Dave Hansen Whitewater https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com Jackson Hole, Wyoming Since 1967 Thu, 04 Oct 2018 19:30:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Whitewater Rafting Terminology https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/whitewater-rafting-terminology/ https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/whitewater-rafting-terminology/#respond Sun, 19 Aug 2018 20:30:12 +0000 https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/?p=1951 Whitewater Rafting 101 Whitewater Rafting is always a blast, but sometimes understanding the language can be a bit difficult when you’re not familiar. We’ve made this whitewater rafting terminology list for your aid. Not only will you be able to better understand what the guides are talking about on your whitewater rafting trip, but you’ll […]

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Whitewater Rafting 101

Whitewater Rafting is always a blast, but sometimes understanding the language can be a bit difficult when you’re not familiar. We’ve made this whitewater rafting terminology list for your aid. Not only will you be able to better understand what the guides are talking about on your whitewater rafting trip, but you’ll sound like a pro when you go back home to your friends and family!

  • Bow: The front of the raft. Most rafts are symmetrical.
  • Current: Any reference to moving water.
  • Drop-Pool River: After a rapid, there is a calm pool to regain composure before the next rapid. Our section of the Snake River is a drop-pool river.
  • Drybag: A PVC bag which can be used for storing clothes on a multiday trip or to keep small items on the raft dry.
  • Dumptruck: When the raft stands up on one side and paddlers fall out and the raft stays upright.
  • Eddy: Water moving back upstream caused by a rock or obstacle of some sort. This is the ideal place to stop river craft.
  • Flip: When the raft capsizes and goes from an upright position to an upside down position. Guides carry “fliplines” to re-right the boats and get everyone back in.
  • High Water: After rains, monsoon or snow melt run off. The river moves faster at high flows and makes some rapids harder and some easier.
  • Hole: A river feature where water flows over a rock or obstacle in the river, drops down in the river, flows downstream and then back towards the falling water.
  • Low Water: Lower than average river levels which normally happen at the end of the rafting season.
  • Oar: A large 9-12 foot device that guides use to steer and propel rafts, used by our guides at Dave Hansen.
  • OS Line: Outside line. A safety rope running tightly around the outside of the boat that people can hold onto in the event of a swim.
  • Paddle: Composes a blade, shaft and t grip that clients use on a raft to propel the boat. Be careful not to hit your neighbor with your paddle!
  • PFD: A personal flotation device.
    Put In: The place where you launch the rafts into the river. Guide will give a safety talk before you start rafting and give you paddle instructions at the put in. For our 8-mile stretch of whitewater rafting, Dave Hansen puts in at West Table.
    Rapid: Formed in constricted areas of the river or where there is a significant change in the gradient of the river bed.
  • Rapid Classifications: Rapids are classified on a scale of 1-6. Our 8-mile stretch of whitewater on the Snake River contains Class II and III rapids. We’ve posted this article to help you better understand rapid classification.
  • River Left: The left side of the rivers as you look from upstream towards downstream.
  • River Right: The right side of the river as you look from upstream towards downstream.
  • Safety Boater/Kayaker: A person paid to paddle down in front of the rafts to offer support or advice in the event you swim. We use safety kayakers at Dave Hansen above 14,000 CFS.
  • Safety Talk: A talk given by your guide before you go rafting oulining how to react and what to do if you swim. Topics covered will be swimming in the river, flips, throw bags, safety kayakers and self rescue.
  • Flow: The current volume of the river. In the United States, river volumes are measured in cubic feet per second.
  • Stern: The back of the raft, normally where the guide sits.
    Surf: A raft stays in a hole and can rotate and move substantially.
  • Take Out: The end of the river trip, where the rafts get taken out of the river and plenty of good stories are told. From here you will get transport back to town. For our 8-mile stretch of whitewater rafting, Dave Hansen takes out at Sheep Gulch.
  • T Grip: The end of a paddle used to help the paddler propel the paddle through the water. Paddlers should always keep hold of this when whitewater rafting.
  • Throwbag: A bag containing around 20 meters of rope that a guide uses to rescue a swimmer up to 20 meters away. Typically worn around the guides waist.
  • Trip Leader: The person who has overall responsibility on the river for all participants getting down the river safely. This person must have their WFR (Wilderness First Responder) certification.

