relax and explore while our guides prepare delicious riverside meals and dessert. Marvel at a starlit sky, then fall asleep to the sound of the river. The Main Tuolumne is a classic.
MAIN TUOLUMNE RAFTING TRIP
DIRECTIONS & MEETING TIME
Sierra Mac Main Tuolumne River rafting trips meet at Casa Loma Parking Area at 8:30 am (unless otherwise scheduled), 7 miles east of Groveland on Highway 120.
Directions to Main Tuolumne Rafting Trip Meeting Place
La Casa Loma Parking Area – 24000 Casa Loma Road, Groveland, CA 95321
Driving time to Groveland from the Bay Area is about 3-1/2 hours; from Manteca, about 1-1/2 hours; from Los Angeles, about 7 hours. We can arrange local airport pickups. Some map websites (such as MapQuest) mistakenly have travelers from the south diverting east from Fresno through Yosemite National Park. Although very scenic, it is a much slower route.
If you will not be available by phone before your trip, please phone our office within 48 hours of meeting time to reconfirm logistics. Please be on time! If you’re delayed, please phone our office at (209) 591-8027.
GETTING READY for Tuolumne Rafting Trips
By the meeting time, please be dressed in river attire and have your gear ready to be packed in our waterproof bags. Wet suits, if needed should be put on later at the river. Current local weather.
WHAT TO WEAR
FOR WARM WEATHER
Shorts and/or swimsuit • T-shirt • Tennis shoes (Sandals do not protect your feet!) • Ball cap • (with tie-on) • Passengers with extreme sun sensitivity may wish to wear lightweight long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
FOR COOL WEATHER
Wool, silk or synthetic layer under wet suit • Wet suit (provided by Sierra Mac) • Wool or neoprene socks • Tennis shoes • Sunglasses (with tie-on) • Wool hat or ball cap • Rubber splash jacket (provided by SMRT)
For warmth, layers of polypropylene or wool with an unlined shell or parka are best. (SMRT provides a rubber splash jacket in cool weather.) Avoid wearing sweats or heavy pants on the raft: they’ll get wet and never dry out.
WHAT TO BRING
For overnight Tuolumne rafting trips, pack light and compactly. Each person will receive a 3.8 cubic foot dry bag for storing his or her belongings-about the size of a 30-gallon plastic trash bag.
CAMPING GEAR (rentals available)
Sleeping bag • Air or foam mattress • Tarp • Tent or tube tent (optional) • Personal Gear • Comfortable clothing • Nylon shell jacket • Underwear • Extra tennis shoes or sandals • Socks • Sweater and/or jacket • Towel • Toiletries, Kleenex, etc. • Flashlight (one for each person) • Flashlight batteries (packed separately) • Extra plastic bags Day Bag (Ziploc plastic) • Camera & film • Sun block • Lip ointment • Plastic water bottle or canteen
Rain jacket and pants • Fishing license and gear (hard shell case) √ Snorkel & face mask • Reading material • Journal & pen • Cards or games • Extra beer, wine, soft drinks or favorite evening libations (no glass except wine; we’ll pack these for you. SMRT provides some beer, wine and juice.)
For further information on any of our rafting trips, call Marty at 209.591.8027