Sure, you could explore the greater Yellowstone area by car or by foot, but it doesn’t get more adventurous than exploring by river.
Mad River Boat Trips will immerse you into the natural world with their thrilling whitewater and scenic float trips on the beautiful Snake River.
Whitewater trips are divided into three categories of rafts: classic adventure, small and super small. Each covers eight river miles near Alpine, Wyo. The classic adventure is best for those that want a taste of whitewater rafting without any white knuckling. The raft holds 10-12 people and has several non-paddling positions if you’re not sure you’re up to wielding a paddle.
“The smaller the boat, the bigger the adventure,” says marketing manager Katie Brierley. “The classic adventure boat is still an adventure, but it feels sturdier as you go over the rapids than our smaller boats.”
The small raft holds eight passengers and has only two non-paddling positions. Because the boat is smaller, you’ll feel each rapid more intensely. This raft is perfect for adventure enthusiasts. Kids must be six years or older on this trip.
The final whitewater raft size is the super small, six passenger. This trip is for thrill seekers and is Mad River Boat Trips’ ultimate adventure. You’ll feel everything as you go over famous class three and four rapids like Lunch Counter and Big Kahuna. All hands are on-deck, literally, on this trip with everyone paddling through the rapids. This adventure isn’t for kids under 12, and every passenger must be a strong swimmer and paddler.
Those who want to experience the river with less adrenaline should book a scenic float. This 13-mile serene float is also on the Snake River with iconic Teton views but covers a calmer stretch. All 10 seats on the boat are non-paddling positions, so you can sit back and relax as your guide navigates you through world-class scenery. Chances are high of seeing wildlife on these floats. River otters play along the banks and ornery beavers splash their tails at you as you float by.
“The best moment of the trip in my opinion is when you first get on the boat and turnaround,” says Brierley. “The view from Wilson Bridge is absolutely gorgeous. It stops me in my tracks every time.”
Ready to hit the river? Knowing what to wear is essential to ensure you have the best experience. Swimsuits are suggested, but if not, wear synthetic materials that will dry quickly. Cotton should be avoided at all costs since it takes so long to dry. Close-toed shoes or sandals with a strap are essential to make sure you don’t lose a shoe to the current. Hats and sunglasses should also have a strap. In early and late season, Mad River has wetsuits available if it’s really cold. Bring your GoPro to capture the fun as all their whitewater helmets are equipped with mounts. Don’t have a GoPro? Rent one at the office.
All Mad River Boat Trips are approximately three and a half hours door-to-door, and the river season runs from mid-June to Sept.15.
For more information:
Mad River Boat Trips
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
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