Frequently Asked Questions
Types of Trips & Experience Levels
How do I choose a trip?
We offer several different types of trips and we can even put together a custom trip for you and your group if you have a minimum of 15 people – there’s a trip for everyone. All of our trips take place on the Green River through the Desolation Canyon Wilderness and are great for both beginner adventurers as well as experienced rafters. If you have any questions or would like help deciding please call us.
Do I need rafting/camping experience to go on a trip?
No. Our trips are wonderful for beginners, we often take first timers - both young and old.
How big are the rapids?
River rapids are graded on a scale of Class I (easiest) to Class V (most difficult).
Desolation Canyon has a mix of rapids and river conditions – from completely flat and calm up to Class III. Class III rapids have moderate waves and obstacles and are suitable for beginner level rafters.
Do you offer custom trips for my group or special event?
Yes. If you have a minimum group size of 15 (maximum 24) we can put together a trip just for you. Educational groups, Birthdays, Anniversaries and Weddings, or whatever you have in mind. Give us a call so we can help you plan your special trip.
Can my kids go on a trip?
Yes. We love taking kids (5 years old minimum) on rafting trips with their families! We bring activities and games for kids young and old and have specially sized PFD’s just for children.
What kind of boats we be on?
Depending on the trip we will have a variety of boats available. All trips will have large oar rafts – rafts powered by guides sitting in the middle of the boat with two oars and space for passengers to sit in the front and sometimes, back of the raft and room for gear. Additionally, on some trips we will have one or two man inflatable kayaks and/or stand-up paddleboards (SUP’s) for those guests who want to try captaining their own boat and getting a little closer to the action.
What kind of training do the guides have?
The Apakoa Rivers guide crew all have extensive training in: first aid, swiftwater rescue, boat handling, wilderness travel, the natural environment of the river and surrounding region and more. All guides have a minimum of Wilderness First Aid certification, many have Advanced Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder. Trip leaders have a minimum of Wilderness First Responder certification, some have EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) or RN (Registered Nurse) level qualifications.
Apakoa Rivers is extremely focused on safety and takes care to educate our guests and guides on ways to live and recreate in the wilderness and maintain safety.
Camping and the Outdoors
Where do we sleep?
Each day we make camp riverside and set up our home for the evening. You are welcome to bring your own camping gear (please let us know) or use our 2-man tents, freshly laundered sleeping bags with sheet, comfy sleeping pads and ground tarps. Depending on the weather you may want to sleep out under the open sky and count shooting stars as you doze off after a fun day.
What about the bathroom?
This is common and important question! We will carry a portable toilet system for with us, called a groover, for use in camp. The guides will set up the groover in a private location, along with a hand washing system, take it down in the morning. At your firsts nights camp the guides will explain how to use the groover. Everything is kept clean and private and you’ll find that the groover spots will likely offer the best view you’ve ever enjoyed while using the bathroom!
How long are we on the boats every day?
One of the loveliest things about a river trip is slowing down to the pace of the river and not adhering to a specific schedule. We will wake up early each day, have breakfast, pack boats and get on the water but beyond there each day is different.
What kind of weather can I expect?
Weather depends on the time of year and the whims of Mother Nature. Expect lots of sunshine. Generally, the summer months see lows in the 50’s and highs in the 80’s or higher. Spring and fall tend to have lows in the mid-40’s to highs around 60. Although the area as a very low average rain fall, rain is possible year-round, as is wind.
Is there hiking?
Yes. Depending on the group, weather and other factors we have variety of hiking possibilities. Some short and easy, some longer with more climbing.
What if I can't swim?
That’s okay. Our trips on Desolation Canyon are appropriate for non-swimmers. All guests will be required to wear a properly fitted USCG approved Type V PFD (personal floatation device) and instructed on what to do in the event that you end up in the water. If you have concerns, please call us to discuss.
What should I pack?
We have a suggested packing list that you can find here.
Food and Special Diets
What kinds of food will we eat?
We love cooking and eating mouthwatering food on the river! You can expect three balanced and delicious meals per day as well as snacks while we’re on the water.
We have diverse selection of menu offerings, some examples:
Breakfast: Always a selection of fruit and cold cereals, plus main dishes such as: French Toast and bacon, Bagels and Lox, and Custom omelets.
Lunch: Sandwiches, wraps, pasta and fresh salads.
Appetizers: Charcuterie boards, steamed edamame, Artichoke dip and veggies.
Dinner: Dutch-oven lasagna, grilled fish, build your own burrito’s, BBQ pulled pork, Thai curry and rice.
Desert: Riverside dutch-oven baked brownies, cobblers and cakes, s’mores.
What about special diets or food allergies?
We are able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and food allergies, but please let us know in your pre-trip paperwork, or give us a call to discuss specifics so that we may prepare. There may be a $5 - $10/per person/per day surcharge to cover costs associated with some restrictions or allergies.
