How To Plan a River Rafting Trip

If you and your friends want something more exciting than spending your precious vacation stuck in an amusement park or lounging at the beach, you should try river rafting. This highly adventurous recreational activity will surely create a memorable experience for you and your friends.

Here’s a guide to planning your river rafting trip.

  1. Choose a rafting outfitter. Once you have decided to go river rafting, the next thing to do is to look for a rafting outfitter. If this is your first time to go river rafting, choose a rafting company that has a good reputation among the rafting community and customers. Make sure that the outfitter you are choosing is affiliated with rafting organizations such as America Outdoors or Check out testimonials for that rafting outfitter, which you can find on its web site. Call the office of the company and ask questions regarding booking a river raft trip and tour. If the staff member who answers you is friendly and accommodating, then you should considering going with that rafting outfitter.
  2. Select the scale of adventure you want. Not all rivers are equal. Some have raging whitewater, while some have calm and gentle waters. For beginners, it is advisable to go rafting on rivers with Class 1 and Class 2 rapids. Rivers with Class 1 rapids have moving water with a few riffles and small waves, but there are no major obstacles in the path. A river with waters this calm is also conducive for kayaking. Rivers with Class 2 rapids have bigger waves, but there are no obstructions in the channel. Choose rivers marked with green circles by the rafting community, because these rivers have Class 1 and Class 2 rapids. For those in the United States, here are some of the most popular river vacation states in the country: California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Alaska, Arizona, West Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, New York, Maine, Pennsylvania.
  3. Decide on the length of your river adventure. River outfitters offer varying types and durations of river raft expeditions, tours and trips. A typical river rafting trip can lasts for 1-2 days. This includes river rafting or kayaking for about 3-5 hours a day, an overnight stay at a campground or lodging facility, and some fishing. This is highly recommended for first time river riders.

A longer river expedition will take at least three days and last for two weeks. Aside from white water rafting, it features camping, fishing, white water kayaking, and other water sports applicable to the river you have chosen. This kind of trip is usually recommended for intermediate to advanced rafters, since you will be tackling different classes of rapids during the trips, and you will be spending a lot of time outdoors.

This is just a general guide to planning your river rafting adventure. There are plenty of resources that you can find online to help you plan your river vacation in detail. Check out web sites of river outfitting companies for more tips and guides.


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