Before You Go

Gorges of the Lower Salmon River Women’s Wellness Retreat


Trip Snapshot

We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips on the water, and sometimes the weather. Please refer to your confirmation letter for the exact dates of your trip.

MEETING PLACE:Hells Canyon Grand Hotel, 621 21st Street, Lewiston, Idaho, 83501
MEETING TIME:7 PM, the evening before your trip
RETURN TIME:Approximately 3:30-4:00 to Lewiston
RIVER MILES:73 (63 at low water)
PUT-IN:Hammer Creek (Pine Bar if low water)
TAKE-OUT:Heller Bar
TRIP LENGTH:5 days/4 nights
BOAT OPTIONS:Oar raft, dory, inflatable kayak, stand-up paddleboard, paddle raft

Itinerary at a Glance

What does this trip offer? Daily yoga, mindfulness, meditations, and river time to navigate your own individual journey with support and love from the fellow women around you. Each day will begin with yoga before breakfast, followed by an exciting day on the water, possible hiking, and delicious satisfying meals. In the evenings we’ll gather beside the river for a gentle yoga practice to absorb the experience and let all the wonder sink in. Evenings are spent camping on sandy beaches beneath the Milky Way. 

Explore self-care practices along the river with guidance from two knowledgeable and passionate bodyworkers. Bre and Sam will share the art of Thai massage and acupressure throughout your wilderness adventure retreat. Join us in learning something new about yourself and the magnificence of these ancient canyons, immersing yourself in the unknown. 

The Day Before Your Trip – REQUIRED Attendance Please 

We’ll meet at 7:00 PM in the lobby of the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel for a pre-trip meeting. This is an opportunity to meet your fellow women and ask any last-minute questions. Your trip leader will give you a thorough trip orientation and waterproof river bags so you can pack your belongings later that evening while your yoga instructors, Bre and Sam, share details on your Wellness Empowerment Excursion! We will also confirm the meeting time for the next morning. 

Days 1-5 

We’ll depart Lewiston for a scenic 2-hour drive to our put-in at Hammer Creek. (Pine Bar is our optional low-water put-in.) 

At the river, we meet the rest of the crew. After an informative safety talk and some brief paddle raft/inflatable kayak instruction, we’re off on our river adventure! Those of us ready to get wet might swim through Rollercoaster rapid at the entrance to Green Canyon. We’ll stop to visit some ancient pictographs and continue the whitewater action with rapids like Wright-Way, Demons Drop, and Pine Bar. 

As we float along the river, we’ll keep an eye out for the wildlife that inhabits the canyon. Golden eagles, ospreys, and river otters make frequent appearances; if we’re lucky, we might also see beavers, cougars, and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. 

We will begin our mornings on the river with hot coffee and sunrise yoga while guides prepare breakfast. The first day generally sets the pace for our trip. We’ll spend a few hours on the water, sometimes stopping for a short hike, a swim, or a visit to pictographs, or another historical site. Come lunchtime, we pull over to a sandy beach and enjoy a delicious picnic. After feasting and relaxing on the beach (or perhaps swimming, a game of Frisbee, or a nature walk), we get back in our boats for more exciting whitewater. Be sure to try your hand at the paddleboard and inflatable kayak! At the end of each day, you will grab your bags and set up your tent while we take care of the kitchen and “living room”—camp chairs and the site for tonight’s campfire (if permitted). We will settle into camp before coming back together to enjoy a restful evening practice followed by a healthy and satisfying meal, group discussion, and community connection. 

Our journey down the Lower Salmon takes us through Green Canyon, then into Cougar and Snow Hole canyons, each offering a different perspective on the striking scenery around us. All the while, the river slowly unfolds its long and varied history, providing glimpses of old mining and ranching sites, geological displays of basalt formations, remnants of ancient Indian cultures, and remains of old Chinese stone houses. Entering Snow Hole Canyon, we face some of the biggest, most exciting whitewater of our trip: Half and Half, Snow Hole, and China rapids. 

