I love white water rafting and have gone many times, mostly on the East Coast. But I did once get to do a two-week trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon.
They were usually all-day trips, and we got a lunch in the middle and beer/soda at the end of the trip. They give you a life jacket and a paddle, and you can rent a wet suit if it's going to be cold. It's been a while, so I don't remember the cost, but currently, prices seem to be around $175-$225 per person.
Most of the rivers I've done had rapids that were class 3 to class 5 (out of 6). One website says, "Rivers on the East Coast require more technical expertise than those on the West Coast, and have a greater number of boulders and rocks to navigate. West Coast rivers tend to have higher water volume and steeper descents."
I went up near Coloma in the NorCal foothills and it was fantastic!!! We did the South Fork of the American River for a full day trip. We stopped halfway for a picnic lunch -- sandwiches, potato salad, chips, cookies, etc. It's about 20 miles of Class 3, 3+ rapids. Maybe one Class 4. I never felt like I was in danger of falling out or scared. In fact I loved it!! I would have gone again the very next day and definitely plan to go again this summer. I think it cost $125-150ish. Hope you do it!
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We did the South Fork of the American River for a full day trip. We stopped halfway for a picnic lunch -- sandwiches, potato salad, chips, cookies, etc. It's about 20 miles of Class 3, 3+ rapids. Maybe one Class 4. I never felt like I was in danger of falling out or scared. In fact I loved it!! I would have gone again the very next day and definitely plan to go again this summer
Funny you should mention that...I did the same trip with some coworkers. Unfortunately, that year (like this year!) the snowpack was significant and the waters were running fast, meaning that what were normally Class 3 ended up being an estimated Class 4+. I was quite freaked out before we went, but felt a lot better after many reassurances (even on here, this was right when I started posting) that NO ONE ever falls out.
Well, we hit a rock wrong on Troublemaker, and 4/7 folks in our boat went in. One coworker fell directly on top of me, pinned me underwater for maybe 2/3 of the first rapid, then I finally got out from under him and got the "SWIM REALLY FAST" gesture from my guide (apparently I almost hit a hole. Did not know that then, though)...swam hard to one side, got up to the rescue boat, ended up getting sucked under it, then finally they got a hold on me, but didn't have time to haul me in before we went through the second part of the rapid, so I rode that one being held onto by the rescue boat folks by my lifejacket.
I should have known better. If there is a way to almost die in a water sport context, I FIND THAT WAY (see also: Flipping Kayak in Pacific Ocean, Too Fat to Get Back On and Attempted Drowning in Wave Pool at Water Park at Age 9)
We did have lunch, though, and beer (although I was friends with the guide...he's a pro and works for one of the local guide companies, but he is also married to my coworker so he took us for free).
With that said - if I did it and survived, the less accident prone would probably be completely safe. AND up until the part where I nearly drowned, I was having a really great time. So there's that.
I personally LOVE white water rafting. I like in Colorado, so it's a must to go at least once in your life time. There are safe trips in Grand Junction and then some that you take the Colorado river even further. It depends on the time of year for rapids and the zone you take.
I honestly have never paid... usually a friend, family member, or boss has paid. But it's a BLAST. I love going.
In Colorado the prices for half day are about 80 bucks? I have gone at the beginning of the season and at the last weekend. Never go the last weekend, the rapids are too slow and it is not worth the money, well unless you want to just float down the river...
My co-worker just went on the Black River (NY state, Watertown) for $60 bucks, which included a nice lunch, beer...everything! From their website, their prices range from 50-75 or so. Not a bad price at all!
I think I may have to book myself a trip!
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