Know before you go! Raft on!

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Animals You Could See Along the Snake River https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/animals-you-could-see-along-the-snake-river/ https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/animals-you-could-see-along-the-snake-river/#respond Thu, 02 Aug 2018 19:54:00 +0000 https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/?p=1942 Snake River Region Wildlife Of course the scenery along the Snake River, both on our scenic river float and our whitewater rafting adventure, is absolutely breathtaking. The wildlife you could potentially see along the way is even MORE exciting! Nearly 500 animal species inhabit the Greater Yellowstone region. Areas along the Snake River are home […]

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Snake River Region Wildlife

Of course the scenery along the Snake River, both on our scenic river float and our whitewater rafting adventure, is absolutely breathtaking. The wildlife you could potentially see along the way is even MORE exciting!

Nearly 500 animal species inhabit the Greater Yellowstone region. Areas along the Snake River are home to many of these animals, some endangered, and we try our best to admire these animals from afar, and help you understand and appreciate them as we do. The area surrounding the Snake River offers lush willows to feed on, deep-water pools to swim in and groves of aspen to wander, making it the perfect habitat for our beloved animals. Some of the animals you may see include Elk, Moose, North American River Otter, American Beaver, Coyote, Pronghorn, Deer, Coyote, Mountain Goat, and Marmots.

There are 300 different species of birds in this region, including Osprey and Eagles which you will likely see. Other birds in the region include the Great Blue Heron, Calliope Hummingbird, Great Gray Owl, Trumpeter Swan, and Peregrin Falcon. More than 100 species of butterfly inhabit in the region as well. There are also many different species of fish that inhabit the Snake River.

Although we obviously cannot guarantee that you will see these animals on your Snake River expedition, we are certain that our incredibly experienced and knowledgeable guides will point them out first thing when they are around. Happy sighting and raft on!

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3 Ideas for Memorable Group Rafting https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/3-ideas-for-memorable-group-rafting/ https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/3-ideas-for-memorable-group-rafting/#respond Wed, 18 Jul 2018 19:34:32 +0000 https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/?p=1877 Group Rafting Memories for a Lifetime Your group rafting trip is all set and ready to go. How can you ensure that you’re going to get the most out of the experience and be able to make memories that last a lifetime? We’ve come up with 3 ideas to help you make the most of your […]

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Group Rafting Memories for a Lifetime

Your group rafting trip is all set and ready to go. How can you ensure that you’re going to get the most out of the experience and be able to make memories that last a lifetime? We’ve come up with 3 ideas to help you make the most of your time on the Snake River and take those memories back with you afterwards.

Sit in the front… Ride the bull.

Don’t be afraid to sit toward the front of the boat! You will be soaked, but that’s one of the best parts of whitewater rafting! Also, if you’re feeling really adventurous, we encourage you or at least your young ones to RIDE THE BULL!

Go for a swim.

There are several opportunities for you or your family to go for a swim on your group rafting adventure on the Snake River. If you want to make the most of it, rent a wetsuit and jump in on the “mellow mile!”

Take or purchase the photos.

One thing that our guests always ask about when group rafting is the photographs. Everyone wants photos of their group rafting adventure to take home to show their friends and families. Another great thing about photos from your rafting trip is that you’ll be able to look back on them in the years to come and remember how awesome your trip was! When you arrive at the Dave Hansen office in Jackson Hole, you will be able to purchase the waterproof cameras that we have provided for you at a cost of $16. Another opportunity for photos includes the photography companies such as Float-O-Graphs, that take photos of your group rafting at Lunch Counter, one of the rapids on the 8-mile whitewater stretch in the Snake River Canyon. Don’t forget to take a photo with our famous “rafting bears!”

