Frequently Asked Questions
Click on a Question & Receive an Answer
- Why should I choose River Drifters?
- Who can go rafting?
- I am a senior citizen, what trips are good for me?
- I have a family with younger children, where can we go?
- If I can't swim, Can I still go rafting?
- Which trip is best for us?
- What is the best time of year to go?
- Is rafting dangerous?
- How much does a trip cost?
- If its raining, do we still go rafting?
- When should I make a reservation?
- Are there any discounts available?
- What is the cancellation policy?
- Can I reserve my own boat?
- What should I wear to the river?
- Can I request a guide?
- Should I tip my guide?
- Can I buy Gift Certificates?
With river experience since 1979, professional and caring guides, great riverside cuisine, several trip options and incredible discounts all make River Drifters the premier rafting outfitter of the Northwest! Learn More About River Drifters.
From a relaxing trip on the North Santiam River to an all out adrenaline rush of the Wind River, River Drifters offers a river trip that perfect for all ability levels. We invite anyone, young or old, in reasonable physical condition. Each river does have a minimum age requirement. For instance, spring trips on the White Salmon River have an age minimum of 12 years old, while a summer Deschutes River trip has a minimum age of 4 years old. If a member of your group is pregnant, they will not be allowed, we don't want that kind of liability and they should not take that kind of chance!
For relatively fit and active seniors, the Deschutes River and North Santiam River trips are just fine. You may be placed in an oar raft upon request or a paddle raft if you feel up to it! Healthy people of all ages, including brave folks in their 70's and 80's enjoy rafting with River Drifters every year!
We have special family trips available on the Deschutes and North Santiam River. We can take children as young as four, depending on the time of year. Each river does have it's own suggested age limit. The Deschutes River is one of our more favorable rivers for families because the summertime air and water temperatures are more favorable for them.
Everyone on all of our trips wear a coast guard approved personal flotation device (PFD). This life vest will keep you afloat if you find yourself in the water. Many of our guests either cannot swim or have fear of swimming and they have a great time. If you are not a swimmer or are afraid of swimming, then you should choose a trip either the North Santiam River or the Deschutes River
Every river that we raft has it's own distinct qualities and uniqueness. Beginner and adventurers may find what they are looking for on the North Santiam River, Deschutes River or Lower Owyhee River. While more adventurous and experienced people would like the Klickitat River, Clackamas River, White Salmon River or the Upper Owyhee. Truly experienced adrenaline seekers get their fix on the Wind River and the Upper Owyhee River. If you have more questions call our office at 1.800.972.0430! Our office staff are experts at matching people and groups to the appropriate river.
River Drifters operates 7 days a week from late March through October. If you are seeking a more action packed and thrilling time of year to go, then the spring months are the best. The spring is when the snowmelt is at its peak and the rivers have the most water in them. However, in the spring the minimum age is raised and those who want to raft this time of year must be a bit adventurous! The summertime is the best for families and those who are seeking a great way to cool off from the summer heat. Although the water flows may not be at their peak, trips like the White Salmon River will keep you adrenaline pumping all summer long!
Rafting is exhilarating, fun, exciting and wet. However, as in all sports, rafting does pose an inherent risk. The risk contributes to the excitement and enjoyment of the people who participate in rafting. Our guides are all trained to minimize those risks and if you are a believer in statistics, you are safer on a whitewater rafting trip than driving in your car! Injuries and accidents as a whole are very rare in this industry, often times when they do occur they are a result of a lack of knowledge and experience. Isn't that why you are seeking information about a guided rafting trip? Most of the injuries that do occur are from sunburns or on land. But still, there is a risk, and you must sign an assumption of risk form, acknowledging the types of risk before you go on a river trip.
Prices range from a $50/person on a half-day trip on the Deschutes River to $1100/person on a ten-day Owyhee vacation. River Drifters focuses it's prices to be at or in many cases below the competition. Considering the current costs of meals, campgrounds and lodging, whitewater rafting with River Drifters is an exceptional vacation value!
Our river trips are conducted in Oregon and Washington. As most Oregonians & Washingtonians know, it rains. All trips go, rain or shine. River Drifters does provide all the necessary gear to stay warm: paddle jackets, wetsuits and helmets and all for free! Occasionally, due to circumstances out of our control, such as high water or low water, ect, we may cancel, postpone or transfer a trip.
Certain days of the season sell out very quickly, so we encourage you to call us as soon as you know where and when you want to go (1.800.972.0430)! For instance, many Saturdays in July and August for the White Salmon and Deschutes Rivers' are being booked as early as a year in advance! Since we are limited to a certain number of people that we take down the Deschutes River on the weekends and we have limited start dates available on the Clackamas River or the Owyhee River, proper planning is essential to reserve your space!
Yes. There is discounts for groups of 12 or more, 24 or more, 40 or more and special chartered trips. We also have child discounts for many of our trips. There is also special pricing for church groups, Boy Scout groups and school groups.
Please understand that when a reservation is made with River Drifters, it is a commitment for us to hold space for you and we can (and do) turn away others from that particular date. If you decide to cancel, it can be difficult for use to book someone else on that trip, especially if cancellations are made close to the departure date. With this in mind we must be firm to the following policy.
Day Trips: a $15/person cancellation fee will be assessed on any cancellation. Cancellations made within 72 hours prior to trip departure fill forfeit 50% of the total trip price. However, you may substitute another person, with no penalty. OR you may transfer the trip to another date.
Multi-day trips: A $25/person cancellation fee will be assessed on any multi-day trip cancellation. If the cancellation is made during that two week period, a 50% per person fee will be charge. However, you may substitute another person, with no penalty. OR you may transfer the trip to another date, any date transfers must be made within 72 hours prior to trip departure.
There are no exceptions to these cancellation policies.
Special requests need to be done with our office in advance. Reservations are based on space availability in each boat. Chartered trips or special reserved boat options can be made available in special circumstances. Our staff and guides will keep parties together whenever possible, we do reserve the right to make any final crew assignments.
The amount of extra clothing that you should bring depend on time of year, weather, water temperature and length of trip. A complete list of what to bring for both on an off the river will be sent out with a trip itinerary for each trip we run. If you are selecting a spring or fall trip, or if you get cold easily, please pay special attention for the items that we list for proper layering of non-cotton clothing.
Our guides are professionals in their field, and requests for a specific guide is fairly common. If you have had a guide you especially liked and would like to have them guide your next trip, we will do our best to place them on that trip, whenever possible. You should simply request your guide when you make your reservation.
We are frequently asked whether it is appropriate to tip your guide. While our guides are well compensated for their skills and our high level of service is not exercised in order to receive a tip, if you feel that your trip was exceptional, or that your guide(s) went out of their way to make the quality of your experience a notch above the norm, tipping is a nice way of saying thank you!
Yes, you can purchase a gift certificate for someone else in one of two ways. You can purchase them online or you can give us a call at 800-972-0430 and we would be happy to assist!