Impressive landscapes, stunning vistas, wandering wildlife, and amazing adventures are just a few of the things that draw visitors to Yellowstone National Park each year. Plus, travelers of all ages can get a taste of all of these elements in one exciting activity—white water rafting! Did you know you could ride the rapids of the Yellowstone River? Or relax and float through calm waters while watching the shore for animals?
Check out our recommendations below to find out where to go white water rafting in and near Yellowstone.
WHITE WATER RAFTING NEAR YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
There are a few great places for white water rafting in Yellowstone and the surrounding areas. Consider your rafting group’s ages and thrill tolerance before choosing a river run that suits your needs.
Rafting trips are typically categorized according to rapids’ class size, one being very gentle and four being somewhat intense.
YELLOWSTONE RIVER – GARDINER, MT – CLASS II-III
The Yellowstone River is our favorite option for Yellowstone National Park white water rafting for a few reasons. First of all, you can’t technically raft inside Yellowstone National Park. However, this river runs along an outside border, which means you get as close as you can. Plus, you’ll get to see the park and its incredible landscape from a different side than other travelers.
Second, this river is a class II-III, which means it is the perfect combination of gentleness and adventure. The rapids are big enough to be exciting and small enough to justify bringing your kids. There will be plenty of dips and big splashes to keep everyone entertained but not overly scared.
Third, you start your river run in Gardiner, MT, at the north entrance to the park. You can easily stay in town and have quick access to both the park and your river trip. Some river guides will offer full-day, half-day, and even overnight trips for white water rafting.
WET OR DRY SCENIC FLOATS
Scenic floats are a great option for groups with younger members, or those looking for a calmer ride. Your expert guide will steer the raft down the river, avoiding the largest rapids and allowing you to get splashed just enough to cool off. You can also add a river tube or inflatable kayak for extra fun on the water.
If you plan to take a slow, scenic ride, make sure to bring binoculars or a water-proof camera. You’ll be surrounded by natural beauty, including the stunning Gallatin and Absaroka mountain ranges. There is also a good chance you’ll spot incredible local wildlife, such as bald eagles, osprey birds, deer, and geese.
WILD WHITE WATER RAFTING
If you’re looking for a little more excitement or variety, you can opt for full-day, half-day, small boat, or private boat white water adventures. Enjoy up to 18 miles of wet and wild fun through both calm waters and big rapids, or opt for an intense, class III-IV trip in a small boat. Full-day trips even include a stop for a full picnic lunch with special dietary accommodations upon request.
BOOK A RIVER TRIP TODAY WITH WILD WEST RAFTING
Whether you’re white water rafting in West Yellowstone or Gardiner, you’ll find plenty of fun for the whole family. Book your dream river trip from Gardiner through Yellowstone with Wild West Rafting today. Then start planning the perfect trip to Yellowstone National Park.