Whitewater rafting is like a powerful opera performance: it takes people on a journey of soaring highs and lows, leaving rapt crowds of onlookers with wet cheeks. Ride a splashy riff with today's Groupon: for $19, you get a half-day rafting trip from Wild West Rafting in Gardiner (up to a $39 value).
Wild West Rafting whets adventuresome appetites with white-water rafting and scenic tours of the Yellowstone River. The half-day raft tour departs five times a day, lasting two hours and conquering an 8-mile stretch of class III rapids aboard a buoyant 16-foot self-bailing watercraft. Arrive at least 30 minutes before your departure time to shield gentle epidermises in protective gear, which includes neoprene booties, a type V life jacket, and a layer of waterproof feathers. An experienced guide certified in CPR, first aid, and swift-water rescue briefs a crew of eight adventurers on safety precautions and H2O etiquette. Wield this aquatic training and a sturdy oar from Poseidon's personal collection as you vault over waves past a crowd of enthusiastically cheering mountains. Wild West Rafting also welcomes thrill-seeking wedding parties, church groups, and extreme amphibian family reunions.
Wild West Rafting
When visitors board one of Wild West Rafting's rafts, they're actually stepping into some historic, soggy shoes. The inflated vessels traverse the Yellowstone River, which was explored by members of the Lewis and Clarke expedition in 1806. These famed adventurers saw many of the things rafters still see: elk, bison, and other wildlife set against the rolling terrain of nearby mountains. Indeed, Wild West Rafting's trips pass several of the majestic sights that define the American West. But the river offers more than just scenery. Near Gardiner, Montana, the flow speeds up as the river descends into Paradise Valley and narrow canyons. Rafters on these sections face an on-water rollercoaster, flying through class III and IV rapids with names such as "Yankee's Revenge," "Box Car," and "Audience Members in the First Three Rows Will Get Wet."
While they're an adventure for most people, these trips define a typical workday for Wild West Rafting's guides, each of whom holds certifications in First Aid, CPR, and Swift Water Rescue. The staff includes experts such as Ryan Winter—who, before coming to the Yellowstone River, honed his paddling skills on the South African whitewaters of the Umkomasi, the Umzimkulu, and the Zambezi. The guides can take groups on rafting trips ranging from a couple of hours to multiple days. During longer excursions, they can combine rafting with horseback rides through Yellowstone National Park.
906 Scott St.
Gardiner, Montana 59030