I wanted to take my 10 yr old son rafting and make sure he'd love it-- as I do. I have big plans that eventually we'll be able to do class V rafting trips together, so it was really important to me that he get how thrilling and awesome it can be, while still feeling totally safe. My son is a daredevil-- but also a fraidy-cat, with a mind that catalogues all the possible ways a person can be injured or killed. (He just learned to ride a bike.) I did a boat-load of research before I decided on this outfitter, and I'm super happy. It was completely perfect. Our guide, Jason, was gentle, calm, totally reassuring-- and tons of fun. Because my son felt totally safe, he was able to jump in and out of the raft, and Jason kept a close eye on him which was very reassuring. My son had an excellent first time experience: really safe-- but not boring! This strip of river-- the southern fork of the American River, is also perfect for first-timers. He wants to go rafting again before we head back home-- and he can't wait until he's old enough for class IV and V rapids.
I've done rafting with various kinds of outfitters, but this is definitely one of my favorites. The bathrooms are gorgeous! The lunch spread was high end (e.g., sun dried tomatoes and artichokes). You have to go to a separate place to check out the photos after your ride-- but I like that because there's no hard sell. At all. I think this operation might be smaller than some of the others, but everything -- guides, scheduling, rafting equipment, facilities, food-- is top-notch. For example, the rafts they use are a little bigger, which means people are less crowded, which means newbies who aren't paddling in sync aren't with your paddle. Much better! This place is special.
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