Here are the questions we hear most often. Have a question that isn't listed below? Contact us at 530.277.3433.


+ Is rafting safe?

As with any outdoor sport or adventure activity, rafting has it's potential inherent risks. Your safety is our number one priority both on & off the river. All members of our staff from the drivers to the guides are trained above the minimum standard, so you can rest easy knowing you are in good hands.

+ Will I Fall out of the raft?

Will you get wet? Yes. Will you fall out? Potentially. Will you swim all the way to the ocean? No.

In the event that you do fall out of the raft, our highly experienced guides will direct you to the safest path and get you back in the boat rapidly. On class 4/5 river trips we have safety kayakers which act as swim coaches and additional rescue resources. At the minimum, our guides are trained in Advanced First Aid, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation and Swift Water Rescue.

+ Whats your gear like? What size are the rafts?

Here at H2O, we believe in floating on Aire. Not a typo, it's a lifestyle. We believe Aire Whitewater boats to be the best boats IN THE WORLD and we'll stand behind that statement for the rest of our lives. We ride in 13' & 14' boats. Which means unfortunately you wont be able to fit your entire group of 10 in one raft, but it also means you'll receive a more personalized experience and will never be counted as a number.

We also believe in style points. If you look good, you raft good, right? This is why our gear is not only new, but top of the line. Why give you a helmet, PFD (personal floatation device), wet-suit, or splash top that we wouldn't choose ourselves..? That's just silly.

+ How many people can fit in one raft?

On the South Fork of the American River we can fit as many as 7 people in paddling positions with the 8th person being the guide. On any of our river options above class III we like to keep the number of people in the raft not including the guide, to a maximum of 6. Small children who do not wish to paddle may sit between parents on any South Fork of the American River option or class I-II float trip.

+ What are the physical limitations of rafting?

We take people of all shapes, sizes and abilities rafting. We simply ask that you inform us of any medical condition, physical disability or allergy that may require special attention or accommodations when making a reservation.

+ How deep is the water?

The rivers we raft on are all natural riverbeds, there are no tracks, no manmade rapids, and it certainly won't remind you of Disneyland (because we're better). Thus, the river depth varies from 2" deep to upwards of 30' deep depending on natures placement of rocks and distance from the shore. Rest assured, your PFD's will always rise you to the surface of the water and your guides will instruct you on how to be safe in the water.

+ Does the river go in a circle?

No. However, rest assured transportation to the river put in and take out is provided and we have yet to miss returning a person to their vehicles thus far.

+ What if I can't swim?

Swimming is not a prerequisite for all river trip options. We ask that all guests are comfortable in water. Your gear will rise you but panicking once you touch water only increases your heart rate, not the speed in which you reach the surface. Swim tests may be requested on Class IV-V river trips.

+ Are there age restrictions?

Our minimum age for the South Fork of the American is 6 years old, North & Middle Forks of the American are 14 years old, and the North Fork of the Yuba River's minimum age is 16 years old. While we aim to cater trips to all ages, we do not advise trying to bring children below the minimum age on trips, we do not want to compromise the safety of the child or any other guests on the trip. If your 10 year old can swim like an Olympian and is the size of a 16 year old, call us and we may be able to make an exception.

+ What do I wear rafting?

We believe in sun protection and having both shoes at the end of the day. For these reasons, we like long sleeves (preferably not cotton, as it retains moisture and keeps you cold) and closed toed shoes that have the ability to not come off. Simply put, if you show up in flip flops, we'll tape them to your foot, and the tan lines won't be pretty. If you wish to wear sunglasses, we advise using eyewear retainers (we like Chums).

+ What can I bring on the raft?

We recommend not bringing anything on the raft you wouldn't want to potentially sacrifice to the river. Nothing ruins a great day like watching that phone (or worse, car keys) you've worked hard for sink to the bottom of the river in that awesome 'floating waterproof bag' you just purchased. We provide a lock box which remains on dry land for the duration of the trip for any items you wish to keep safe. On the boat, we recommend sunscreen, chap-stick, and a water bottle. Water goggles are always welcome.

+ Can I bring alcohol?

Overnight clients are welcome to bring alcohol. However, for safety reasons, alcohol is not allowed before or during a river trip. For our clients safety, we may refuse service to anyone we believe is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

+ What's included/not included?

We provide transportation services from the meeting location to river put in's/take out's as well as lunch on any of our full day river trip options. Our quality gear, a quality guide and all their sub-quality jokes are included on every river trip option for no additional charge.