 

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The Perfect Day in Jackson Hole Wyoming https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/the-perfect-day-in-jackson-hole-wyoming/ https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/the-perfect-day-in-jackson-hole-wyoming/#respond Thu, 12 Jul 2018 20:56:06 +0000 https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/?p=1852 24 Hours in Jackson Hole Wyoming What does the perfect day in Jackson Hole Wyoming look like? We’ve racked our brains and are giving you some of our local favorites in order for you to enjoy your precious time in the area. Make the most of your 24 hours even if you’re simply passing through […]

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24 Hours in Jackson Hole Wyoming

What does the perfect day in Jackson Hole Wyoming look like? We’ve racked our brains and are giving you some of our local favorites in order for you to enjoy your precious time in the area. Make the most of your 24 hours even if you’re simply passing through to wherever you may be heading next!

Morning

What better way to start off your day in Jackson Hole Wyoming than a splash of cold water to the face while whitewater rafting with Dave Hansen Whitewater and Scenic Trips? We also offer scenic float trips that are a perfect morning excursion, if you’re not interested in whitewater rafting. Wildlife is more likely to be seen on our earliest float, so this would be the perfect way to begin your day!

Afternoon

After your whitewater rafting or scenic float trip, head over to Creekside Market and Deli for the best sandwich you’ve ever had in your life (better with the Tetons in the background). Don’t forget the infamous sloshie with your sandwich! Adults only.

Next, take that sandwich with you to String Lake, where you can spend time people watching, paddle boarding, or canoeing if you are able to rent the equipment. After String Lake, take the beautiful and scenic Moose-Wilson road and hike down to Phelps Lake. At Phelps Lake, you can jump off the Jumping Rock and get that perfect Instagram shot of Jackson Hole Wyoming for all your friends back home.

Evening

Head on over to Teton Village, where you can ride up the Bridger-Teton Gondola for FREE after 5pm. At the top of the Gondola, you’ll have to check out the awesome drinks and apps they offer at the Desk @ Piste. Cocktails include the must-have “Huckleberry How-Pow” and the “Gondi Ride Down.” The “Gondi Ride Down” is the bartender’s choice of beverage served to-go for the gondola ride down. Don’t forget to try the flatbread or sliders!

After your time in Teton Village, end your day at Calico Bar and Restaurant on Moose-Wilson Road. Calico is one of the oldest restaurants in Jackson Hole Wyoming. This American-Italian restaurant is loved by locals and visitors, and the views both inside and outside are sure to please.

No matter what you choose to do with your time in Jackson Hole Wyoming, we hope that you enjoy it and that you come back again to see us in the future! Raft on!

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River Rafting Safety Tips: Safety First! https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/river-rafting-safety-tips-safety-first/ https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/river-rafting-safety-tips-safety-first/#respond Tue, 03 Jul 2018 19:20:31 +0000 https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/?p=1813 Safety First! We take safety very seriously here a Dave Hansen, and so should you! Safety is always important, and especially important with the highly celebrated holiday Fourth of July coming up tomorrow. We have come up with some helpful river rafting safety tips and suggestions to help ensure you have a fun and safe […]

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Safety First!

We take safety very seriously here a Dave Hansen, and so should you! Safety is always important, and especially important with the highly celebrated holiday Fourth of July coming up tomorrow. We have come up with some helpful river rafting safety tips and suggestions to help ensure you have a fun and safe holiday!

River Rafting Safety Tips Beforehand

Choose a licensed and professional river rafting outfitter.

Make sure you have the right clothing/outerwear for your river rafting trip. We have made this checklist in order to help you prepare what to bring and what to wear beforehand. Don’t forget we have wetsuits available for rent if you are afraid of being too cold or know you’ll want to jump in and swim!

River Rafting Safety Tips During

Before you get out on the river, your guide will distribute PFD’s (personal floatation device) to you as well as make sure that it is on correctly and tightened. Keep your life jacket as your guides have tightened it on you: make sure all buckles are clipped and that it is fitted snug to your body. The life preserver should fit so that it cannot be pulled over your head but loose enough so that you can breathe. Having your guide help you fasten your life preserver will ensure the perfect fit for river rafting!

