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Frequently Asked Questions

    Below are some of most common questions groups have before a rafting adventure. If your questions are not answered on this page please don't hesitate to call us at (509) 964-2530 or email us at

  • What size boat should I rent?
  • We recommend that you take 1 less person in a raft that what it is rated for. This is not for safety but for comfort. Having 1 less person gives you space for coolers, dry bags, knobby knees and elbows.

  • Does the reservation come with floatation devices?
  • Yes. Every reservation includes Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs), paddles and a shuttle for the drivers.

  • Can I bring my own PFD?
  • Yes. We’ will just have to make sure it fits correctly before you get on the river.

  • How long does the trip take?
  • The Lower and the Upper Yakima River both take approximately 3-3.5 hours straight through.
    These times are approximates. The length of the trip depends on how high the water is, how much your group paddles and how long your group stops to swim or picnic.

  • Do I have to know how to swim?
  • We recommend that every person be able to swim unassisted and without a life jacket before they participate in water sports.

  • What should I wear?
  • Swimsuit, sun hat, sunglasses, shorts and shoes that strap to your feet such as old tennis shoes, water socks or sandals. Check the weather before you come and plan accordingly. If it is supposed to be cold or windy we recommend a wind breaker and warm clothing. NO COTTON on cold days.

  • What is in a picnic lunch?
  • View picnic lunch options here, scroll to the bottom of the book now page to see lunch options.

  • Do you offer picnic lunches for people with allergies?
  • If you tell us about your allergies we can work around them. Sandwiches are made to order the morning of your reservation. We offer lettuce wraps or salads for people who cannot eat gluten.

  • Do I need to make a reservation?
  • Yes. We do not have a permanent storefront on either section of the Yakima. If you show up without a reservation there is no guarantee that we will be at the river or that we will have any equipment left. Make reservations through the website here: RESERVE TODAY You can make last minute or day of reservations at (509) 964-2530 and we'll get you on the river ASAP.

  • When should I show up for my reservation?
  • Show up at the shuttle location 15-30 minutes before your reservation.

  • Can I take young children?
  • Rill's does not have a minimum age limit for rafting on the Yakima river. We recommend that all children be able to swim on their own before they go rafting, usually around 5 years old, but ultimately we leave the final decision up to the discretion of the parents. We do highly recommend that nobody under the age of 13 go on a tube. Tubes are the most dangerous piece of equipment we rent.

  • Can elderly people go?
  • Rills does not have a maximum age limit for rafting on the Yakima river. We recommend that all individuals be able to swim on their own before they go rafting but leave the final decision up to the discretion of the individuals. The rule of thumb is if you don't feel comfortable, don't go.

  • Is alcohol permitted in the rafts?
    Our top priority is your safety on the water. We take alcohol from groups when we deem the amount of alcohol to be a hazard to Rill's employees and rafting participants. If you must drink on the river do so responsibly. If you do decide to drink on the river please be responsible, safe and considerate of the other people using the river. Just like driving there should always be sober people to handle the raft, every boat needs two designated people to steer and paddle. We cannot stress enough the difference between enjoying a beer or two with friends and getting so drunk you cannot stand up or even hope to paddle. Please drink responsibly on the river and remember glass and styrofoam are strictly prohibited.

  • When do you stop rafting for the year?
  • We raft all year as long as weather permits. If you want to go rafting in February we are happy to assist. Just give us a call so we can set it up.

  • Can you accommodate large groups?
  • Yes. We have large groups go every year, family reunions, work parties, US Marine recruiters, class reunions etc. The largest group we have accommodated yet is 120 people.

  • Should I tip my guide?
  • Guides never expect tips but they are always appreciated. If you think that your guides did an exceptional job go ahead and give them a little extra as a way to say thank you.

  • Should I tip the Rill Adventure employees?
  • Employees are much like guides, they don't expect tips but they are always welcomed. Some Saturdays employees start getting equipment ready at 6:30 am and don't get done until 7:30 pm. A tip is sometimes a nice pick up for those long dreary weekends but is never a requirement.

