What a great family experience! My wife, 10 yr old son, 6 yr old daughter and myself signed up for the overnight trip because we wanted as much time on the water as offered and the thought of some fishing and a well cooked meal afterwards just sealed the deal. We showed up the day of our trip a little early but were immediately taken in and the process of getting outfitted started. Our guide, Thomas, was great! He not only is an expert paddler but was very knowledgeable about the region and the landscape around us but was able to entertain us with stories about the river and its history. During the trip he let the kids ride the "Bull". This is where someone sits on the very front of the raft and holds onto a strap like a bull rider in a rodeo - the kids thought this was awesome! He also let both kids take a turn at being the guide so they got to sit on the platform at the back of the raft and use the big oars to guide the raft down the river (with assistance), this pretty much sealed the deal with the kids on how "cool" Thomas is.
The raft trip itself had a nice division of rapids and smooth water to allow for conversation and sightseeing. We stopped for lunch on a sand bar and Wild West provided us with lunch, even meeting our needs as vegetarians. The raft trip continued from there and ultimately concluded with a jump from an old bridge into the 48 degree water - the jump isn't mandatory but I highly recommend it.
Once we finally got off the river we were chauffeured to the guest ranch where we were able to take nice warm showers and sit out on the deck overlooking the Yellowstone river. Taygen who drove us and Thomas to the ranch then began making appetizer, dinner and cake, all of which was absolutely delicious. Our daughter was in heaven with the animals at the ranch, three horses, a dozen or so chickens and a couple of cats. All of the horses received make overs in the form of braided manes whether they wanted it or not.
After dinner Thomas took the kids and myself down to the river to do some fishing. Even though we didn't catch it was still fun and the kids thought it was a blast. We then settled into the chairs around the campfire at the rivers edge, made S'mores, and talked with both Thomas and Taygen who shared a lot about themselves. It was a very pleasant way to end the evening. We thought for sure that the kids were going to want to sleep in the bunk beds but they decided that the window seats int he master bedroom looked like better beds and so they slept there with the windows open and the sound of the river wafting in as our lullaby music.
The next morning our daughter got to go collect eggs from the chicken coop with Thomas, again - how cool is Thomas. Taygen and him then made us a great breakfast of eggs Benedict and monster pancakes. We wrapped up the morning by cleaning up and then loading the van up to head back to Gardiner.
This trip was so great that we immediately started thinking about how we could come back and do it again next year. Our son has declared that he will not white water raft again unless Thomas is our guide.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.