Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Mad River Blog

Things to Know Before Going Whitewater Rafting in Jackson Hole, WY

a person riding a wave on a surfboard in the water

Things to Know Before Whitewater Rafting in Jackson Hole, WY

Sometimes floating in a pool just isn’t enough. You want speed and adventure, but you’re not quite ready to jump off a cliff. Luckily, white water rafting is the perfect fix for adrenaline junkies and those wishing to cool off. With different routes ranging from relaxing, to totally extreme, there’s guaranteed to be a river trip to fit your style. Here are a few things you should know before enjoying the raging rapids on the Snake River!

Types of Rapids

Rapids are classified on a system from 1 to 6. Class 1 rapids are fine for everybody, and can be enjoyed with little instruction; class 2 – 5 rapids are rougher and are for experienced rafters, and level 6 rapids should only be attempted by professionals. However, you can have a great time on any level of river rapids, and something like the Snake River in Jackson Hole is perfect for beginners and seasoned rafters alike. The river is a classified 1-3, and a place like this is:

  • Fast
  • Wild, scenic river
  • And full of great views!

Dressing for Your Whitewater Rafting Adventure

You’re going to get wet, and that’s part of the enjoyment of rafting through the great outdoors. However, you’ll want to be mindful about your clothing so that it doesn’t absorb water, stick to your skin, or cause chaffing. The last thing you want is soaking wet clothing weighing you down or negatively affecting your body temperature. Cotton materials will make your colder and is not advised for the river.

For maximum comfort, wear synthetic materials as they will hold less water, and will help to keep your skin protected against wind. Make sure to properly protect your feet by wearing an old pair of tennis shoes or water shoes. Many people think that flip-flops will be comfortable, but they will not protect your feet or keep them warm. Shoes will give you grip to maintain your feet placement, protect your feet if you are ejected from the raft, and rubber-soled shoes will make entering and exiting the raft much easier. Helmets are only issued on the river when there are high water conditions.

Last but not least: you will be required to wear a life-jacket. Even if you’re the greatest swimmer in the world, it’s required for safety, and life-jackets help your guide by giving them something to hold on to if they need to pull you back into the raft. One last tip: use croakies to secure your sun glasses or prescription glasses so they stay securely on your face.

Bringing the Essentials

Now, you may be wondering what you should bring on your adventure. We recommend that you don’t bring anything on the raft that you are not ok with losing. You should leave any valuables in your car such as money, wallet, and electronics. You can leave your keys with staff members at the office.

Things that you should bring, include but are not limited to:

  • Make sure to bring water proof sunscreen, wearing sunscreen goes without saying. Do yourself a favor and slather on the sunscreen, and it’s advised to get sunscreen that is at least SPF 30. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your ears and neck, and if you’re not wearing a hat, don’t forget to put sunscreen on your hair part as well.
  • Bring a dry set of clothing and towels so that you can get comfortable after the trip. A plastic bag can also be useful for all of your wet clothes on the ride home.
  • Wetsuits are a great idea if the water temperature is colder the day of your white water rafting adventure. Mad River has wetsuits available for rent.

Choose Mad River as Your Professional Rafting Outfitter in Jackson, WY

You’ll want professional, experienced white water river outfitter to handle the twists and turns of the legendary Snake River. Mad River guides love rafting, and they’ll set you up with everything you need to have an amazing time. With their guidance, you’ll be rushing through the rapids on one of our famous yellow boats, with a smile on your face! Contact Mad River Boat Trips to book your next whitewater adventure today!

  • Posted in: