With another successful season now in the books, Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) has turned its attention to 2016 and the on-going challenge of attracting first timers to the sport of river rafting. What they have discovered over their 50+ years of outfitting is that simple fear of the unknown often hinders enjoyment of one of the best experiences in life – like river rafting. Over decades of dealing with client concerns and misconceptions, the nation’s leading river company has compiled common questions while offering suggestions to assuage doubts and fears.
Here are some of the top questions asked by first-time river rafters:
If camping is part of a rafting vacation, how rough will it be? It’s really deluxe catered camping on the river. For example, on a Grand Canyon rafting adventure guests sleep on comfortable cots in freshly laundered sleeping bags and sheets in roomy tents. A portable toilet and hand wash system are set up each day in camp in a secluded location that assures privacy.
Going through the whitewater rapids will I fall out of the boat? Whitewater can range from a ripple to a huge splash. The 5 Day Green River – Desolation Canyon trip in Utah is more about playful rapids, petroglyphs and outlaw hideouts than challenges. Here guests (wearing certified PFD, i.e. lifejacket) can paddle a two-person inflatable kayak or relax in an oar boat while Western’s guides take guests down river. Class I to III fun-filled rapids make this Green River rafting trip the ideal getaway for a first time river adventure. The minimum age is just five.
Where and how do I take care of nature’s business? As stated earlier, camp bathrooms are open air, sanitary, private and scenic. However, one adventure in Oregon, 3 or 4 Day Rogue River Lodge to Lodge, delivers a perfect blend of wildlife and wilderness with the cozy charm of cabin comforts like private rooms and bathrooms. The minimum age is five. No camping required.
I’m not a really great swimmer. How do I deal with that? You are in good company as many rafters aren’t great swimmers. The life jacket and ample hand and foot holds provide security and support on the water; however it is important that you’re at least able to propel yourself through the water with your arms and legs while wearing a life jacket. Another option is to do a package that offers mild rafting as just one of the experiences. Western River’s sister company Moab Adventure Center offers the Southwest Sampler – Colorado River, Utah, a multi-sport vacation package for guests to raft (2 day trip on very easy stretch of the Colorado River), hike and tour Arches National Park with a sunset Hummer 4×4 adventure to boot.
Am I fit enough for a raft vacation? What’s too young? What’s too old? The wilderness around may be rugged, but that doesn’t mean guests have to be. A trip popular for ages six to 86 is the 5 Day Main Salmon River, Idaho. More moderate whitewater on this stretch of a mile-deep canyon makes this river trip a perfect introduction to rafting and camping without sacrificing any of the grandeur. Oar boats allow guests to just ride along letting the guide do the muscle work while enjoying the passing scenery.
Do I need to plan an entire week for a rafting get-away? Day trips can be ideal for a first-time river rafter. The Utah: Colorado Full Day comes with a riverside BBQ lunch at Red Cliffs Ranch and a choice of boats: a spot in a paddle raft or a two-person inflatable kayak. California: South Fork of the American River satisfies thrill-seekers and families alike. Up in Montana there’s the Flathead River which offers half, full and multi-day trips bordering Glacier National Park. In West Virginia, a half- or full-day trip on the New River can be either challenging or calm, depending on the stretch of river selected.
“The important thing is to not be bullied by your fear of rafting,” says Brandon Lake, CMO of Western River Expeditions. “Rafting can be a life-changing experience for many first-timers willing to set their anxieties aside.” The next important thing may be to book your trip now for the 2016 season. Lake reports limited space already in the Grand Canyon with other destinations looking very popular as well.
For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2016 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit: http://www.westernriver.com/.
About Western River Expeditions
Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah rafting, and Idaho rafting trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for nine consecutive years.