Early-season boaters can experience the challenge of Slide Rapid in Blue Canyon; perhaps the most spectacular of the four gorges through which we’ve traveled. Hikers in the group might enjoy climbing to a vista point for an impressive bird’s-eye view of the river winding through the steep and slender canyon. Finally, the Salmon merges with the Snake River, again doubling in size on its run north to the Columbia and west to the Pacific Ocean. 

On the last day of your trip, before a delicious breakfast, you will enjoy peaceful moments to pause and reflect as a group. On that last day on the bigger river, we’ll see increased boat traffic, evidence of development, and multiple-use impacts as we continue our float. A motor may be used on the last portion of flat water to the take-out. After passing the confluence with the Grande Ronde we arrive at our take-out, Heller Bar, bid farewell to our guides, and travel by van back to Lewiston, about a 45-minute ride. 

Included in Your Trip Cost

  • Skilled professional guide service
  • Yoga practices with qualified yoga instructors + all yoga gear
  • Catered camping: All meals from lunch on day 1 through lunch on the last day, with limited beer and wine with dinner 
  • 1 large waterproof bag to hold your personal gear for the trip (approximate sealed size: 13” diameter x 25” tall; 3318 cu in; 54.4 L)
  • 1 small waterproof bag for camera and other small items you’ll want during the day (approximate sealed size: 17” tall x 9” diameter; 1081 cu in; 17.7 L)
  • 2-person tents, based on double occupancy. Solo travelers and odd numbers on the booking will have their own tent (no additional cost) and will not need to share. Extra tents can be rented for $30 each.
  • Sleep kit—consisting of a sleeping bag with sheet liner, deluxe 3-inch thick air-filled sleeping pad, ground tarp, sheet, pillow, and pillowcase packed in a large waterproof bag, which will be provided upon your arrival in camp on night one
  • Personal flotation device (PFD), which must be worn at all times on the river in compliance with safety regulations
  • 12-ounce insulated Klean Kanteen with Café Lid to use for drinks in camp
  • For clients with a high interest in using the inflatable kayaks, we will bring a limited supply of wetsuits (our wetsuits do not include footwear of any kind, including wetsuit booties). If you have your own, please feel free to bring it with you.
  • Camp chairs
  • Eating utensils and plates
  • Highest-quality inflatable rafts and related equipment
  • Transfers from Lewiston to the river and back

Not Included in Your Trip Cost

  • Transportation to and from Lewiston, Idaho
  • Pre- and post-trip accommodations and meals
  • Insurance of any kind, a travel protection plan
  • Items of personal nature (see suggested packing list below)
  • Gratuities

Available for Rent

  • Extra Tent: Can be rented for $30 per tent.

Getting Ready

Pre-Trip Checklist

Consider Purchasing Travel Protection: Learn more about the plan we highly recommend and get a quote.

Trip Forms: Each participant will need to complete the required trip forms within two weeks of making a booking. Refer to your confirmation email for the link to the online forms. If you prefer to fill out paper forms, please let us know right away. If you are reserving within 60 days of departure, your forms must be completed immediately to ensure we can properly plan for your trip.

Reserve flights, shuttles, and lodging: Verify with your adventure consultant that your trip has met minimum numbers prior to booking flights and/or reserving overnight lodging for the night before and after your trip, if applicable. It is important to make reservations early as rooms may be limited during peak travel periods.

Whitewater Orientation: To increase your safety, we expect everyone to watch our Whitewater Orientation video before joining us. 

Physical Requirements: Your outdoor adventure will be an active participatory trip. Please inform us of any physical limitations you may have as soon as possible. If you exceed 260 pounds, please give us a call. Make sure you are exercising frequently in the months leading up to your trip and can meet our Essential Eligibility Criteria

Payments: Final payment is due in our office 60 days before your trip (refer to your invoice for final payment date). Please let us know if you would like us to automatically charge your credit card on file when final payment is due.

River Runners’ Responsibility Code

1. Read the pre-trip literature and arrive at the meeting place on time.

2. Understand the risks: your safety is ultimately your responsibility.

3. Treat your fellow guests and guides with respect and courtesy; harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.

