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“Fantastic experience.”

Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions
Ranked #2 of 13 things to do in Columbia
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Attraction details
Owner description: Zephyr Whitewater is one of the most popular and experienced outfitters in California. We offer river rafting trips near Yosemite on the Merced, Kings, and Tuolumne rivers. Family and group rates, and internet special discounts are available. Our trips range in length from 1/2 to 3-days. On the Merced river, the closest river to Yosemite, we offer both morning and afternoon 11 mile 1/2 day trips, plus full day trips every day. Many guests have said their rafting trip on the Merced river near Yosemite was the highlight of their Yosemite Vacation. Join us and see why!
Reviewed September 12, 2011

We went with two families with young children (8-11's). We were a little apprehensive about whether a full day trip on the kings river might be too much, but it was a terrific experience that everybody said was the highlight of our trip.

2  Thank fxsam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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60 - 64 of 73 reviews

Reviewed August 5, 2011

We booked the 1/2 day trip on the Merced mainly because our 11 year old daughter was not old enough for the full day trip. We also have a 14 year old boy and sometimes finding an activity that is fun for both of them can be challenging. I wasn't sure that our trip would be exciting enough for everyone but it definately was. Even though it is mostly a class 2/3 trip, they had rain the night before and the water rose to a mucher higher level than what is usual for the end of summer. The rapids were long, big and really fun. Our rafting trip was at the top of the list as favorite activities in Yosemite for both kids (and the adults too). First off, you can tell that everyone is concerned with safety first; which is really important. I felt like all the guides on our trip looked out for not just their boat but for everyone on the trip. They all worked really well together. Secondly, Simon, our guide, was fabulous. He was fun, funny and made my slightly nervous daughter calmer just by how he talked with her. You can tell everyone who works here loves their job, loves boating and takes it seriously enough to ensure a great day for all on the trip. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them and we'll use them again when we are back in that area~hopefully for a full day trip!

5  Thank kayakgoddess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2011

My sisters, daughter and I set out for a white water rafting experience with Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions. They are located 1.5 hours east of Fresno through a very windy road on your last 45 minutes. If you get motion sickness take your pills. The ZWE staff provide detailed directions, we didn't get lost. We arrived 1 hour before the tour, and trust me you need this time to settle in and eat the lunch you packed (the trip is 4 hours long), go to the bathroom, and listen to the safety talk.
ZWE then takes you in their blue bus into the mountains for another 30 minutes, on dirt roads and narrow lane (there are 2 lean left episodes). We had people ranging from 12 years old to mid 60's and everyone was fine.
At the rafts the staff ensure you have your safety vest on securely and give you a 15 minutes of instruction on how to paddle, get down, and lean left or lean right, how to retrieve someone who falls in the water, and what to do if you fall in the water.
The trip was tremendously fun, exciting, and thrilling. We went over several rapids, the worse Bonzai and Crazy Horse and the least Rooster. A couple of rafts lost people for a few seconds, and they were immediately pulled out of the water.
Our raft contained six women and a woman guide and we didn't have anyone fall in the water or get stuck near rocks; we were all first timers.
Next time I'll take board shorts (the kind that dry quick), a string for my sunglasses to keep on head (but they sell them their for $5) and cash for the photos. A CD costs $39, but with 4 people pitching in it's doable. They take visa too. Make sure you take picnic lunch in ice chest. They do provide water, soda and snacks after the tour.
The ZWE staff know what they are doing and we felt very comfortable during this level 3 ride. Will do this again!

1  Thank Monica A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2011

I have done 4 trips on the Kings with Zephyr (three with my family) and one on the Merced. Their professionalism starts with their crew in the office, extends to the camp and then the river. They have only one priority higher then making sure you have fun, and that is that you get back safely. The base camp on the Kings is a wonderful place. But truly it is their people that make all their trips special!!

If you are interested in Rafting on the Kings (a great family trip) or the Merced there is no better company then Zephyr!

1  Thank EvanDicker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2011

Just got back with my husband and 10 year old from a 2 day rafting trip with Zephyr on the Kings River. We had a great time, the food was good and plentiful and the guides and staff were very nice and helpful. The King River is Class III which was perfect for my 10 year old. Not too exciting for adults but fun nonetheless.
What I did not realize is that the "two day" is just two days of the same itinerary. Same "put in" ,same lunch spot, same rapids. It kindof took the fun out of the second day. Also, the actual rafting is not very long. First, there is a 45 min. bus ride, then you have to wait for everyone to practice following commands on the raft, you raft for about 1 1/2 hrs, stop for lunch which was an hour, then raft again for 1 1/4 hrs til you raft into camp. I guess I thought there would be more actual rafting.
On a side note, I had originally booked with Whitewater Voyages but they had to cancel us due to not enough people on the trip. I was able to book with Zephyr 4 days before our trip and Im glad I did. We could see the WV camp from our camp and feel we definitely had a better setup at Zephyr. Better toilets, more shady communal areas, lots of cold fresh bottled water. It just seemed bigger and more organized.

Thank Hhogelund
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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