Ask for a helmet if it makes you feel more comfortable. Helmets are not typically required during the heat of the summer, once the river goes below a certain level. If you feel more comfortable with a helmet, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Notify your guide of any medical conditions you may have before river rafting.

Hold the paddle properly. Your guide will explain how to hold paddle before getting on river. One hand should be at the base of the paddle on the shaft. The other hand should ALWAYS be on the end of the shaft over the “T” grip. Paddles can cause major pains when you hit the other rafters in your boat if you’re not holding them properly. Ouch!

Stay in the boat unless your guide has otherwise told you that it’s a good time for a swim.

Know the proper swimming techniques if you do happen to make it into the river. Your guide will explain these techniques to you before beginning your trip, so don’t forget to pay attention!

Last but not Least

Stay hydrated.

Don’t forget sunscreen!

Dave Hansen has some of the greatest and most experienced guides on the Snake River here to help and guide you along the way. Feel free to communicate with them and ask questions on river rafting safety. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!

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River Rafting Adventures Checklist https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/river-rafting-adventures-checklist/ https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/river-rafting-adventures-checklist/#respond Mon, 25 Jun 2018 20:05:50 +0000 https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/?p=1786 Final Countdown for Your River Rafting Trip Ok, so you have your Dave Hansen river rafting trip booked and ready to go, but then you begin to think…… What do I bring?! A sure-fire way to make positive your river rafting adventure is the best that it can be is to be prepared beforehand. We’ve […]

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Final Countdown for Your River Rafting Trip

Ok, so you have your Dave Hansen river rafting trip booked and ready to go, but then you begin to think…… What do I bring?! A sure-fire way to make positive your river rafting adventure is the best that it can be is to be prepared beforehand. We’ve suggested the following items to help you figure out how to do that.

What To Bring

Whitewater River Rafting Adventure

In order to capture your journey, we recommend you bring a waterproof camera or other protected cameras such as GoPros. We have waterproof cameras for sale in our office where you will check in for your trip. Some people choose to wear their sunglasses on their rafting trip, but we recommend only doing so if you have Croakies to attach to them, which we also have for purchase in the Dave Hansen office.

Other than these items waterproof items, we do not recommend bringing other items on the raft. Bring dry clothes and a towel with you to leave on the bus for after the trip. Some will also bring water and/or snacks for the bus ride to or from the river. Not a bad idea when traveling with kids! You will be traveling in the same bus, both ways. The driver will stay with the bus the entire time, so your items will be safe and sound.

Scenic River Rafting Adventure

On your scenic river rafting adventure, you are welcome to bring along a bag or backpack with any items you think you may need inside. Some items that people choose to bring on our scenic floats include cameras, water, snacks, sunglasses, and sunscreen. The idea on our scenic float is that you will not get wet, so you don’t have to worry about your personal belongings getting wet either! Cameras are a must-have on this beautiful raft trip that you’ll want to look back on for years to come.

What To Wear

Whitewater River Rafting Adventure

It is important to wear quick dry/athletic/synthetic clothing. Fleece and wool are awesome if you are worried about being cold. We DO NOT recommend cotton clothing as it will keep you chilly. For your feet, we recommend any type of footwear that will stay on your feet. Old shoes or Teva style sandals are ideal. NO flip flops or bare feet are allowed on whitewater trips. In colder weather, our office rents wetsuits and neoprene booties. Whether you plan to wear a wetsuit or not, the same clothing requirements apply. Additionally, for sun protection we recommend applying sunscreen.

Scenic River Rafting Adventure

For the scenic river rafting adventure, you will want to dress accordingly with the weather that day. You will not be getting wet on this portion, so you don’t have to worry about renting a wetsuit on this trip. The bottom of the scenic raft is actually sealed, so you won’t even have to worry about your feet getting wet. We always recommend sunscreen on the scenic river rafting adventure. Additionally, it is a good idea to wear a layer or two since you can always take this off should you decide you are warm.

