Plan Your Raft Trip
Proper planning is crucial for a successful raft trip. Make sure you are properly dressed and arrive at least ½ hour before the departure time of your trip.
What to Expect
The total duration of most of our trips is 3-4 hours, including transportation and outfitting. Whitewater and scenic float trips are on the water anywhere from 1-2 hours, depending on flows and weather conditions.
What to bring / What to wear
Clothing for Whitewater Trips
As a foundation, bathing suits are almost always the best place to start. We provide, free of charge, splash jackets with hoods and splash pants to help keep you dry. Do not wear heavy cotton clothing such as blue jeans or sweat pants and tops. When cotton gets wet it loses its insulation value. On warm, sunny days a bathing suit and t-shirt may be all you'll need. If it is cooler, you'll want to add synthetic layers like capilene or polypropylene or even polyester and nylon. Wool is also acceptable. Most long winter underwear is suitable as well. If you have polar fleece or polartec clothing, bring it! Wetsuits and wetsuit booties are available for rent. Wetsuit rentals are $7.00 and booties are $4.00. If you rent both, it's only $9.00. There may be situations where we'll require you to rent a wetsuit due to conditions. You are encouraged to bring along a towel and some dry clothes to be left on the bus for the return trip. If you are on our dinner trip, it is especially important to bring along dry clothes to wear while enjoying your meal.
Clothing for Scenic Float Trips
For scenic floats, you should dress according to the weather. Keep in mind that the weather changes quickly at mountain elevations, and layering your clothing will enhance your comfort. This way you can peel or add layers as the conditions change.
For whitewater trips, wear shoes you definitely don't mind getting wet. We require you to wear shoes that are secure, such as tennis shoes which lace tightly, wetsuit booties, “auquasocks”, or rugged sandals with a heel strap such as Tevas or Nikes. Bare feet or thongs are not allowed. Crocs will come off should you have to go for a swim. If you don’t have any shoes you don’t mind getting soggy, you can rent our neoprene booties from us. Secure shoes are best on scenic float trips. Keep in mind that they may get wet boarding and disembarking the boat.
On whitewater trips it is recommended that you wear some sort of eye-wear retainer such as Croakies or Chums for both prescription glasses and sunglasses. Retainers are available for sale at our office.
Cameras, Camcorders, and Binoculars
All are welcome on Scenic Floats, although we are not responsible for loss or damage. Do not bring any of the above on whitewater trips, because they are almost certain to get wet and damaged. If you own a waterproof camera or would like to bring a disposable waterproof camera, you may. But please bear in mind that picture-taking should not interfere with your ability to paddle. On whitewater trips there are folks that will be photographing and video taping your trip through the largest rapids. We will provide you with information about this after your trip. You may go to their office and view proofs with no obligation to buy, or look at proofs on their websites.
What we provide
On your whitewater trip you will be provided with a coated nylon splash jacket and pants when you arrive at the river, as well as a life jacket. No helmets are required for the Snake as it is a class III clear channel river.
Whitewater trips are rarely canceled due to weather, and never due to rain alone. Only in instances of severe weather would a trip be canceled. It is also important to remember that your trip launches nearly 25 miles from town, so weather here is likely different that it is at the river. Always check in for your trip at the appointed time because conditions at the river are often completely different from those at our office in town. We will cancel scenic float trips if the weather appears to be consistently inclement. Please check in for your trip, as this is a decision we will make at the time of departure, not sooner. Real time Doppler radar via the internet provides us with a great tool for making these decisions.
Safety is a priority at Lewis & Clark, and our record reflects it. Our guides have training that exceeds the standards set forth by our permit administrators. We do all we can to make your trip as safe as possible while giving you the thrills and experiences you seek in a river trip. However, there are many risks beyond our control on a river trip, and you will be required to sign a form acknowledging those risks.
You will be rafting on a wild river in a remote place. We make every effort to provide you with the finest, most enjoyable trip possible. Our staff will give instructions before each trip. It is important that you listen to and follow those instructions. You will assume responsibility for many decisions affecting your safety during this trip. Because you will be on a constantly-changing wild river, there are inherent elements of risk and danger beyond our control. We do not assume liability for personal injury or deaths. You must sign an acknowledgement of risk and go at your own risk. If you are overweight, in poor physical condition, have a heart condition, bad back, asthma or other medical condition, you should consult your physician before going on a whitewater trip. If you carry any medications for any conditions, please tell us so that we can help make sure they are accessible if needed.
No experience is necessary to take a raft trip with Lewis & Clark. Most of our customers are first-time rafters, so we have a great deal of experience and skill in giving great experiences to novices. We emphasize and encourage all who wish to dig in and paddle on our whitewater trips. There are always spaces for those who don’t wish to paddle. In normal mid-season conditions, we take kids as young as 6 whitewater rafting every day, and kids as young as 3 on our scenic float trips.