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Tuolumne River, California: Tickets, Tours, Address, Phone Number, Tuolumne River Reviews: 5/5

Tuolumne River
Located close to Yosemite, the Tuolumne River offers rafters a great combo of true wilderness and challenging rapids.
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10 reviews
Very good

Bill Z
Pittsburgh, PA17 contributions
Two days of watery paradise
Aug 2020
My adult son and I did a two-day trip on the Tuolumne River. It would make a nice companion to a visit to Yosemite National Park, which we were unable to visit.
Our outfitter, OARS offers one-, two- and three-day raft trips on the Tuolumne. I have done the one-day decades ago, and it's great if you're in a hurry but it's a lot. I haven't done the three-day trip, but you don't see any more of the river. The two-day trip allowed us to enjoy a night of camping and the beauty of the canyon without rushing,
OARS did a tremendous job dealing with coronavirus -- taking the temperature of guests, requiring them to wear masks on the shuttle, requiring frequent hand washing and providing each guest with a chair and thermal mug. I was amazed at how scrumptious each meal was despite the conditions such as spaghetti and meatballs with salad, appetizers, strawberry shortcake and wine and beer.
Our guide Becca skillfully led us through the thrilling rapids, including Clavey Falls.
Thanks, OARS.
Written October 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Wellington, New Zealand78 contributions
Oars 3 Day Raft - one of the best things I've done!
Aug 2016 • Solo
If you are at all considering whitewater rafting on the Toulumne River - I can not recommend the Oars 3 Raft trip enough - just do it!
The Rapids - even in the lower water flow of high summer were some of the best whitewater ever.
The guides - there for your fun and safety - big call out to the whole crew.... Jimbo (our boat guide) Mike (trip lead) - Crystal, Moose, Colin and Rae... ALL did an outstanding job of making sure we had the best time, and got down the river safely.
For me camping under the stars was a novelty (too cold where I come from most of the time). I did this trip solo - which if you are a solo independent traveller I would recommend - everyone is so friendly. There was a mix of couples and groups across age groups.
Oars have their priorities right - Fun, Safety and Environmentally Conscience... So just book with these guys, they are awesome.
I'm looking forward to my next trip with them.....
Tips: make sure you allow time to check out Yosemite Valley either side of the trip. I stayed very local (Sugar Pine Ranch) which was awesome at the end of the trip only having to drive 4 miles.
Written August 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tucson, AZ28 contributions
Tuolumne River whitewater rafting with Salsa Sean and Moose of O.A.R.S.
May 2015 • Family
this was the 5th time I have rafted the Main Tuolumne (and the 4th time with OARS. I have rafted Cherry Creek with Sierra Mac). This was the most fun I have had--Sean, our trip leader was very skilled, friendly and funny. I have never seen anyone as skilled w/ ropes and rescue as Moose, who was very professional, friendly and hilarious. It sounds weird, but having our raft wrap early in the trip and the time it took to free it was really cool, very educational watching and helping with--from a great spot in the middle of the river-- the different drags and rigs Moose and Sean used to get it loose. What was most impressive was how they worked as a team and never got frustrated, just looked at it as a problem to solve. My older son was inspired to want to attend guide school next year after watching these guys work . Excellent food, beautiful scenery and as always is the case with OARS, friendly, knowledgeable and skilled staff. I have rafted the California Salmon, North Fork of the Stanislaus, south and Middle Fork of the American, as well as the Rio Pacuare in Costa Rica with OARS and this was probably one of my favorite trips with them simply because of the people (the other family on our trip from New Orleans was a blast). You simply cannot go wrong going rafting anywhere with OARS and if you've visited Yosemite without rafting the Tuolumne River with O.A.R.S., you've missed an incredible opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful and exciting places on earth.
Written June 1, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Groveland, CA1,941 contributions
Tuolumne River Float La Grange Dam to Basso Bridge
Nov 2014 • Friends
Grab your canoe or kayak, and a 2nd car to get back to the put in point, or go with one of the local outfitters and let them provide all the equipment and the transportation too. Whether you "paddle with the salmon" in fall, or "paddle to the sea" in spring, or just do a float on your own anytime of the year, this is a great section of the Tuolumne River to enjoy.

Camp at Tulloch Lake State Recreation Area campground, it is a lovely campground with big shady trees and large campsites with picnic tables, fire pits and storage lockers, bathrooms and showers too! Put in at Historic La Grange, there is a walkway from the road to the river across from the little general store, park anywhere nearby that you can and carry your boat down to the river to put in under the bridge. Take out at Basso Bridge, just after the river crosses under the road, near the junction of Hwy 132 and Lake Road, near Lake Tulloch.

I did the "paddle with the salmon" trip this fall with Tuolumne River Trust, and we met another group from San Joaquin River Stewards on the river that day too. I did two trips, one on Saturday afternoon and another on Sunday morning, one day using their canoes and the other using my own kayak. It was great, we saw salmon building their nests by furrowing ditches in the gravel to lay eggs, and we saw an Osprey fishing several times too.

You could definitely do this trip on your own, but beware of spring high water. When we did the trip, it was low water, we scraped bottom a number of times and had to "read the river" to avoid shallow areas. Having a guide with us helped on that part, a lot! And always wear a life jacket, we didn't have any boats go over but apparently it happens quite often.
Written November 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Barcelona, Spain33 contributions
Awesome Adventure on the Tuolomne with AO
Jul 2014 • Family
This was probably our 4th time rafting trip, 2nd with All Outdoors Rafting, and we loved it. They have the option to raft 1, 2 or 3 days but it's pretty much the same length of the river - just spread out over more time.

