Beginner Rafting Tips


Tubing down a lazy river can be fun and relaxing, but for a more thrilling experience, nothing beats the exhilaration of Yellowstone River Rafting. The stretch of Yellowstone River most popular for rafting is home to some of Mother Nature’s most extraordinary rapids. Rafting Yellowstone River is fun for the whole family and ideal for beginner rafters.

Classes of Rapids

Whether you are a beginner or a pro, familiarizing yourself with the river is crucial before embarking on a rafting trip. Rivers can change daily, depending on snowmelt, rainfall, and dam opening and closing schedules. 

An International Rating system classifies rapids as:

  • Class A (Easy) – No discernible movement.
  • Class I (Easy) – Smooth water with light ripples, clear passages, occasional banks, and gentle curves.
  • Class II (Moderate) – Medium-quick water with some rapids, and open passage through rocks and ledges.
  • Class III (Moderately difficult) – Multiple high and irregular waves, clear but narrow passages that require rapid-running experience.
  • Class IV (Difficult) – Lengthy powerful rapids, strong waves, souse holes, and boiling eddies.
  • Class V (Extremely difficult) – Violent rapids that are nearly constant. Many obstructions, steep drops, and explosive current.
  • Class VI (Extraordinarily difficult) – Extreme danger with a constant threat of death.

Classes on the Yellowstone River

When the river is high, some rapids can be class IV, but primarily the rapids are a fun yet adventurous Class II and III. This rafting trip is an excellent way to literally get your feet wet.

Tips for Beginners

Rafting is a blast, but it is important to start out sensibly. It may seem extreme, but if you have never rafted before, do not tackle anything bigger than a Class I on your own or without training. Use guided tours from people with expert skills and extensive experience to help you improve your paddling skills.

While rafting, you should:

  • Dress appropriately
  • Stay hydrated
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Always wear your safety gear
  • Listen attentively to your guide
  • Ask questions
  • Be prepared for a workout

Shoot the Rapids

Ready to ride the rapids? Make your first rafting trip a Wild West Rafting trip, and you’ll be hooked for a lifetime of water, wilderness, and wild river fun. Book your Yellowstone River Rafting trip today!