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Frequently Asked Questions

    Below are some of the most common questions people ask before a trip. If this page doesn't answer your questions, please don't hesitate to call us at (509) 964-2530 or email us at rafts@fairpoint.net

  • 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 comfort. Having 1 less person gives you space for coolers, dry bags, knobby knees, and elbows.

  • What is a good trip for a first-timer?
  • Any float on the Yakima is suitable 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 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 suitable for novices. However, 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 from still water.

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

  • 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 make sure the PFD fits before you get on the river.

  • What should I wear?
  • For Hot Weather: We suggest: a sun hat, a thin long sleeve to protect yourself from the sun, a swimsuit, sandals that strap to your feet and of course lots of sunscreen.
    For Cold Weather: We suggest: a sun hat, a windbreaker, a fleece sweater, long pants that are not cotton, tennis shoes you don't mind getting wet and synthetic or wool socks.

  • How warm is the water in the Yakima River?
  • The Yakima River stays in the 50's and low 60's most of the year, check the latest data HERE

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

  • 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 at the river. If you show up without a reservation, there is no guarantee that we will be at the river or that equipment will be left. Make reservations through the website here: RESERVE TODAY You can make last minute 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?
  • It depends on the trip.
    Rafting the Yakima River , does not have a minimum age; we recommend that everyone be able to swim on their own, but ultimately we leave the final decision up to the discretion of the parents.
    Tubing on the Yakima , every participant must be at least 13 years old.
    Cle Elum River guide trips, every participant must be at least 6 years old.

  • 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?
  • IT IS ILLEGAL TO CONSUME ALCOHOL ON THE RIVER, according to RCW 66.44.100.
    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 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. Drink responsibly 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 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 days 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 recreation.gov. If you are rafting on the Lower Yakima, we recommend Yakima River RV, a privately owned campground just outside of the Canyon.
    On the Upper, Icewater Creek is a great campsite, so is Taneum Campground .
    This campground is where you get out of the river at River's Bend. 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 I bring my dog?
  • Yes you can! If you would like, we have Pet PFDs for rent. You will be responsible for any damages caused to equipment by your pet.

  • 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 www.wdfw.wa.gov

  • 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 14 people, so we only guarantee space for drivers; if there is room, we will 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.

  • 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 waterdata.usgs.gov.

  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • Credit cards are held for security deposit and cancellation fees.
    Full-service and DIY Rentals: Cancellations made 10 days in advance receive 100% refund
    Cancellations made 5 days in advance receive 50% refund
    Cancellations made within 5 days receive no refund
    Guided Trips: Cancellations made 30 days before the trip will receive a 100% refund.
    Cancellations made 10 days before the trip will receive a 50% refund.
    Cancellations made within 10 days of the reservation will not receive a refund. 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)
    This is a great in depth article about river classification