Frequently Asked Questions

What should I bring?

We supply all the necessary equipment for our river trips including wetsuits, neoprene river booties, PFD's, helmets and paddles. Please do not bring along anything of value as it is always a possibility that your camera will get wet or your sunglasses will sink... a disposable camera is ideal, cheap sunglasses with a strap, and an extra layer that can be placed in the guide's dry bag. A tight fitting swimsuit is the most comfortable thing to wear under a wetsuit. If you have any medications please bring those.  If you would like to help us reduce plastic waste please bring a re-usable water bottle.

Will I get wet?
We hope so.

Should I bring my glasses?
Please be aware that Items routinely fall into the water and get lost. If you are bringing glasses please bring inexpensive glasses and/or use eyewear retainers. Eyewear retainers don't always work. Methow Rafting is not responsible for lost items.

Do I need previous experience?
No, most of our trips are perfect for those with no river experience at all

Can I bring my dog?
No. There is no place for a dog on the Kayaks or Rafts and it is not safe to leave your dog in a car in the Methow in the Summer due to extreme heat.

Can I bring alcohol?
No. Alcohol poses a safety risk to yourself and others. Any guests thought to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be allowed to go down the river.

Is there lodging nearby?
Yes, there are many lodging options in the Winthrop area.

How do we get back to where we started?
We provide a shuttle service to bring you back to your vehicle. For some raft trips, we will meet at the take out location and shuttle you to the starting location, so you will end at your vehicle. Trips leaving from River Run Inn in will be shuttled back to River Run Inn at the end of the trip.

Do I have to paddle?
If you are kayaking you will have to paddle. If you are in a raft and you prefer not to paddle there is the option of the guide using an oar frame so that you do not have to paddle.

How many people are in a raft?
We have a couple of different raft sizes but typically a raft carries 6 paddlers plus a guide.  

Where can I change my clothes?
There are changing facilities at our base at River Run Inn. There are no changing facilites on down valley trips although your car will be available to change in.

What do the Class ratings mean?
Ratings are a subjuctive measue of difficulty and risk of individual rapids. The higher the rating the greater the risk/dificulity. A rapid that has a high degree of risk and a low degree of dificulity will have a higer rating than a rapid that has high dificulity and low risk. In the Methow River we are fortunate that while some rapids are extremely difficult to run, the lack of vegetative matter in the river and on the shore means there is lower risk. The following definitions of the classes should provide a guidline.

Do I have to be physically fit to raft or kayak?
Not really. In a raft the guide does much of the work. If the guide is using an oar frame the guide does all of the work. The kayaks are extremely stable and easy to use though you do need the ability to paddle.

Can I use my own kayaking gear?
Sorry, our insurance requires that our clients use our high quality gear to insure safety.

Can I bring my camera?
You may bring you own camera but please be aware that it could get wet or lost. Even in a dry bag a camera is likely to get damp. Items routinely fall in the river and get lost. If your camera is not waterproof, it is best to leave it at home. If you camera is extremely valuable it might be best to leave it at home.

Will we still go if it's raining?
Yes you will get wet anyway so it really doesn't matter if it is raining. The only type of weather that could cancel a trip in a thunderstorm or flooding of the river.

Are rafting and kayaking dangerous?
Whitewater paddling is thrilling, exciting, wet, wild, and unbelievably fun. However, as in all outdoor adventure sports, there is an inherent risk involved. Injuries are rare, but they can happen on any trip. From our staff training, to the rivers we select, to the equipment we use, minimizing these risks is a priority at Methow River Raft and Kayak.

I can't swim, can I still go rafting or kayaking?
You do not have to know how to swim to take part. We provide personal floatation devices (PFD’s) that will help you to float and stay on the surface if you happen to fall out of a raft. However, you should be aware that an inability to swim does make it harder for you to participate in your own self-rescue if you fall out of a raft, and it might take the guides longer to get you back in the raft than someone who is comfortable swimming.