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Under the Weather in Jackson Hole Wyoming https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/under-the-weather-in-jackson-hole-wyoming/ https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/under-the-weather-in-jackson-hole-wyoming/#respond Mon, 18 Jun 2018 21:44:33 +0000 https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/?p=1754 Rain Rain Go Away…. BRING IT ON! With the exception of hydrologists and 5 year old puddle-lovers, nothing slumps shoulders like a rainy weather forecast–especially when you’re on vacation. But chin up, fearless vacationer; there is an easy fix: Just Go Rafting! Now if I may state the obvious, you’re going to get wet anyway. […]

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Rain Rain Go Away…. BRING IT ON!

With the exception of hydrologists and 5 year old puddle-lovers, nothing slumps shoulders like a rainy weather forecast–especially when you’re on vacation. But chin up, fearless vacationer; there is an easy fix:

Just Go Rafting!

Now if I may state the obvious, you’re going to get wet anyway. Channel your inner 5 year-old who loved running through sprinklers and mud puddles and let’s get after it. Hold up, you say. What if I get cold?

A valid but–as you will see–unfounded concern. As 30-year veteran Teton County educator AND DHWW Bus Driver extraordinare Jeff Parrott once declared, “There is no bad weather–just poor preparation.” You will stay warm if you let us handle the preparation. We got your back! You will hoot and holler your way down the rapids, looking pretty stellar in the following gear: wetsuits, wetsuit jackets, booties, helmets, and personal flotation devices are some of the equipment we will give you for your rainy day rafting session. You can also bring any dry clothes and towels you’ll need on the bus with you for after so you can become dry immediately. Another special thing about Jackson Hole Wyoming is even when it does rain, it usually rains in intervals or for short periods of time. If you’re out on the river on a three hour trip, it’s likely you won’t be getting rained on the entire time.

Brighten Your Day with Whitewater Rafting

At Dave Hansen, we have lots of people that tell us they love our trips. We always feel as if the people who come back after a rainy day trip are the ones who have enjoyed it the most because it gave them the opportunity to make something of their day when otherwise they may have just given up the day. Read these TripAdvisor reviews from people who decided to take their rainy day in Jackson Hole Wyoming to the Snake River:

TripAdvisor user “Melissa M.” wrote on August 31, 2017…

Fun in the rain!
Thank you Sandy for a wonderful day rafting today. You made our trip that much greater with your knowledge, experience and enthusiasm! Thank you!

TripAdvisor user “Heidi F.” wrote just two short weeks ago…

Great time, even in cold and rainy weather!
For 4 out of 5 of us, this was our first whitewater trip. The river was super high but our guide, Billy, was great and took safety seriously. Our three teen boys all loved it.

Don’t let a little weather keep you inside your hotel room or keep you from getting out of your car on your vacation in Jackson Hole Wyoming….. Raft on!

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Whitewater Rafting Guide Training 101 https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/whitewater-rafting-guide-training-101/ https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/whitewater-rafting-guide-training-101/#respond Thu, 14 Jun 2018 23:03:14 +0000 https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/?p=1725 What Makes Your Whitewater Rafting Trip Unique? We all know that whitewater rafting is a blast for the entire family, but what is it that makes your trip unique and different than all the others? It’s your guide! Most people say that the guide can make or break your whitewater rafting trip, which is why […]

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What Makes Your Whitewater Rafting Trip Unique?

We all know that whitewater rafting is a blast for the entire family, but what is it that makes your trip unique and different than all the others? It’s your guide! Most people say that the guide can make or break your whitewater rafting trip, which is why we have ensured that our guides are some of the best around!

What is Guide Training?

Each year, our new guides undergo an intensive week-long training, to make sure that you have the best experience possible on your whitewater rafting trip. During guide training some of the things our guides learn about include gear management, hydrology, boat and oar control, high water safety, boat order/ spacing, communication, use of paddle crew, birds/ wildlife, and risk management.

Guides then had the opportunity to practice their skills in the field by participating in swim drills, flips, and mock boat ramp drills. They lastly had the chance to ride along with experienced guides before taking on the river on their own.


