Frequently Asked Questions
We know you are very excited to begin your great adventure to Yellowstone! But before you arrive you may have several questions about what you’ll see and do, and how you will spend your time. We have prepared our answers to some of the most common questions we receive:
Don’t see your question? Give us a call at 1-888-792-9193.
Q. Is the North Entrance to Yellowstone open?
As of October 28, 2022, Yellowstone Park’s North Entrance has reopened to visitor traffic. This means that all traffic through Yellowstone Park will be open to the public for summer of 2023 with access to and from Gardiner resuming under normal operation. The North Entrance from Gardiner provides great access to Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Roosevelt, Old Faithful, and the famed Lamar Valley, as well as access to Paradise Valley, Livingston, and Bozeman via highway 89. Please consider a visit to the Flying Pig during your Yellowstone Vacation this Summer! We hope to see you soon to be a part of your next great Adventure!
Q. What should I wear whitewater rafting?
On a whitewater rafting adventure, you should wear:
- Quick drying pants or swim bottoms.
- Quick drying shirt or swim top. Avoid cotton, as it keeps you cold once it becomes wet.
- Water shoes, sandals with heel strap, or tennis shoes if you don’t mind getting them wet. We also provide water booties for your convenience.
- Hat with brim, sunglasses, or both.
Extra things to bring:
- Water bottle, preferably with a carabiner to attach to the raft.
- Phone or small camera in a watertight box or pouch.
We provide the following clothing:
- Neoprene full-length wetsuits, neoprene jackets, and splash tops (similar to rain jackets).
- Neoprene booties.
- Helmet during high water flows.
- Weather and water temperatures dictate the amount of neoprene gear you will need on your rafting trip.
For cool, rainy days, wear:
- Several warm layers made from synthetic material, fleece, or wool. Athletic leggings, long underwear, and trim athletic tops work well under neoprene.
- Wind-proof jacket.
- Synthetic or wool socks to wear with water shoes.
- Synthetic or wool hat and finger gloves.
Q. What else should I bring whitewater rafting?
For before & after your whitewater rafting trip, bring:
- Sunscreen. Bring a pocket-sized tube if you would like to reapply on the raft.
- Extra change of clothing and warm layers.
- Plastic bag to store wet clothes.
- A towel for each member of your group.
Q. How cold is the water while whitewater rafting?
The water flows on the Yellowstone are very dynamic. In May and June, snow melts in the mountains and runs into the Yellowstone River, creating bigger rapids and colder water. Water temperatures in May and early June are typically around 45-50 degrees F.
As the season progresses, the water levels drop and temperatures become more suitable for swimming. At every point in the season, there are fun waves that will produce splashes over the top of the boat.
Q. What does Class II and III whitewater mean?
Rivers and the rapids they contain are rated according to a class system. The levels range from Class I (moving water with some gentle interference) all the way to Class VI (extreme rapids and waterfalls that are rarely attempted even by experts).
The whitewater on the Yellowstone River is primarily rated as class II and class III, which means that the river channels are wide and the waves moderately sized, creating big splashes and fun hits. During the early part of our season in May and June, some sections of our full day trip boast more difficult whitewater, but all sections of the Yellowstone are well suited for anyone ready for adventure!
Q. Is whitewater rafting suitable for beginners and children?
The Yellowstone River is great for beginners, children, and experienced white-water enthusiasts alike! We offer a variety of trips to suit your family’s needs.
Safety is always our top priority. Each rafting guide is certified in CPR/first aid and whitewater rescue certified by the WRI (Whitewater Rescue Institute). We foster a community of guides who love their jobs and invest significant time on the water both during training and after work hours for their own enjoyment and skill development.
Q. How many people do you fit on a raft?
During a typical summer, we can accommodate anywhere from 3 to 14 people on a raft.
Q. Where do rafting trips start and end?
All rafting trips depart from our headquarters in Gardiner, Montana. Our guides wake up early to pump rafts and send them down to the water on our zip line system, saving you the burden of carrying your own raft. After navigating 8 or 18 miles (half day or full day trip) of rapids on the Yellowstone River, your guide will load the raft onto a trailer, and you will be driven back to the shop in one of our buses.
Q. Should I tip my whitewater rafting guide?
Tipping is certainly optional after your rafting trip, but please keep in mind that our guides train extensively and work hard to ensure that clients have a fun rafting experience. Whatever you feel comfortable giving your guide is a personal decision, but typical tips are 10-20% of your group’s trip cost. Tipping is never expected but always appreciated.
Q. I have a medical condition; can I still go rafting?
If you have any medical concerns before your rafting trip, we strongly advise that you talk with your doctor to ensure it is safe to go rafting. If you have essential medication such as inhalers, epi-pens, or insulin, our guides are happy to bring those along in their dry bags for your convenience and safety.
Q. What do I need to bring for horseback riding?
On a horseback adventure:
- Long pants.
- Closed-toed, sturdy shoes.
- Extra warm layer and rain jacket.
- Water bottle.
- Phone or small camera.