4. Wear clothing and personal protective equipment suitable for the current conditions.

5. Listen to and follow the guides’ instructions.

6. Abide by the managing agency’s rules.

7. No drugs or alcohol prior to, or during, your trip.; alcohol is allowed in moderation in camp on overnight trips.

8. Minimize your impact on the environment.

9. Wear the OARS-issued and properly–fitted Personal Flotation Device (PFD) at all times when in the boats or swimming. Wear a helmet when required.

10. Your children are your responsibility!

Travel Arrangements


Lewiston (LWS) is served by Delta with flights connecting through Salt Lake City and by United with flights through Denver. Lewiston hotels may offer a shuttle from LWS, please inquire with your hotel about this option.

The nearby Pullman, Washington, airport (PUW) is serviced by Alaska Airlines. You can also fly into Spokane, Washington, then rent a car or take a bus to Lewiston. Spokane is served by several airlines and is approximately a two-hour drive (100 miles) from Lewiston. See ‘By Bus’ for more information.

By Bus

Limited bus service is available on Northwestern Trailways: (800) 366-3830. 

Pre- and Post-Trip Accommodations 

We recommend that you make reservations well in advance in order to guarantee lodging. (Pre- and post-trip lodging is not included in the trip cost).

In Lewiston

Hells Canyon Grand Hotel: Offers a special rate for OARS guests, complimentary shuttle from the Lewiston airport, and luggage storage for its guests while they are on the river, as well as parking*. (208) 799-1000

*OARS cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage to vehicles or their contents.

Useful Information


Beyond our standard menu, we can provide options for vegetarian, vegan, and many allergy-restricted diets without applying a fee. However, we cannot always provide the same diversity or sophistication for restricted diets as we do for our regular menu. Similarly, certain allergen-free snack foods are difficult or impossible to source in our locations, so feel free to bring your own favorite snacks to supplement our provisions. Please let your Adventure Consultant know if you intend to do so.


Our drinking water comes from the river and is filtered through a purification system we provide. (No iodine is used in the purification process.) We store the purified water in large containers that are accessible in camp, at lunchtime, and before hikes for filling personal water bottles.

We also provide lemonade, and a limited supply of soft drinks, beer, and wine at camp. You are welcome to bring your own favorite beverages, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, in non-glass containers. For those planning to buy hard liquor in Idaho, State Liquor Store hours vary. Selection is likely to be limited. For your safety and the safety of others, the consumption of alcoholic beverages is limited to camp.


Bathing is not allowed in the river or in any of the side streams that feed into the rivers. You may want to bring a solar shower or you can borrow a bailing bucket from one of the rafts to rinse off after soaping up. Both are to be used at least 200 feet away from the water source in an area that will absorb the runoff. 

We recommend using a liquid, eco-friendly soap such as Campsuds or Dr. Bronner’s which can be purchased in most stores that have a camping section and can also be used to wash clothes. Bathing wipes (pre-moistened cleansing towels, preferably biodegradable) are also good alternatives to submersion in the river and are especially convenient during cooler weather trips.


Fire activity can impact the air quality on our trips, and occasionally wildfires may be present in the immediate vicinity of where we’re traveling. In general, we will not cancel a trip on account of smoky conditions, except in cases of clear danger to life or property. 

Learn more about rafting during wildfire season with OARS, including info about some of our protocols and travel protection recommendations.


The opportunity to explore the area will depend on several variables, such as the amount of time spent in the boats (often 4-6 hours per day), the time it may take to break camp in the morning and to reach our next camp in the afternoon, other groups in the area, weather and more. We make every effort to provide guided excursions to nearby points of interest, some of which are brief walks while others are long hikes that require more planning. The trip leader must consider the overall ability of the group when deciding what hikes to offer. In anticipation of doing some side exploration during your trip, remember to bring a water bottle and lightweight shoes that are comfortable for walking on uneven terrain. All hikes are optional so you can choose to relax by the boats or in camp instead. If you are an avid hiker, please let your Adventure Consultant know prior to your trip so the trip leader is aware.


Salmon River fishing can be excellent, especially in sidestreams. On the Lower Salmon River, you can fish for smallmouth bass and, in the fall, steelhead. You’ll need to bring your own gear. We recommend collapsible poles for ease in packing, light spinning tackle with 4- to 6-pound test, and an assortment of spinning lures such as Mepps, Rooster tails, and Super-dupers. Fly anglers do quite well, especially in major tributaries. Please bring your rod protected in a hard case.

