Whitewater rafting is a fun and exciting activity when visiting Yellowstone National Park. However, you may find yourself asking, “Is white water rafting dangerous?” 

While whitewater rafting is a thrilling adventure for all age groups, it’s still essential to know the different risks involved. Besides whether or not you’re using the proper safety precautions, the danger level depends on the type of river, the time of year, and the kind of rapids you’re dealing with. This helpful guide will detail everything a first-timer needs to know before they go whitewater rafting.


Is It Too Dangerous for Kids?

Family Whitewater Rafting

Many families ask, “How dangerous is white water rafting?” because they want to know if it’s a safe activity for their kids to enjoy. While every physical activity can come with its own set of challenges, whitewater rafting is safe for children as long as you have an experienced guide. 

The experts at Wild West Rafting bring over 20 years of experience in guiding groups of all ages and sizes, ensuring a safe and comfortable whitewater rafting trip. Our team always prioritizes safety, providing each group with detailed instructions and the correct equipment. Besides ensuring a safe and comfortable ride, our guides can also create an immersive experience by pointing out local wildlife and other points of interest.


What Affects the Safety of a River?

In assessing the danger level of whitewater rafting, it’s crucial to understand that several factors can affect the safety of a river and its rapids:

  • Yellowstone River has varying levels of whitewater rapids, with some being better for first-timers and others that only seasoned rafters should tackle.
  • Weather conditions can determine whether or not it’s safe to go rafting. If the area has recently experienced rainfall and will soon experience severe thunderstorms, then it’s better to reschedule your trip.
  • Features like rocks and boulders can also affect the safety of your trip. Working with an experienced rafting crew means you’re able to pick a route that’s ideal for your family or group.


Is It Too Dangerous for Non-Swimmers?

Some of your little ones or adults in your group may not know how to swim or have much swimming experience. While many whitewater rafting routes are only reserved for those who know how to swim, many guides offer Class I and Class II rapids. These straightforward rapids pose very little threat to those in your group who don’t know how to swim.

Class I and Class II rapids are perfect for children as young as five or six. They’re also fun for the whole family, allowing your group to experience the beauty that Yellowstone National Park has to offer in an enjoyable, exciting way.


How to Make Whitewater Rafting Less Dangerous

Rafting Trip & Guide

Keeping a few tips in mind can give you and your group peace of mind. Some ways to make the experience feel less dangerous are:

  • Always listen to your guide throughout the trip since your guide has the experience and knowledge necessary to ensure the safest trip possible. Your guide will teach you some basic safety instructions to help you navigate the whitewater rapids, including what to do should you fall.
  • Choose the correct whitewater level for your trip and hire a reputable and experienced company like Wild West Rafting, especially for your first time. 
  • You and your family or friends should always wear the right gear and equipment, including a lifejacket and a helmet. Keep a close eye if you have little ones in the group, as they may try to take off their life jackets or get too close to the edge of the raft.
  • Hold tightly onto your paddle at all times, even if the waters feel calm. Additionally, ensure you and everyone in your group are sitting properly.
  • Wear sunscreen, as the intense sun rays bouncing off the river can cause burns, even if it doesn’t feel hot outside or it’s a cloudy day.


Call Wild West Rafting Today

The team at Wild West Rafting is here to alleviate any fears you or your group members have. Our guides specialize in both action-packed whitewater rafting trips and more relaxing trips, perfect for small children and easy-going adults.

Schedule your safe and fun whitewater rafting trip with Wild West Rafting today, or contact our professionals via email or at (406) 848-2252!