Whitewater Rafting vs. Scenic Float Trip: Which Should I Choose?

Whitewater Rafting vs. Scenic Float Trip: Which Should I Choose?

Looking for outdoor recreation ideas for this summer? If you’re planning your summer vacation, one of the best ways to stay cool while enjoying a beautiful natural landscape is to spend some time on the water. Wyoming, especially Jackson Hole, has some amazing scenery (like The Grand Tetons) along the Snake River. Parts of the river are full of rapids for exciting whitewater rafting adventures, while other parts are calmer, allowing you to drift along lazily in the cool water while enjoying the beauty around you.

If both of these options sound nice, it may be hard to decide which option is right for you. Read on for more detailed descriptions of what each experience is like to help you decide which type of trip you would prefer.

White Water Rafting 

The Snake River in Jackson Hole, WY is one of the best places for white water rafting. With rapids ranging from class I to VI (with I being calm water and V being large rapids) you’ll experience an ideal mix of exciting rapids and calm waters to rest your arms.

White river rafting is a thrill-seeker’s dream. The boat will hit rapids like a brick wall, rise over the top and fall back down to the water like a roller coaster, and potentially even flip over. You will certainly get wet, it’s just a matter of how wet.

Even so, whitewater rafting is very safe. You’ll wear a helmet and a life jacket. Falling out of the boat is common and not a big deal.

Benefits of Whitewater Adventures

  • Fun and excitement. If you like adventure, you’re sure to like whitewater rafting. There is nothing boring about it. You’ll be kept busy paddling, experience the ride of your life, and all with an excellent view of the Grand Teton Mountains.
  • Family bonding. Family river rafting is quality time together that doesn’t involve a screen. Working as a team to paddle your raft is one of the best ways to bond with each other, even siblings who seem to never get along. Children as young as 6 years old can participate in rafting when the water level is low enough.
  • Team building. Group rafting trips are a great team-building exercise for coworkers, church groups, and other teams of people. Working together toward a common cause (paddling the boat and conquering the rapids) is an effective way to strengthen the bonds between members of a group.
  • Appropriate for beginners and those with experience. You don’t have to have whitewater rafting experience to go on a guided adventure. You can learn everything you need to know before you get in the raft and during the trip itself.

Scenic Float Trip

If you’re looking for a scenic view while you gently drift down the river, a scenic float trip may be just right for you. You’ll have amazing views of the Grand Tetons as well as plenty of wildlife sightings along the way.

You can expect to stay dry during this trip, so feel free to bring along your camera to capture the scenery and wildlife you spot along the way. There’s virtually no chance of your boat turning over or getting caught in the rapids.

This is a relaxing trip. Nothing strenuous, no paddling involved. Your guide will paddle as needed and gently steer the boat down the calmer waters of the Snake River. You can take the half-day trip or the full day trip, depending on the time you have available.

Benefits of the Scenic Float Trip

  • Time to enjoy the scenery. Jackson Hole float trips move at a much slower pace. You’ll have time to take in all the beautiful views around you and even capture photos if you wish.
  • Relaxing. Do you prefer your vacations to be restful and peaceful? The Grand Teton float trip will be very laid back. You can sit back and relax and take deep breaths of crisp mountain air as your boat gently bobs and floats on the water.
  • Appropriate for children as young as 4. Some Teton scenic float tours allow children as young as 4 to go along while others require children to be at least 6. If you want an excursion that will allow younger children to participate, the float trip would be a better option than whitewater rafting.
  • Appropriate for older adults. For adults who would find whitewater rafting too strenuous, the Snake River scenic float trip would be more pleasurable.

Still, Having Trouble Choosing? Try Both

The good news is that you don’t have to choose between the two types of excursions. Barker Ewing Whitewater is one of the best places for white water rafting and scenic float tours alike in Jackson Hole, WY. We offer white water rafting for beginners as well as experienced paddlers so that everyone can have a good time.

Call us to book your trip or if you have any questions! 800-448-4202