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 !!!!