Ever wonder what goes into the making of a whitewater trip? The coordination between office staff, boat house managers, river guides, and bus drivers? Well, look no further. Read on for a behind the scenes look into how all the different parts of Barker-Ewing come together to give you the trip of a lifetime!
Ring ring ring… they’re here to answer your questions all day long. Taking calls, booking trips, and answering questions is their forte. Our “Main Office” workers are the super friendly people you talk to on the phone. They answer any of your questions from “what happens if its raining” to “whats the difference between an 8-man and 14-man raft.”
Trip Check-in Office Workers
Our “Hillside” office staff makes sure everyone has their risk forms signed because safety is our #1 priority. They also give out wetsuits and watershoes for chillier days on the river. They can sell you snacks, drinks, and Barker-Ewing swag to go home with. Make sure you meet us at 945 West Broadway… and not our booking office!
Bus Driver/Van Drivers
The wheels on the bus go round and round. Our bus driver squad brings you where you need to be when you need to be there. They’re especially known for their impeccable driving skills and corny jokes.
Boat House Crew
These team players do all the dirty work. They are in charge of organizing and scheduling which rafts will be where on the river. They’re also in charge of making sure the rafts are up and running! This can be very hard because there is no cell service in the canyon, so we use radios to stay in touch. Over and out!
These ladies and gents are in charge of making sure you have fun and that you are safe on the river. They teach you their know-how and tell you river stories while you’re rafting down the Snake. Their main mission is that everyone has fun- and gets wet! See who could be taking you down the river here.
Servers/ Camp Staff
Dinner is served! These folks give you a fine dining experience in the middle of the woods. How do we do it? With killer staff that love food and care about how tasty your dinner is. On our breakfast, lunch, dinner, and overnight trips we serve you both delicious meals and a good time.
PHEW.. glad all that works done. Work hard play hard!
Often we get the question what kind of wildlife might we see on our river trip… we live in such a special place and are surrounded by nature! General rule of thumb is wildlife is more active in the early and latter part of the day. During the heat of the day, often they are less likely to be seen….
The opportunities are seemingly endless. Throughout the Snake River corridor, the bird life is phenomenal! We see Bald Eagles, Osprey, Red Tail and many other types of hawks, Sand Hill cranes, Great Blue Heron, song birds galore, many species of ducks, woodpeckers, and don’t forget my favorite, the amazing little hummingbirds! Perhaps we will see a beaver busying his/herself on their never ending workload; or an otter family playful, shy and curious in the current, a great treat indeed!
Then we move to the land dwellers! Deer, Moose, Mountain Goats (specialty of the Snake River Canyon) Elk, Coyote, Fox, Bear, Wolf, Mountain Lion…. listed from more common sightings to a rare gift. I have been lucky enough to see all these creatures great and small while on the Snake River here in Jackson Hole! The thing about wildlife is we just never know! The more time you are able to be in the field, the better your chances will be!
What do we wear and bring for our whitewater rafting or float trip?
For Jackson Hole Scenic Float Trips, bring an extra layer. It’s always better to have too much than not enough. Wear comfortable soft-soled shoes. Cameras and binoculars are welcome and generally not at risk.
For Whitewater Rafting Trips, wear a swimsuit or clothes that you don’t mind getting wet. Cotton is not the best material to wear on the river; synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polypropylene work the best because they dry quickly. For cool days, we have neoprene wetsuits, booties and fleece. You may rent these items when you check in for your trip. Shoes that are secure on your feet are required (please no flip-flops). For Overnight Trips, please review our Overnight Trip Packing List (PDF).
Bring a towel or dry clothing to change into at the end of your whitewater rafting trip, so you’re comfortable on the 40-minute return ride to Jackson. There are forest service changing rooms for you to use at the landing. Sunglasses (secure with Croakies), hats and sunscreen are a good idea; cameras and binoculars are not recommended on whitewater rafting trips.
We provide complimentary splash jackets and pants for all of our river trips.
Do I really need a wetsuit & booties for the whitewater trip?
The truth is, you are a better gauge on your own personal thermostat than we are. In early season, remember that water is fresh snow melt! Refreshing indeed and a wetsuit makes a huge difference for all. There are times in early season when we will make them mandatory for all participants. Even in the heat of summer, the Snake River only reaches into the high 50’s, low 60’s, so we recommend wetsuits for the kiddos the majority of the season since they don’t have as much body insulation as adults. Typically it is always 5-7 degrees cooler on the water than the ambient air temp! As for the booties, bottom line, if you don’t want your shoes to get wet, get ‘em! You must have shoes that are secure to your feet and can get wet.