Non-residents of Idaho can buy a short-term fishing license by calling 1-800-554-8685 or you can purchase one online through the Idaho Department of Fish & Game. Licenses are also available for purchase in Lewiston.

Anyone 14 years and over needs to have a fishing license. Children under 14 do not need to buy a license, but they must be accompanied by an adult from their party with a valid license. 

Click on the links below for additional information on the following topics:


We recommend checking Weather Underground one week before your trip for an up-to-date weather forecast for Lewiston, ID. Being properly prepared for weather variations is an important factor in fully enjoying your trip.

Average Air & Water Temperatures

 Air (Day)°FAir (Night)°FWater Temp °F

Packing for Your Trip

For more helpful information about what to wear and how to pack for a river expedition or to view our packing video, please visit our packing essentials page.

We want you to be prepared and comfortable for your trip. Below you’ll find some general tips for how to dress and what to pack and a comprehensive packing checklist. The need for warm weather or cold weather items should be based on a reliable weather forecast leading up to your trip.


During the day—Start with a swimsuit and/or swim trunks and a synthetic or Merino wool shirt as a base layer. Additional layers for sun protection or insulation can be added and subtracted depending on the weather, temperature, and how wet you’re getting in the rapids.

In camp—When the weather is warm, lightweight cotton pants/shorts and shirts make great camp wear. Anytime the forecast calls for cool evenings and cold nights, a dry set of long underwear is the perfect base layer under long pants and a fleece sweater.


During the day—The best choice is an amphibious shoe that drains water, protects your toes, and won’t come off in swirling currents. A retired pair of athletic shoes can work well, too. Sport sandals with a heel strap are a good option. Find professional-grade options made by Chaco®, the official footwear sponsor of OARS guides.

In camp—We recommend wearing shoes in camp due to the risk of kicking a rock buried in the sand or stepping on a sharp stick. The athletic shoes or light hikers you bring for hiking can double as your camp shoes. It’s nice to put on dry socks and shoes after a day on the water. Flip flops or slip-on sandals are OK for wearing in camp only.

If you buy new shoes or sandals for the trip, make sure you break them in first!


During the day—Wide-brimmed hats are a good choice for sun protection. Ball caps are also useful since they fit under helmets, which are required attire when paddling our whitewater rivers.

In camp—When the weather is cool or cold, you’ll want a non-cotton beanie-style hat to wear in camp. They are the perfect remedy for bed-head as you rise from your sleeping bag to secure your morning cup of coffee or tea, or for retaining warmth in the evening hours after the sun sets. 

Hot Weather Trips

During the summer months, conditions on the river may be hot and sunny. These trips require less gear than spring or fall trips, but thoughtful packing is still required. Protection from the sun and heat will be critical to your enjoyment and health while on the river and during side hikes. To protect yourself from the sun’s rays, consider bringing long-sleeved shirts and pants.

A good way to keep cool is with long-sleeved cotton shirts. Old collared dress shirts work well. They can be soaked in the water and worn in the raft or carried on a hike for later use. This method of evaporative cooling is very effective. Bandanas are another useful item that can be used in this manner.

Camp-wear should be made of cotton and be loose-fitting. A combination of shorts/skirt and a lightweight top is ideal for staying cool on hot afternoons. 

To Avoid Being Cold

Synthetic or Merino wool long underwear is a must-have on river trips. It can be worn under shorts, rain gear, T-shirts, etc., then stripped off when the chill of the morning has worn off. It keeps you warm even if it’s wet (which can happen easily), dries quickly, and it’s compact enough to be stuffed into your small waterproof bag or daypack after you take it off. It can be layered under your waterproof rain jacket and pants. In cooler weather a rain jacket and pants work better than a wetsuit because the jacket and pants can be put on when it’s cold, or when you’re going through whitewater, then easily taken off when the sun comes out and it’s hot. Some folks find that wetsuits don’t work as well as they are tedious to put on and take off. During early season or high-water trips, we do provide wetsuits for paddlers. Be aware that cotton items, once wet, do not insulate; only synthetic and wool materials will keep you warm during cool, wet weather.

