Whitewater River Rafting FAQs

orange raft on river bank

Whitewater rafting is an exciting adventure for the whole family--one that's sure to make your trip unforgettable. Before you jump into those rapids, though, you probably have a few questions--and we have the answers. Sit back and relax as we tell you everything you need to know to get out there and enjoy the beautiful Idaho outdoors!

Whitewater Rafting: Planning Your Trip

When it comes to a whitewater rafting adventure, there are plenty of things to consider before you even get near the water. Here's what to think about when you're planning your trip:


Chances are, you don't have a big river right in your backyard--so how will you get to your whitewater rafting location? Our River Rafting Shuttle takes the stress out of transportation, allowing you to hop on and let a professional driver do the rest. You won't have to worry about parking, gas prices, or even making enough room for your luggage.


When is the best time to go on a whitewater rafting adventure? Here are three options:

  • Spring because the water is high, the rapids are big, and the prices are low. There are also beautiful flowers in bloom and lovely wildlife.
  • Summer because the water is warm, and it's vacation time!
  • Fall because the crowds are gone, the trees are beautiful, and the weather is still comfortable.

That's right: Idaho whitewater rafting is incredible almost all year round, which means you can plan a trip whenever you like.


We have all kinds of whitewater rafting locations here in the Gem State. Salmon River, Snake River, Selway River, Payette River--the list goes on. Just remember to research each area so you know what to expect!

Your Whitewater Rafting Questions, Answered

Once you know where and when you're going as well as how to get there, it's time to go beyond the basics to learn more about what whitewater rafting really looks like. Let's take a look at some FAQs:

Is whitewater rafting easy enough for beginners?

Whitewater rafting can be easy or challenging depending on the area you choose, the methods you use, and more. That means you can plan an adventure around your comfort and experience level while still having a great time.

What should I wear?

Your comfort and safety are a priority, so make sure you're in clothes that fit you well. Come in swimwear and flexible, securely-attached footwear (such as water shoes, sneakers, or river sandals). A hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses are always a must, even in the spring and fall.

For cooler times of the year, consider adding on:

  • Wool socks.
  • Windbreaker.
  • Appropriate fabric such as wool or fleece (cotton will cool you considerably when it's wet).

See a whitewater rafting packing list here.

What should I bring?

If you're contracting with a commercial outfitter, your list of items to bring along will be short. Don't bring along heavy electronics that might be damaged or lost in the water, but be sure you're comfortable. With a commercial outfitter, food is often provided as well as all rafting equipment.

Can I take pictures?

You'll surely want a few photos to remember your whitewater rafting trip, but this isn't the best place to bring your professional-grade camera. Instead, grab a waterproof camera or put yours in a waterproof bag--just be sure to hold onto it very tightly if you take it out on the river.

Can dogs go whitewater rafting?

Although you might enjoy having your furry friend along for the adventure, it's best--and safest--to leave pets at home. Many outfitters don't allow them near the rafts or rapids.

Are there safety concerns?

The whitewater rafting outfitter or tour guide will educate you on how to stay safe during your adventure. Most of the time, your biggest concern will be sunburns and mild dehydration.

How fit do you have to be to go whitewater rafting?

You should be in good physical health, but you don't have to be a bodybuilder to enjoy whitewater rafting. If you want to do a little extra exercise before your adventure so you're really ready to go, consider focusing on strength and balance workouts.

In conclusion, whitewater rafting is a great way to enjoy the Idaho outdoors with family and friends--especially if you already know how you're getting there.

Can't wait to jump in? Contact Caldwell Transportation for more information about our river shuttle service.

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