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“Woo Hoo! Ready to do it again...and again...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of River Riders

River Riders
Ranked #2 of 5 Tours in Harpers Ferry
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: West Virginia whitewater rafting, tubing, zip line canopy tour, kayaking, canoeing, biking, climbing, team building, and outdoor adventure summer camps in Harpers Ferry and C and O Canal National Parks on the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. We are the closest outfitter to the Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD and Northern Virginia metro areas.
Winchester, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Woo Hoo! Ready to do it again...and again...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

I love River Riders. I have been coming here for years and will certainly continue to do so for years to come. I have never had anything other than a pleasant experience with the staff - they are friendly and ready to do whatever they can to assist you. I tried to go last year with a couple of friends and something happened at the last minute (I mean, we actually entered the water, started across the water, and had to go back to shore). We had to take the bus back to RR and had to scrub our trip. They gave me "rain checks" so that I could come back another day. There were no penalties or fees ... just great customer service!!! We used the rain checks this past weekend for the white water tubing and had a great time! Completing payment and waivers beforehand made the wait time non existent and we got to spend hours on the river enjoying the day. Ready to do it again!!! And again!!! And again!!!

Visited July 2014
1 Thank Barb S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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550 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great time!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

Well organized, fun trip. Do allow extra time for processing on the weekend, but as long as you have all your ducks in a row before you get there, you should be on the water within the hour. Take your time, stop and picnic on the rocks, don't speed through it. The whitewater tubing trip is pretty tame, and not nearly as intimidating as they make it sound (probably just for liability reasons they really stress the safety issue). Just don't be an idiot and you'll have a good time. Lovely waterfall at the end too! I'd love to go back for the whitewater rafting trip!

Visited July 2014
1 Thank Lauren D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Dont waste your time renting on the weekend. Too hectic. Too slow.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

Its no so much that River Riders did anything wrong its just that spending 2-3 hours in lines to register and watch a safery video and waiting for buses, for a 1 hour ride on "white water" is silly.

The distance they allow you to float down river to a point where they will then pick you up is very short.

Trip costs $30 plus tax. Includes vest and tube.

You can buy an equivalent tube to what they rent you for only $20 delivered from Amazon and flotation vest for as little as $10.

ex: Intex River Run 1 Inflatable Float Tube $20

Absolute Outdoor Kent Adult Compliance PFD Type II Life Jacket $10

Take 2 cars, leave one at top and one at bottom.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank apb010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Longest route = longest swim”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

To start, I strongly recommend tubing on the Potomac as a super fun summer activity for adults and confident swimmer kids. We took the "white water" tubing trip with kids aged 9 to 15 and some of them were a bit scared (though I saw other kids of a similar age having lots of fun). In the white water sections, its much easier to go as an individual tube (rather than trying to hang on to several tubes to stay together), so if you want to hang on to your kid the entire ride, its going to be less easy and enjoyable. So know yourself and your kids before selecting this trip. There is also a more gentle float on the Shenandoah river available.

I have gone tubing on the Potomac in years past with Butts Tubing, but decided to try River Riders this year. We went on a beautiful, and busy Sunday in July. River Riders allows on line reservations, and also has an online waiver process. The on-line presence was quite good. Despite the fact that I had done everything on-line before arriving, I still stood in line for about 20 minutes to get checked in. They don't have enough lockers for the amount of business they are doing. They also don't have enough bathrooms for the amount of people, and this was made worse by people who used the rest rooms rather than the changing rooms to change clothes. Everything at the start took longer and was more chaotic than I expected. River Riders offers a lot of activities like zip lining, rafting, tubing, etc., so this adds to the number of people milling around.

Once we finally got on the bus to the launch point, it was a fairly quick drive. There were plenty of tubes waiting for us a the water's edge. The biggest negative of this trip was right at the start - you have to swim with your tube for probably 1/3 mile before you get into any current - it was hard work, especially for the smaller participants. Once into the current, you only need to paddle yourself occasionally to adjust your course. I could see the other operators' launch points and they are all directly into the current, so its probably better to go with them if you don't feel like starting out with this long swim. The water level in the river was really good. There are periods of fast current over lots of rocks and periods of gentle current - really nice! The view of the National Park at Harper's Ferry and Maryland Heights is great.

At the end of the ride, some members of my group got confused about the pull out point - the instructions could have been better, especially considering it was about 3 hours later. I figured out where to go because I saw some rafts that have RR staff on them and followed them. One person on my group mentioned that the instructions about the pull out point were on our wrist bands - unfortunately, the staff never mentioned this, so it didn't help any one else in my group.

You have to walk up a steep hill with your tube and cooler tube (if you used one) to get to the road and the bus for a fairly short ride back to the RR site. We did not have to wait long for the bus, but we I am not sure that this is always the case. All in all, it was a very active day. I had a good time, but I think I will go back to Butts Tubes next time.

Another important thing to keep in mind - the traffic is really busy around Harper's Ferry on nice summer weekends - give yourself lots of extra time to get there or go earlier in the morning before it gets jammed up.

Visited July 2014
3 Thank mphcpt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A lot of fun!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

What a wonderful way to get an other look at the rivers as they meet at Harpers Ferry. The staff is very knowledgable and professional on the river. We did the white water rafting and had a blast! Highly recommend this activity for the whole family, wonderful way to make memories. Request Rubio, he has a great sense of humor, not to mention that he is as cute as can be!

Visited July 2014
1 Thank Debra D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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