Like Gallagher, whitewater rafting thrills adventure seekers, gets people wet, and has resulted in a multitude of copycat amusement park rides. Enjoy the thrill of getting splashed with today's Groupon: for $75, you get a self-guided, four-to-six-hour scenic float on the Stanislaus River for up to six people from River Journey, valid Sunday–Friday (up to a $150 value). Due to high water releases, trips cannot be scheduled until 5/30.
Fully seasoned paddlers and raw oar-shovers embark on nature-bound, self-guided adventures on the stately Stanislaus River with River Journey rafting. The raft trips depart daily from Knights Ferry, less than a two-hour drive from San Jose and 30 minutes from Yosemite National Park. Each trip begins with an extensive safety talk—the river is rated Class II, meaning certain areas foster a friendly float, but others, such as the Russian Rapid, give riders a controlled rush, much like drinking a Slurpee one gulp at a time while surfing. Rafters can find themselves awestruck by the spectacular scenery and wildlife, possibly spotting beavers, deer, and hawks, all waiting to be discovered by water-bound paparazzi. Sweat-drenched paddlers refresh their soul sacks with a dip in the river or self-brought savory snacks during short stops. During busy weekends, a photographer is on hand to capture all the spray-soaked smiles during this stretch of rafting. At journey's end, a shuttle bus will transport rafters back to their cars.
Check-in time is 10 a.m., and harpoons are forbidden, so packing a midday meal and non-glass-contained beverages is recommended. Up to two small coolers that can be carried by one person are allowed to ride on the rafts.
Must be over five years old and sign waiver to participate. Although River Journey sometimes features discounted prices online, today's Groupon still offers the best deal available.