We selected the 2 day rafting trip, which was the perfect amount of time on the river, to hike, and sit and rest at camp. The guides were amazing, funny, and very helpful. They had everything set up for us when we arrived at camp (chairs, etc) and we had absolutely no complaints about the food.

I recommend bringing old tennis shoes to wear in the raft and lots of sunscreen! Definitely worth exploring this area if you are near Yosemite!!
Written August 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Monterey County, CA1 contribution
Tuolumne water rafting
Jul 2014 • Friends
its was a great experience and pleasure for me to be a part of the rafting team and my best regards to Chris A. He is an excellent instructor who knows his job. We had a great time altogether))Ulan
Written July 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Newport Beach, CA31 contributions
Tuolumne river rafting was a blast and guides made it safe, fun and special
Jun 2013 • Friends
Had a blast with ARTA on one-day rafting trip on Tuolumne. The rapids are great and the scenery is picturesque. Our guides Izzy, Zander and Isaac were outstanding and the best in the business. We took some friends with us. Two of them had a traumatizing experience years ago on Kern River with a different rafting company. Their guide Zander did an amazing job and made the whole trip fun, exciting and safe for them. They are even talking about returning someday to do Cherry Creek. We had Izzy as our guide. She has guided many rivers. She is very experienced, knowledgeable and fun to be with. Our friends were ill-prepared and showed up in flip-flops. She was so sweet and made make-shift river shoes with duct-tape.
Written July 1, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

dallas, tx55 contributions
3 day white water rafting with OARS
May 2013 • Couples
In a word - WOW! May 24 - 26, 2013. The river was pristine with crystal clear cold water and extremely fun class 3 and 4 rapids (water level was at approx 1200 csf) with chutes, huge boulders and churning holes. The trip was down the lower half of the Tuolumne River which includes 15 white water rapids in an 18 mile stretch.

The first day began with 3 big rapids in the first 2 miles.....a great start; and ended with a good 1 mile hike up Clavey River. The hike included some wading and brief swims to continue to the pools. Day 2 started with the big Clavey Falls rapid. River guides (Eli, John, Sean and Chris) scouted it first and decided it was safe to run. It was a blast and very exhilarating......wanted to do it again once we caught our breaths. Just before lunch was an interesting half mile hike into a hard mine shaft with flashilights. Very interesting to see what they had to work in to mine for gold. Day 3 started with 2 mile hike up another stream. This hike was awesome. Somewhat of a challenging hike due to water crossings, boulders and shifty stones. This hike had 3 major water crossings that required wading up to chest and swimming. The last water crossing was a swim of 40 yards across a deep pool (in 55 degree water) to get to a rock out croppings around an 8 foot water fall. We hung out there for 45 minutes. Some people did some "cliff jumping" from 20 foot rock ledges into the deep 30 foot pool. This was approved by the guides as they had jumped previously and knew the depth. Very exciting. After lunch and packing up we ended the 3rd day through the final 3 rapids and they were also very fun with a little excitement at the Steamboat Rapid when 3 people fell over; but no worries, the guides had them all safe and sound back into the boats in no time.

Wildlife spotted: bald eagle, hawks, stellers blue jay, western tanager, bobcats across the river from camp one morning, some people saw rattle snake (no issues), skunk near camp, fish, frogs, dozens of butterflys (swallow tails, small blue butterflys everywhere on shore, and even some pipevine butterfly catepillars).

OARS did a great job: Food was great.....all three meals were excellent. River guides did a great job with everything from teaching, entertaining and keeping us safe while we had fun. This is a rafting trip that we definitely plan to do again.

Personally we really enjoyed the three day as a complete vacation (action/adventure, scenic/wildlife, and comradery around a campfire). I could see doing 2 days if I was also spending 2-5 days elsewhere. We also enjoyed paddling and I'm not sure that is an option on the 1 day trip.
Written May 27, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pinecrest, Florida119 contributions
Tuolumne River Rafting with Sierra Mac
Jun 2012 • Family
We stayed in Groveland in a B and B (JUNE 15, 2012) which was 15 minutes from the gathering point of the Sierra Mac rafting company. We took a ~ 45 minute ride on an old school bus winding along a harrowing mountain road. This was exciting in itself. The Driver was amazing. The air was hot and the water cold. We had a great river guide, Tom, who was fun AND informative. My girls and I and Tom were in one raft and the others were divided up in their groups in other rafts. The Rapids were great 3-4 maybe a low 5? one after another and another. Mid way we had a really nice picnic lunch. The kids got the opportunity to jump off a really high rock into the river. They had a blast This was pretty much a whole day for us. The girls and I truly enjoyed this experience. Recommended highly!
Written July 13, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Swampscott, MA21 contributions
great trip, especially Cherry Creek, but do not do the 3 day trip
Went rafting with AO (All Outdoors) Rafting in August 2010. Did the Cherry Creek plus a 3 day trip on the regular Tuolumne.

Cherry Creek is fantastic -- great rapids, one after another, including several class 5 and many class 4. Some of the most exciting rafting you can do in the US. I recommend this to anyone who likes rafting.

The regular Tuolumne is very nice too -- a beautiful river with some really fun rapids.

Most outfitters offer 1, 2, or 3 day trips. The 1 day trip would probably be great but a little rushed, while the 2 day trip offers a night of camping on the river and time for a hike or two.

Avoid the 3 day trip. The 2nd and 3rd days are too slow -- you sit around camp for hours and barely get on the water at all. The side hikes are nice, but they are not worth the extra day and the extra money.

AO rafting was fine. I have been rafting with many different companies on many different rivers. I have never had a problem, and there was nothing about AO that stood out from other outfitters -- friendly guides, well organized, tasty food.
Written September 1, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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