Will we have snacks?
Yes. Snacks will be provided during the day. Some examples are: granola bars, GORP (trail mix), and dried fruit.
Booking and Cancellations
Do I need to put down a deposit?
Yes. A deposit reserves your spot on a trip. Deposit is $300 per person.
Can you hold my spot without a deposit?
Yes, we can hold a spot for you for 48 hours only without a deposit.
When is my final payment due?
Final payment is due 60 days prior to your trip’s departure date.
Should I buy trip insurance?
Yes. We recommend purchasing trip insurance and medical evacuation insurance as a precaution against unexpected expenses.
What is a typical tip/gratuity for the guides?
Our guide team works hard to ensure that you have the best trip possible. They are much appreciative of gratuities should you wish to give them. The industry standard for guide tips is 10-20% of trip cost. The trip leader will collect the tips and distribute them equally among the guides or if you wish you can call
the office and put a gratuity on a credit card.
May I request a certain guide?
If we are able to are happy to fulfill requests for specific guides, however sometimes this is not logistically possible. Rest assured that all of our guides are wonderful and focused on providing everyone with an excellent experience.
What is your cancellation policy?
Cancellation and Refund Policy
We begin planning and preparing our trips far in advance of launch day, incurring costs and turning others away from spots as they are reserved. It is often impossible to re- fill canceled spots prior to trip departure. As such our cancellation policy applies in all instances, regardless of why or when you have need to cancel your trip.
Please note that Apakoa Rivers is not responsible for any fees related to travel issues (cancelation, delays, change fees, etc.) associated with pre or post trip lodging, flights, rentals, or other expenses.
It is highly unlikely, but we reserve the right to cancel a trip up to 30 days prior to departure – in this case you will receive a full refund of all funds.
We strongly suggest trip insurance and medical evacuation insurance to protect you against unexpected expenses.
Our cancellation and refund policy is as follows:
In the unlikely event that a trip is cancelled by Apakoa Rivers - all funds will be refunded OR all funds issued to Apakoa Rivers Gift Card for use on a future trip in the same season, 2020, or the following season, 2021.
If cancellation 91 days or greater prior to trip - all funds refunded less $50 processing charge per person OR all funds issued to Apakoa Rivers Gift Card for use on a future trip in the same season, 2020 or the following season, 2021.
If cancellation between 61 and 90 days prior to trip - all funds refunded less $100 processing charge per person OR all funds issued to Apakoa Rivers Gift Card for use on a future trip in the same season, 2020 or the following season, 2021.
If cancellation 60 days or less prior to trip - all funds forfeited.
Fitness and Health
Are there physical requirements to be able to go on a trip?
Yes. For your enjoyment and safety as well as that of the other guests and staff we have requirements for all guests.
Essential Guest Requirements
We are passionate about sharing rivers and wilderness trips with all kinds of people and are happy to accommodate a wide range of physical challenges, medical conditions and dietary restrictions. However, it is important that you consider and disclose any medical or health condition that could potentially endanger yourself, or others or compromise the safety and enjoyment of everyone on the trip. Our river trips are active participation trips in remote settings. Our aim is to minimize the risks associated with wilderness travel, however environmental exposure and the physical demands of the trip can exacerbate pre-existing conditions. If you have any questions about the requirements below, or your ability to safely and enjoyably participate in a trip please contact us.
Must be able to fit our USCG approved Type 5 PFD, maximum chest size of 56” and minimum weight of 50 pounds as required by the National Park Service. If you are unsure/ do not meet these parameters, please call us!
Must be able to maintain balance and hold onto raft with one hand in whitewater. Ropes and handholds provided at multiple points in raft to hold onto.
Must be able to board and climb of out of the raft at shore several times per day. This entails maneuvering over the tubes of the raft and/or equipment.
Must be able to navigate safely in uneven, possibly wet terrain, rocks, varied vegetation, and sand, and around cliffs and/or exposed areas.
Must be able to follow verbal and non-verbal instructions given by guides at all times.
Must be able to participate in your own rescue in the water primarily by swimming back to the boat or to shore.
Must be able to tolerate varied weather and temperature exposure, from (spring/fall) 30 degrees to 115 degress.
Must be able to tolerate exposure to cold (approximately 50 degree) water.
Must be able to carry your personal gear around camp, approximately 20 -25 pounds, or be assisted by a friend or family member.
Must be able to manage your own personal care or be assisted by a friend or family member.
Must be able to manage your personal medication/health management regimen yourself or be assisted by a friend or family member.
If you do not meet the above requirements you will not be able to participate in a trip as these requirements are in place for your own personal safety and the safety of all participants. None of these requirements are meant to discriminate on the basis of any physical or mental disability, and are applied to all potential trip participants, irrespective of the presence or absence of any disability.
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