Knowledgeable Whitewater Rafting Guides

Hard skills are not the only areas our whitewater rafting guides are trained in. In order for our guests to learn about Jackson Hole, the Snake River, and the surrounding area on their trip, our guides study various topics including the History of Jackson, Wyoming State information, the natives to Jackson, the Teton Range, and surrounding wildlife. Our guides may not know everything there is to know about the Snake, but they come pretty darn close! Be prepared to pepper them with any questions that you may have during your whitewater rafting trip, and expect to leave with a whole new plethora of information to take back home to your friends and family. Our guides come from all different backgrounds and would love to tell you about themselves and how they became river guides for Dave Hansen, so don’t hesitate to ask! You can also learn about them before you go by visiting our “Meet the Guides” page. Now that all of our guides are checked off and ready for the summer, let’s get you out on the river so you can see for yourself just how amazing they are!

 

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5 Tips for Family River Rafting https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/5-tips-for-family-river-rafting/ https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/5-tips-for-family-river-rafting/#respond Fri, 08 Jun 2018 09:00:03 +0000 https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/?p=1685 So you’ve decided it’s time for some FAMILY RIVER RAFTING?! Dave Hansen Whitewater and Scenic River Trips is a long time family owned company. Because of that, we are aware that one of the most important things about a family vacation is your kids having a great time, and we’ve laid out our trips with […]

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So you’ve decided it’s time for some FAMILY RIVER RAFTING?!

Dave Hansen Whitewater and Scenic River Trips is a long time family owned company. Because of that, we are aware that one of the most important things about a family vacation is your kids having a great time, and we’ve laid out our trips with this in mind. Our guides are aware of this as well, and they pull out all of the tricks to make sure the kids are leaving and wanting to come back for more family river rafting trips.

Here are five tips we think you should know before your family river rafting adventure

1. Come prepared

There are several things you can do beforehand to ensure you have everything you need before your family river rafting trip. Snacks, water bottles, a towel, change of clothes, croakies, sunscreen, waterproof camera are always a good idea, and can help make the trip go as smoothly as possible.

2. Have a conversation with your kids beforehand

One of the most important things about whitewater rafting is knowing what you are getting into beforehand. Kids may have a picture in their heads of what whitewater rafting looks like from the raging and sometimes intimidating rivers in photos or movies, but something that we like to remind families is that most rivers are not actually like this, and certainly not the Snake River.

The Snake River is unique in the way that it is a “pool drop” river, which means there will be times of both white water rapids and calm water pools intertwined in which you’re able to relax a bit as well as get out and swim if you so choose. The Grand Canyon is another great example of a “pool drop” system.

Another thing that makes our whitewater section unique is that in the first half, it is class I and II and so if your kids are timid or nervous at all this is a great time for them to sit toward the back near the guide and become comfortable. On the second half that’s where all the big waves are with the class II and III rapids, so at this point hopefully they will feel comfortable enough to move up to the front of the boat for the big fun and splashes!

3. Pick the right trip for your family

Dave Hansen offers several different options to accommodate your family specifically on your family river rafting trip. We offer two types of river rafting trips: scenic and whitewater, as well as a combination of the two. Our scenic float includes breathtaking views of the Tetons as well as the possibility of wildlife along the stretch. The scenic river trip is great for families with kids under the age of 6 (but over 4), or those who may be a little too timid or nervous for the whitewater. The whitewater rafting trip is guaranteed to be a blast. This is the trip that most kids say made their vacation to Jackson Hole so awesome! If your kids are adventurers and love to have fun, this is the trip for them! Want the best of both worlds? Try one of our combination trips!

4. Understand rapid classifications and safety precautions

Another important factor when waking your family river rafting trip is knowing the necessary information about rapid classifications and safety precautions. The international scale of river difficulty is an American system used to rate the difficulty of navigating a stretch of river, or a single rapid. How quickly the water is flowing is contingent on rainfall and snow runoff. Depending on the time of year you are taking your family river rafting trip, the age limit may have had to be adjusted based on this. Make sure you check with the office on the age minimum before making your reservation, since this can fluctuate based on current water levels.