Something warm for your top & bottom: You need to be prepared for inclement weather. Bring a good fleece or wool top and bottom, along with a warm hat and gloves. You’ll want to double up on your base layers so that you’ll have a set to wear in the boat and a set of warm, dry clothes for camp.

Rain Gear

Rain gear protects you from rain, wind, and the splash of the rapids. It is one of the essential items that all guests should have no matter what time of year they are traveling. Look for jackets and pants that are 100% waterproof, not just water resistant. A hooded jacket is recommended, as well as good secure closures around your head, neck, wrists, and ankles. Do not bring a rain poncho as it cannot be worn under your PFD.

Sun Protection

Protecting yourself from the sun should be taken very seriously! In many cases, a long-sleeve shirt is the best method for preventing sunburn on your upper body. Lightweight long pants may also be appropriate to protect your legs. A hat, sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses are also a must.

Bugs & Mosquitoes

Bugs and mosquitoes vary depending on location and time of year. It’s a good idea to come prepared with insect repellent. Long-sleeved shirts and pants may be desirable at times. Often yellow jackets and wasps can be a nuisance. We recommend a eucalyptus and lemongrass repellent. If you are allergic, please bring two epi-pens.


Even if you aren’t anticipating your menstrual period, come prepared for it. We recommend you bring some sandwich-size zip-close bags. These bags can store products during the day while you are on the river. Used pads or tampons can be disposed of in the trash at lunch or at camp. We provide some menstrual products on most trips for emergencies.

Sleeping Gear

We supply a professionally laundered sleeping bag with liner, a pillow with a freshly laundered pillowcase, a sleeping pad, a ground tarp as well as a shared tent. The complete customized sleep kit that we provide is designed for your comfort and maximizes available luggage space. Our sleeping bags are degree rated depending on the season and are 33” x 84,” which is longer than the normal 80”.

Yoga Accessories 

All yoga supplies will be provided for this trip including yoga mats, blocks, and straps.

Packing List

Equipment and Personal Items

☐ Two 1-liter water bottles: durable and reusable, insulated bottles recommended for trips in hot climates to prevent water from becoming too hot to drink
☐ Hand sanitizer
☐ Headlamp or flashlight (consider bringing extra batteries)
☐ Polarized sunglasses with securing strap (consider bringing a spare)
☐ Small, quick-drying towel (a sarong makes a great alternative and can also be worn around camp)
☐ Toiletries, including biodegradable soap (such as Campsuds or Dr. Bronner’s)
☐ Sunscreen and lip protection: waterproof & SPF 30 or higher (aerosol sprays not recommended)
☐ Moisturizing lotion or cream
☐ Insect repellent
☐ Personal first-aid kit (Band-aids, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen, moleskin, eye drops, etc.)
☐ Spare pair of glasses and/or contacts
☐ Cash for gratuities


☐ River shoes or sandals with a heel strap (such as those made by Chaco®). “Aqua socks” strongly discouraged.
☐ Athletic shoes or light hikers
☐ Hiking socks


☐ Long-sleeved shirt: lightweight and light color for sun protection (old dress shirts work well)
☐ Long pants: lightweight and light color for sun protection
☐ Shade hat or visor with securing strap–flexible enough to fit under your helmet
☐ Rain jacket & pants: waterproof (not water resistant). A hooded jacket with secure closures is recommended
☐ Swimwear: tankinis and board shorts are a great option
☐ Underwear
☐ Shorts: 1 pair
☐ T-shirts/tops: 1-2
☐ Synthetic long underwear top & bottom: 1 set light to mid-weight
☐ Jacket: fleece or down/synthetic fill puffy (depending on the time of year, weather, and location)
☐ Camp clothes: comfortable and appropriate for the season. Cotton is recommended for hot weather trips. Some guests may prefer an athletic skirt or dress.