What class are the rapids on the Snake River in Jackson Hole?
The whitewater rafting section of the Snake River is Class II/III, perfect for people of all ages and experience. It is a traditional Western River, with big volume water that is being squeezed between Limestone Ledges making for fun haystack waves! River classifications are graded on a scale of I to VI. Class I is flat water. Class V is the most difficult. Class VI is not runnable.
Are our kids ready for whitewater rafting or is a float trip a better match?
For whitewater rafting trips, our minimum age for children is 6 years old (approximately 45 pounds) for most of the summer season. However, high water levels during the early rafting season may increase the minimum age up to 8 – 10 years old and require a more careful screening of all young participants.
For scenic float trips, our minimum age for children is 4 years old (approximately 40 pounds) for most of the summer season. However, high water levels during the early rafting season may increase the minimum age up to 6 years old and require a more careful screening of all young participants.
Safety is always our first priority.
Do we still go whitewater rafting when it rains? What about our float trip?
Our Whitewater Rafting and Scenic Float Trips go rain or shine. On Whitewater Trips, you’re going to get wet anyway! On Scenic Float Trips, showers generally come and go quickly, and we have complimentary splash gear on every boat. In the event of extreme weather, we may decide to cancel or reschedule a trip. Feel free to call us about the weather forecast an hour before your trip, but a final decision will not be made until you meet us at our meeting location for your scheduled rafting trip.
Talk about different Jackson Hole activities…winter snowmaking is upon us! Our river boss Blake is officially going underground as he heads to his winter snowmaking job! And YES, he is making snow through the darkness of night! Ask him and he simply says he turns his days to night and his nights to day! Thanks Blake for your dedication to making this another amazing winter with a solid base at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort! We will look forward to the first of the year when you resurface into the sunshine! Starting February 1, 2015 Blake will be back with us getting our 2015 river crew into shape.
Our dearest Christa on the other hand, is exchanging the weather in Jackson for warm, or shall I say hot temperatures and great adventures for her winter of travel in South East Asia! She is officially out the door with her backpack packed! We cannot wait for all the stories to trickle home! Keep us in the loop Chris-Ta-Da!
Catch Jason while you can! He and his family are changing it up entirely and moving to the great state of Washington ! You and yours will be missed! Love that you will still start your home state with a “W”! Door is open anytime you guys need a little Jackson Hole fix!
You all are the best!
Summer on the Snake River has come and gone in the blink of an eye it seems. The autumn leaves are falling, the peaks in the Tetons are snow-capped and town is quietly preparing for the Jackson Hole winter ahead. For those of you who shared in our whitewater rafting season at Barker-Ewing Whitewater, we thank you sincerely and hope it was a highlight of your Wyoming vacation. If you have friends or family visiting Jackson Hole next summer, tell them to think about us! Thank you for being the best part of our summer at Barker-Ewing Whitewater.
All the beautiful Jackson Hole Wildflowers on our Overnight River Trip and Breakfast Combo Trip are a sight not to be missed! We were just at our private campsite along the Snake River doing our Combo Trips “shakedown” a couple nights ago. While Janet trained the new camp staff on all things kitchen & cookin’ and Jason rallied the new guides to put the finishing touches on the trail and the tent cabins, I took a walk. The wildflowers are starting to go off, and you do not want to miss your chance to see the beauty of our Pine Creek Camp this time of year! The first day of our Breakfast Combo Trip is Tuesday, June 9 and our Overnight Trip kicks off that week as well.
There’s no better way to feel confident in who you book with for your Jackson Hole trip of a lifetime than checking out review sites such as TripAdvisor. We’re thrilled to announce that Barker-Ewing Whitewater is rated TripAdvisor’s #1 adventure in Jackson Hole. If you’re curious about any of our river trips and want to see what types of experiences our guests have had, click here and take a look on TripAdvisor! We always love talking to you as well, but we do understand the value in receiving honest, unbiased guests’ reviews in the various public forums. A trip to Jackson Hole is truly not the same without a Whitewater Rafting Adventure or Scenic Float Trip on the Snake River!