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The Boathouse Blog

What To Expect On A Whitewater Rafting Adventure

Whitewater rafting in beautiful Joseph, Oregon is a thrilling experience for young and old alike. From spending time in the outdoors and witnessing amazing views, to flying through rapids and making new friendships– whitewater rafting is an adventure you won’t soon forget.

You may have questions about what to expect during your whitewater rafting experience. Or perhaps you’re interested in this activity but question whether it’s right for you.

Below we’ll outline the most important things to know about a whitewater rafting trip. By the end of this post, you’ll have the knowledge to feel confident and excited about this outdoor adventure.

Experienced Guides

Choosing an experienced whitewater rafting company with the necessary skills, knowledge, and licenses is key to a safe and enjoyable whitewater rafting tour.

As you evaluate a tour company, look for signs that guides have multiple years of experience and training in these areas:

  • First Aid
  • CPR
  • Swift water rescue techniques
  • Some EMT training

Skilled rafting guides are the base for a great whitewater rafting company. These guides will make your trip safe and enjoyable.

A Thorough Safety Orientation

First-time whitewater rafters won’t get thrown into the thick of it cold turkey! Before setting off, your tour guide will provide a complete safety orientation. Expect instructions on the proper way to hold your paddle, where to sit in the boat, and how to listen to your guide.

Reputable whitewater rafting guides know the rivers like the back of their hands. They’ll know the safest routes and spots to avoid. Your guides will also know how to respond in an emergency situation.

What To Expect

Your Gear Will Be Provided

All necessary rafting and camping gear (if applicable) should be provided by your tour company. Typically, this includes a dry bag for your supplies, a life jacket, and a helmet. Pack a few personal items and everything else will be taken care of.

If you have questions about what supplies or gear you need to bring along, just ask. In general, avoid over packing or bringing anything you don’t want to lose or get wet.

An Adrenaline Rush

Whitewater rafting may not have the same fear factor as jumping out of a plane or bungee jumping, but those bubbly rapids will definitely get your heart pounding! Choose a tour that fits your thrill level by looking at the classification of each run.

Just like a ski slope, rapids vary in their intensity. American Whitewater classifies rapids as follows:

  • Class II (novice): Straightforward rapids with wide and clear channels. Some maneuvering may be required.
  • Class III (intermediate): Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid. Some complex maneuvers in tight passages may be required. Strong eddies and powerful currents are often present.
  • Class IV (advanced): Intense and powerful yet predictable rapids which require accurate boat handling. You may encounter large, unavoidable waves.

With an experienced guide, you can enjoy the exhilaration of crashing whitewater knowing you’re in good hands.

You’re Going To Get Wet

This should be obvious, but don’t expect to stay dry. Getting splashed or even drenched by rapids is part of the experience. And remember, it’s okay to fall out!

On a sunny day, even if you’re soaking wet, chances of a sunburn are high. Bring along some sunscreen and apply as needed throughout the day. Your face and the back of your neck are two particularly important areas to keep lathered up.

Time To Relax

You won’t be battling through rapids for the entire rafting adventure. You’ll find plenty of peaceful moments to enjoy the views around you. Expect to take a swim in crystal clear waters, enjoy the view, and chat with your fellow rafting companions in your down time.

Breathtaking Views

One of the best parts of a rafting trip in Joseph, Oregon is experiencing the beauty of the outdoors from a fresh perspective. This is the perfect opportunity to see geometric columnar basalt, wildflowers, bald eagles, and Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, to name a few.

Pack a set of binoculars to get a better view during calm moments. If you have a waterproof camera or video camera, bring it along to show off your experience to friends back at home.

Good Food In The Great Outdoors

Most whitewater rafting trips–especially multiple day excursions–provide you with food and drink along the way.

For example, here at Winding Waters Rafting, we offer gourmet meals on all of our rafting adventures. We even provide gluten-free or vegetarian options and will happily accommodate other dietary restrictions as well.

While you may want to pack a few snacks, don’t expect to load up and bring all your food.

New Friendships

People come from all over to experience the whitewater rapids of Joseph, Oregon. Depending on the size of your tour, you’ll be in a raft with anywhere from 2 to 6 other people. Take time to get to know your fellow adventurers and you’ll walk away from a rafting experience with great new friendships.

Ready For Your Whitewater Rafting Adventure?

Now that you know what to expect, you’re probably more excited than ever to get on a raft!

At Winding Waters River Expeditions, we offer guided whitewater rafting experiences on 3 of the most thrilling rivers in the world. Our adventures range from 1 to 6 days in length, are fully guided, and will no doubt be a wonderful memory that lasts with you forever.

Don’t have any whitewater rafting experience? No problem. Our tours are open to all experience levels. We’d love to have you join us, even if you have no previous whitewater rafting experience.

If you have any more questions about what to expect on a Winding Waters River expedition, contact us by phone or email and we’ll be happy to help you.

Happy adventuring!