  • Are there camping sites nearby?
  • In the Yakima Canyon there are lots of BLM and privately owned camping sites. This website explains the BLM fees and gives directions to the sites If you are rafting on the Lower Yakima we recommend Big Horn, a privately run campground between milepost 22 and 21 on Canyon Rd. Big Horn only takes in person reservations, which can be sort of a hassle on busy weekends.
    On the Upper, Icewater Creek is a great campsite, so is Taneum Campground . There are also tons of houses available for rent in the Cle Elum area if you have a big group or plan on staying for a few days.

  • Can we fish on the river?
  • The Yakima River is a catch and release river and you must fish with barbless hooks. For all of the most up to date information go to

  • How do I get back to my car?
  • A shuttle for the drivers is included with every full-service reservation. However, our busses only hold 15 people so we only guarantee space for drivers, if there is room we always try to take your whole group. If you have multiple cars you can do your own shuttle at the beginning of the trip.
    On the Upper Yakima River drivers drop their group off on the way to Thorp in the morning. Drivers drop their group off at the Teanaway river bridge and continue to the take out.

  • What is a good trip for a first-timer?
  • Any float on the Yakima is good for a first timer, however, if you have never gone rafting before and are a little nervous we recommend that you try out the Lower Yakima. The Lower Yakima Canyon is a class I, the water is slow, and there are no rapids at all.
    If you want a little bit more adventure and are feeling confident in your paddling skills head on up to the Upper for more rapids and faster flowing water. The Upper Yakima is still good for novices but we recommend it to people who have spent some time on a river (either swimming, canoeing, kayaking, tubing or rafting) and understand how moving water is different than still water.

  • Why can I not rent tubes on the Upper Yakima?
  • Rill Adventures does not rent tubes on the Upper because we do not think it as safe for tubers. The water moves faster on this section of the river and it is too hard for tubers to maneuver.

  • How fast is the Yakima River?
  • The Cubic Feet per Second (CFS) of the Yakima River varies throughout the year. You can find the current CFS at

  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • Credit cards are held for security deposit and cancellation fees.
    Full-service and DIY Rentals: To avoid cancellation fees, cancellations must be made a full 11 days in advance. Cancellation fees will be 1/2 the rental price if made 5-10 days before reservation date, and will be the full rental price if cancelled 5 or less days before reservation date.
    Guided Trips: For a full refund cancellations must be made a full 31 days in advance. Cancellation fees will be 1/2 the rental price if made 30-11 days before reservation date, and will be the full rental price if canceled within 10 days of the reservation. Credit cards are held for security deposit and cancellation fees.
    Rafting will take place regardless of rainy or windy weather, Only in the instance of real weather hazards, such as lightning storms or flooding, will reservations be cancelled. Weather hazard determination is at Rill's discretion. In the event of a cancellation by Rill's, there will be no fees charged

  • How are rivers classified for difficulty?
  • The difficulty of a river is classified on a scale of Class I to Class VI with I being very easy and VI unrunnable.
    Class I: Waves small, passages clear; no serious obstacles. (A.k.a. the inner tube float. Barely moving water with hardly any rapids!)
    Class II: Rapids of moderate difficulty with passages clear. (Great rafting for families with very small children or for people looking for an introduction to kayaking.)
    Class III: Waves numerous, high, irregular; rocks; eddies; rapids with passages clear though narrow, requiring expertise in maneuvering. (This is the most popular classification for whitewater, and is the recommended level for beginning rafters)
    Class IV: Long rapids; waves powerful, irregular; dangerous rocks; boiling eddies; powerful and precise maneuvering required. (Rivers such as these should be run by athletic, experienced rafters who are looking for more action.)
    Class V: Exceedingly difficult, long and violent rapids, following each other almost without interruption; riverbed extremely obstructed; big drops; violent currents; very steep gradient. (Paddlers must have prior Class IV or better whitewater rafting experience. You should also be athletic with the mental attitude for high risk activities...
    Class VI: Commercially unrunnable. (A.k.a. the guide's run! No commercial outfitter will take a commercial client on this type of rapid.)