Safety is a top priority at Dave Hansen. Not only are our hand-picked guides super FUN, knowledgeable, and entertaining, but they each have the necessary CPR and First Aid training, and, in many cases, Swiftwater Rescue, Wilderness EMT, or Wilderness First Responder Certifications. A personal flotation device will be given to each of your family members before you get on the river and your guide will go through a safety briefing before your family gets on the river, so make sure to pay attention to detail in order to know what to do and how to act while on the river.

5. Be ready to HAVE SOME FUN

Above all, be ready to make memories that will last a lifetime and leave your kids wanting to spend more time on the river. Being prepared is the sure-fire way to make this happen!

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Snake River Rapids Classifications https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/snake-river-rapids-classifications/ https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/snake-river-rapids-classifications/#respond Wed, 06 Jun 2018 17:31:52 +0000 https://www.davehansenwhitewater.com/?p=1639 How Much Do You Know About Snake River Rapids Classification? In order to understand the classification of the rapids that you will be undertaking on your Snake River whitewater rafting trip, it’s important to know what this rapids classification system means: how each class is described and what it entails. This information is extremely useful, […]

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How Much Do You Know About Snake River Rapids Classification?

In order to understand the classification of the rapids that you will be undertaking on your Snake River whitewater rafting trip, it’s important to know what this rapids classification system means: how each class is described and what it entails. This information is extremely useful, especially when whitewater rafting with kids on a family rafting trip. Know before you go!

The International Scale of River Difficulty

The international scale of river difficulty is an American system used to rate the difficulty of navigating a stretch of river, or a single rapid.

Class I Rapids

Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.

Class II Rapids: Novice

Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed. Rapids that are at the upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class II+”.

Class III: Intermediate

Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims. Rapids that are at the lower or upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class III-” or “Class III+” respectively.

Class IV: Advanced

Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. A fast, reliable eddy turn may be needed to initiate maneuvers, scout rapids, or rest. Rapids may require “must” moves above dangerous hazards. Scouting may be necessary the first time down. Risk of injury to swimmers is moderate to high, and water conditions may make self-rescue difficult. Group assistance for rescue is often essential but requires practiced skills. A strong eskimo roll is highly recommended. Rapids that are at the lower or upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class IV-” or “Class IV+” respectively.

Class V: Expert

Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids which expose a paddler to added risk. Drops may contain** large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is recommended but may be difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is often difficult even for experts. A very reliable eskimo roll, proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential. Also, because of the large range of difficulty that exists beyond Class IV, Class 5 is an open-ended, multiple-level scale designated by class 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, etc… each of these levels is an order of magnitude more difficult than the last.

Class VI: Extreme and Exploratory Rapids

These runs have almost never been attempted and often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. The consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible. For teams of experts only, at favorable water levels, after close personal inspection and taking all precautions. After a Class VI rapids has been run many times, its rating may be changed to an apppropriate Class 5.x rating.

Our 8-Mile Stretch of Whitewater Rafting the Snake River

On a scale from I-VI, the rapids on the Snake River are class II-III during normal water flows. During the springtime runoff (typically the first couple weeks in June), we do have waves that can get up to a class IV. When the Snake River gets up to these levels, our minimum age limit for whitewater rafting may change. We do suggest that if you are planning a trip for the first couple weeks of June and you are whitewater rafting with kids, to give us a call to make sure that our age limit has not been raised. These are the classifications of the rapids on our 8-mile stretch of whitewater rafting on the Snake River according to the American Whitewater:

  • Station Creek (Class II+, Mile 0.7)
  • Double D (Class III, Mile 1.8)
  • Haircut Rock (Class III, Mile 2.2)
  • Blind Canyon rapid (Class II+, Mile 4.8)
  • Big Kahuna (Class III+, Mile 5.1)
  • Lunch Counter (Class III, Mile 5.2)
  • Rope (Class III, Mile 5.7)
  • Champagne (Class III, Mile 6.3)
  • Cottonwood (Class III, Mile 6.8)

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