Optional Items

☐ Camera and accessories
☐ Fishing gear
☐ Sarong: useful for sun protection, evaporative cooling, changing clothes, etc.
☐ Small day pack, waist pack, or hydration pack for side hikes
☐ Bathing wipes: pre-moistened disposable cleansing towels 
☐ Small bags: stuff sacks, zip-close bags, or similar for organizing items in your dry bag
☐ Large empty bag: laundry bag, pillow case, or similar for putting clothes into after your trip
☐ Earplugs
☐ Binoculars
☐ Splash jacket and pants
☐ Lightweight cord and clothespins for drying clothes
☐ Sketchbook, notebook and pen, paperback book
☐ Bandana
Stand-up urination device
☐ Fishing gear

Packing Your Gear

At the pre-trip meeting, each person will be given one large waterproof bag (approximate sealed size: 13” diameter x 25” tall; 3318 cu in; 54.4 L), for your clothing and personal items. A second bag for your sleeping gear (sleeping bag, sleeping pad, ground tarp, sheet, and pillow) will be packed and waiting for you. Tents are stowed separately.

We also provide a small waterproof bag per person for day use, where you can keep items such as rain gear, camera, sunscreen, lip balm, etc. (approximate sealed size: 17” tall x 9” diameter; 1081 cu in; 17.7 L). The bags are cylindrical in shape and pack from the top. Please pack light, and keep in mind that river attire is casual: comfort, convenience, and boat space take precedence over style. At the end of the trip, you will return to Lewiston with your waterproof bags, where you will be able to unpack your gear before your trip home.

Extra Luggage

If you have extra luggage it should be locked in your car or stored at your hotel. 


We recommend that you leave your valuables at home. For personal items like wallets, purses, and cell phones, we recommend putting them in a zip-close bag at the bottom of your waterproof bag with your clothing.

  • Visit our Trip Resources page for more info on the use of drones, electronics, cannabis, CPAP Machines, firearms, and more.
  • Find all the gear you need for your trip online in the OARStore and 15% of your purchase helps provide under-resourced youth with outdoor adventure experiences.
  • Shop for the latest in top-quality clothing, footwear & outdoor gear at REI.



Tipping is appreciated by our staff. If you are wondering how much to tip, you may consider that we operate in a service industry with a host of behind-the-scenes contributors in addition to the guides on your trip. In general, we suggest a gratuity based on 10 – 15% of the trip cost. It is customary on OARS trips for gratuities to be given to the Trip Leader, in the form of cash or a personal check, who will then distribute appropriately amongst all the guides and support staff.


In reviewing your statement, you’ll note a $1/person/day donation to Greater Hells Canyon Council, a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to defending the Snake River through Hells Canyon and the Lower Salmon River. One hundred percent of these funds go directly to the river protection work of Hells Canyon Preservation Council, and your contribution is tax-deductible. Please notify our office if you would prefer to delete the donation from your balance.

Terms & Conditions

Reservations and Payments

A $400 per person deposit is required at the time of booking with final payment due 60 days before departure. Accounts on which final payment has not been received 50 days before the departure date will be canceled.

Payments can be made by check, money order, eCheck, wire transfer, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. Prices are in US Dollars, and all payments must be made in US Dollars. Payment of the deposit establishes your acceptance of our complete Terms and Conditions. Individual departures and trip capacity are strictly limited by the managing agency. Your payment is fully refundable for 7 days, less a 3% processing fee, after making a reservation when you reserve a trip 7 days or more prior the final payment due date.

Cancellations and Refunds

Canceling your trip after your deposit is processed will incur cancellation fees because OARS has absorbed costs on your behalf and will turn others away who would like to book the spaces we’re holding for you. If you must cancel your reservation after the rescission period described above, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the schedule below.

We regret that we cannot make exceptions to the cancellation policy for any reason, including foul weather, poor air quality, wildfire activity, acts of terrorism, civil unrest, or personal emergencies. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing a travel protection plan.

180 or more days before your trip $50/person
179 – 90 days before your trip $100/person
89 – 60 days before your trip $200/person. The remainder of your payment can be transferred to another trip within the same year (or to a credit account for the following year). No refund.
59 days or less before your trip Full fare

Please note that different deposit/cancellation policies may apply for charter groups. Refer to the group organizer’s confirmation email for details.

