During a trip with our family to Yosemite this past June, 2012, we decided to try out Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions for a whitewater adventure on the Toulumne River. I have two young boys (10 & 14) and they were a bit nervous as we drove down the rather steep canyon to where we would meet up with our guide “Mike” and our oar-boat.
Both our boys had been on whitewater adventures before but never for a full-day and never with so much whitewater. This was our first adventure on the Tuolumne River and I must say that the adventure starts out fast & early! Many rivers we have been down you end up floating through a lot of calm water. Not on the Tuolumne River! You quickly become wet so make sure you get a good wet-suit – unless the air temperature is warm. You will be wet early and if it’s cold, you will be miserable for the rest of the day. This is not a trip for the faint-hearted but if you enjoy a wild ride – go for it!!!
The entire family had an awesome time. We stopped about mid-day for a well-prepared lunch. Mike our guide was absolutely incredible with the boys. He really made them feel comfortable. He let them row the boat for a while and even jump in the water a few times during a couple of the very few slow times during the trip. I don’t know about the other guides but Mike was very knowledgeable and would always keep us informed as to where he was taking us on the river. After our boys had “got the hang of it”, Mike took us through some of the more challenging sections of some of the rapids. He also helped us to work together on the paddling and my kids are looking forward to another whitewater adventure thanks to his ability to work with kids – thank you Mike !!!
If there is one recommendation I could make it would be to skip the Merced River and go for the Tuolumne River. You just can’t find anything like it……it’s a wonderful, wild and scenic whitewater adventure that your whole family would enjoy. Unless you only want a float trip – go for the Touolumne River. We will definitely be back !!!!
We visited on July 17 and did the Tuolomne on a day trip with my 2 sons. What a fantastic day, we laughed, had fun and even when the raft nearly capsized we were still laughing! Our guide, Corey, was superb and kept us together as a team without ever turning down the fun meter. The only other thing I can add is what my sons said, with whom I have a great relationship; "this is the best thing we have ever done together!
Our itinerary was a 1 day affair down the Tuolumne River with Alisha, Mike, & Tim as our guides. We ran class 4’s and a 5. All were great guides who provided expertise, humor, and an amazing deli spread for lunch! Mike knew more trivia and facts about the canyon than I’d imagine most forest rangers know. I highly recommend the Tuolumne River trip for what it doesn’t feature: highways and trains traveling alongside it. You truly feel like you’re out on a wild river.
This was our last event on our trip to Yosemite. We reserved the AM half day trip which turned out great considering it was the last day of rafting due to low water levels. Our guide, Gordy, was very informative and well experienced. We had an easy day on the Merced river until our raft filled with water and we were instructed on evacuation procedures by Gordy. After the rafting we went back to the office and had a chance to purchase a CD with all of the days pix in great resolution, it was a great keepsake. It was an awesome day , we wish all the guides a great season, best of luck to Gordy on his next adventure!
I went on the Kings River weekend trip with Zephyr and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was very impressed by how well the camp site was set up, and the beautiful location of it right along the banks of the river. The tent cabins were spacious, clean, and comfortable. I was expecting typical camping food to be served but was pleasantly surprised to find that they had a very skilled cook who served up very delicious and nutritious meals. The trip itself was very exciting. The crew was experienced and very safety conscious, and I could tell that they had a deep understanding of the river and rafting on it. I shared the trip with my wife and would highly recommend it to anyone.
Excellent, excellent, excellent………That’s all I have to say about Zephyr Whitewater rafting on the Kings River. This was mine & my daughter’s 2nd year going for Memorial weekend with my Sister-in-laws group that has been going for years now. My only regret is that I didn’t start going years ago when my sister-in-law & her family and friends started going. The river guides are so knowledgeable that they put you at ease if you are a first timer. A very well trained group of staff members working for Zephyr.
We loved our guides both this year (Kali) and last year (Will). Not to mention all the others, Adam, Brian, etc., that treat you well and make you feel special while you are camping/rafting with them. I was so amazed with the food considering you are in the mountains camping, great cook and GREAT FOOD, plenty to go around. You have a very professional group of people working for you. It’s a trip worth taking and repeating. We will be back for sure!!!
My husband and I were traveling with another couple to Yosemite for a few days and booked the half day AM trip on the Merced. None of us had ever whitewater rafted before, so we didn’t really know what to expect. I’m so glad we chose Zephyr to coordinate our rafting trip because everything went very smoothly and we had a blast. The staff at Zephyr taught us everything we needed to know before we set foot on the raft and we felt like we were in good hands through our entire trip.
Bob was our guide and he was both knowledgeable and funny. He told us cool stories about the area and swapped jokes with us through the whole trip.
Myself, along with the 3 others in my group now have a newfound love of whitewater rafting and are looking forward to our next trip.
Tip: Wear the wet suit and wool socks. The water is cold!
We purchased a CD with the pics from our trip for $40. We split it 4 ways so it wasn’t so expensive. The picture quality is great and we are so happy we decided to purchase it.