+ Will my raft guide be funny?

"What did the big flower say to the small flower?" Hey bud.

Next Question.

+ Lets talk lunch.

We are more than happy to accommodate those with food allergies and unique dietary preferences. If you have any dietary restrictions, we ask that you please notify us prior to the trip. Our lunch spreads typically call for a deli style lunch. Complete with an assortment of meats, cheeses, a whole lot of veggies, condiments galore, fresh fruit, chips, and cookies. Please note; avocados are provided reguarly and do not require you to pay an extra dollar.

+ Are helmets required?

Helmets are mandatory on any river trip class IV and above. While helmets are not mandated on river trips class III and below they are always provided and as an overall statement, are recommended. Below you'll find three facts to convince you that protecting your noggin is cool:

  1. Your guides wear them.
  2. The whole thing under whitewater are rocks.
  3. You only get one noggin.

    + Do I have to sign a waiver?

    Yes, we require each participant joining us on the river to sign a waiver. Participants under the age of 18, must have their waiver signed by a parent or guardian. To ensure that things run efficiently the morning of the trip, we ask that everyone fill out an electronic waiver prior to the trip. These can be found in the trip information packet emailed with the confirmation of booking.

    + What do you do with my information?

    We promise to never sell, share or otherwise distribute your personal information to others. We hate junk mail and violations of our personal privacy just as much as you do.

    + Is tipping required?

    Tipping is entirely at your discretion but it greatly appreciated. If you feel like your guide provided outstanding service, a memorable experience, or even made you laugh a little, a gratuity between 10%-20% is always very appreciated.

    + Help! I'm running late.

    If you believe you are going to be late, please call us as soon as possible. We will try to be accommodating. As a courtesy to our guests who show up on time and strict water release schedules on several of our rivers, we can only wait 15 minutes past the scheduled meet time.

    + Can I bring my dog?

    No. River trips often span several hours and meeting locations are often subject to high heat temperatures. We ask that dogs are not left in vehicles or tied to trees. You wouldn't do it to your children or your parents, don't do it to your animals.

    + Do you have a space to camp?

    Yes! Reservations for our riverside campground can be made at the time of booking your rafting trip. Our on-river site holds up to 75 guests. One Evening of camping is included with overnight rafting trips. Riverside camping is also available to our 1 day clients for a $15/person/evening fee. Facilities include: Free Hot Showers Flush Toilets Volleyball Horseshoes Fire-pits (seasonal due to fire danger) On-site raft trip photo viewing Please be aware that in all camps on the South Fork American, there is a quiet time between 10:00 pm and 7:00 am. You are welcome to talk at normal levels after this time, however, noise must be minimal after 10:00 pm.

    + Do you provide camping gear?

    Camping equipment is not included with the price of your rafting trip. We do have the gear for you to rent. Our Camping Equipment rentals are available for any client camping with us. Camping gear (Tent and sleeping bags for two) can be rented for $35. Additional sleeping bags can be added at the rate of $10/person.

    + Can you customize a trip for my group?

    Of course! From team building to bachelor/bachelorette parties, scout groups to awkward tinder dates, outdoor adventure groups to office parties, we've got you covered. Contact us by phone or email to get started planning the event of your dreams.

    + What's your cancellation policy?

    There are no cash refunds provided for cancellations under 14 days prior to your trip. Due to state regulations and tight permit allotments, once your space is confirmed, others are turned away. For this reason, we advise travel insurance. If you need to cancel a trip under 14 days prior to your trip, you will receive a credit for a future trip with H2O Adventures within the same calendar year and a $25 rescheduling fee will be assessed. Cancellations made under 72 hours prior to the trip are subject to no credit and zero refund, this includes no shows. Although it is highly unlikely, we reserve the right to cancel or modify a trip due to water conditions, weather, or other conditions beyond our control. There will be a full trip credit issued for any trip cancelled by H2O Adventures.

    + Talk to me about travel insurance.

    Low cost travel insurance can be obtained through your travel agent or though Allianz Travel Insurance.

    + I just went rafting! Now where can I find my rafting photos?

    Awesome! If you went rafting on the South, Middle, or North Fork of the American River, our friends at Hotshot Imaging captured all of your facial expressions, emotions and memories for the day. If you experienced the magic of the Yuba River, we send a Dropbox link to photos 3 to 5 days following your river trip. Didn't receive the link? Contact us here, and we'll send the link over as soon as possible.