Tuolumne Wild & Scenic River

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River

Described by river experts as one of the most challenging river runs in California, the main Tuolumne River is a scenic 18-mile journey. It passes through lands managed by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Rafting on the Tuolumne River has evolved from a humble beginning. During the early 1970's, only a few hardy souls tried to float the river, but by 1975, an estimated 1,200 persons annually were making the trip. Forest Service officials soon realized the management of the Tuolumne River would have to change to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip, while at the same time protecting natural resources.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Groveland Ranger District (HWY 120)- A free, mandatory permit is required to float between Cherry Creek and Merals Pool and from Merals Pool to Ward's Ferry from May 1 to October. Permits can be issued over the phone one day in advance. All permits can be picked up at the Groveland Ranger Station.To reserve a permit, please fill out a non-commercial boating permit application.
Rentals & Guides: Outfitter Guides authorized to conduct commercial trips:

All Outdoors Whitewater Rafting
(925) 932-8993
(800) 247-2387

American River Touring Association
(209) 962-7873
(800) 323-2782

(209) 736-4677
(800) 346-6277

Sierra Mac River Trips
(209) 962-0367
(800) 457-2580
Permit Info: All floaters (kayakers and rafters) are required to have a permit between May 1 and October 15. Permits are free and must be picked up at the Groveland Ranger Station.

To reserve a permit, please fill out a non-commercial boating permit application.

Fund-raising trips are considered commercial and sponsors should arrange for a trip with an existing permitted commercial firm.

We would like to thank our river visitors for using the rafting permit system. As a reminder to those that chose to enter without a permit, fines may be issued to parties in non-compliance with Forest regulations.

Contact the Groveland Ranger Station for more information: 209-962-7825, 24545 Highway 120, Groveland, California 95321.
Restrictions: Permit Information:
  • Permit applications will be accepted after January 1 for the following season (May 1 through October 15). non-commercial boating permit application.
  • The non-refundable fee must accompany each application.
  • Reservations will automatically be cancelled when checks are returned due to insufficient funds.
  • Reservations for weekend (Fridays and Saturdays) launches are limited to 6 reservations per person per year.
  • Cancellations received less than 48 hours prior to the launch date will be considered no shows.  No shows will forfeit any other reservations they might have for the remainder of the season.
  • Group size is limited to a maximum of 26 persons and 6 rafts.
  • Maximum length of stay for each trip is 2 nights and 3 days.
  • During the period of spring run-off, flows may be so great that boating should not be attempted on the Tuolumne River.  Flow information may be obtained from the Groveland Ranger District or by checking the website: www.dreamflows.com

  • To reserve a permit, please fill out a non-commercial boating permit application.
Closest Towns: Groveland, California

General Information


Download the Tuolumne Wild & Scenic River Map (geospatial PDF, 7.61 MB)

Tuolumne Wild & Scenic River Map

iOS and Android device users: install the Avenza PDF Maps app (free) on devices with GPS to show your location on the map. More information on the app can be found at: http://www.pdf-maps.com.


Camping & Cabins

Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW

Water Activities

Hide detail HIDE

Boating - Non-Motorized

Areas & Activities