Paddlers seeking a challenging ride, a serene afternoon float, or a bit of both need look no further than the Trinity River for some world class adventure.
The Trinity River offers rafting and kayaking opportunities for boaters of all abilities from novice to expert as it flows clear and cold out of the Trinity Alps. Throughout the spring and summer, rafters can be seen floating the beginner-friendly upper section below Lewiston Dam or sometimes through difficult Class V rapids tumbling ‘downriver’ through the rocky Burnt Ranch Gorge advised for experts only.
Most of the federally designated Wild and Scenic Trinity River is categorized as Class II or III rapids suitable for kayaking and rafting through much of the year for boaters with modest to intermediate skills. Whitewater travel below Cedar Flat requires expert skill where steep, violent rapids pour over huge boulders in the Burnt Ranch Gorge.
State Highway 299 follows the river for many miles, providing access at multiple locations including some where public parking and day-use facilities have been developed, creating several options for do-it-yourself shuttle runs.
Visitor services including equipment rentals, shuttles and instruction are also available from private guides and commercial rafting companies operating in the area. Options include half-day excursions or overnight campouts serving up gourmet meals on the beach.
Accommodations in the area range from rustic, vehicle-accessible camping along the river to private RV campgrounds with hookups and rental lodging offering cozy cabins or cottages with full amenities. There are also five national forest campgrounds that include a group camp at Skunk Point available by reservation.
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For more information including a list of guides and rafting companies offering trips on the Trinity River, contact the Weaverville Ranger District office at 530-623-2121 or the Trinity County Visitor Center at 530-623-6101.
Maps and information on current river conditions, whitewater classifications and campgrounds are also available at the Forest Service offices and on their websites at www.fs.fed.us/r5/shastatrinity and www.fs.fed.us/r5/sixrivers/recreation/lowertrinity.