Canceled Trips

OARS reserves the right to cancel any trip due to insufficient registration or other factors that make the trip impractical to operate. In such instances, we will inform you at least 45 days prior to departure. Do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until you have verified with OARS that your trip is confirmed. 

If a trip must be canceled or postponed due to force majeure (factors outside the control of OARS), OARS will provide full credit for payments made toward future travel, or a refund less the initial deposit amount and any non-refundable payments made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers. OARS will make good faith efforts to recover deposits made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers; however, we cannot guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made. OARS is not responsible for expenses incurred by participants in preparation for a canceled trip.


If you need to move your reservation to a different trip during the same season, or to a credit account for the following year, there is a $25/person fee up until 90 days before departure for a one-time transfer of your payment. Transfer requests made 89 days or less before departure will be treated like a cancellation according to the schedule above.


Under most circumstances, if you are of an adventurous spirit and in reasonably good health, you should have no problem enjoying an OARS trip. People with medical conditions, including pregnancy, should have a physician’s approval before taking an adventure travel trip.

Travel Protection

Because there are costs that you will incur if you cancel the spaces on this trip that we’re now holding for you, or in the event you need to be evacuated during the trip due to an unforeseen illness or injury, we strongly encourage our guests to purchase an optional travel protection plan. A travel protection plan may help reimburse the cost of your pre-paid, non-refundable payments in the event you are prevented from taking your trip for a covered reason. Trip participants must understand that in the event of an illness or injury on a wilderness trip, evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. Learn more about the plan we recommend.

Please note: To be eligible for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your initial trip payment and you must be medically fit to travel at the time you pay for the plan.

Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage can be purchased as stand-alone coverage, independent of a comprehensive travel protection plan. You can get a quote for this type of policy by entering a Trip Cost amount of $0 when getting a quote.

Please note: By entering a Trip Cost amount of $0, the plan will not include Trip Cancellation coverage and you may not be eligible for Emergency Medical Expense benefits relating to any pre-existing conditions.

Liability Release / Assumption of Risk

Everyone is required to sign a standard liability release / assumption of risk form before the trip, confirming awareness that there are inherent risks associated with the trip. Due to the nature of the activities, a condition of your participation is that you will sign this form and return it to our office before the trip begins. Anyone who refuses to sign the form will not be allowed to participate, and consistent with OARS cancellation policy, there will be no refund of the trip fees at that time.

Responsibility – An Important Notice

O.A.R.S. West, Inc. and cooperating agencies act only in the capacity of agent for the participants in all matters relating to transportation and/or all other related travel services and assume no responsibility however caused for injury, loss, or damage to person or property in connection with any service, including but not limited to that resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from quarantine, pandemics, strikes, theft, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, civil disturbances, government restrictions or regulations, and discrepancies or change in transit over which it has no control. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and wellbeing of the participants, including cancellation due to water fluctuation, insufficient bookings (this trip requires a minimum of 6 guests – 6 for gourmet, craft beer, and wine trips), and other factors. There is risk in whitewater rafting, particularly during high-water conditions. Rafts, dories, and kayaks do capsize. You could be swept overboard. Your guide will make every attempt to assist, but you must be strong and agile enough to “self-help” and “float-it-out” without further endangering yourself or others. We reserve the right not to accept guests weighing more than 260 pounds or with a waist/chest size exceeding 56 inches. We may decide, at any time, to exclude any person or group for any reason we feel is related to the safety of our trips. We are experienced in accommodating people with various disabilities. Please give us an opportunity to make you feel welcome. We need to discuss any special requirements ahead of time.

OARS trips occur in areas where unpredictable environmental conditions are to be expected. To moderate dangerous situations for our guests and guides, all travelers must obey the rules and regulations as determined by the managing agencies and the Trip Leader and demonstrate reasonable consideration for other guests and OARS employees. We reserve the right to remove any guest from a trip if, in our opinion, that guest’s actions or behaviors pose a threat to the safety of her/himself or others, or if those actions or behaviors compromise the enjoyment of the trip for others. Should a guest be asked to leave a trip, there will be no refund for the unused portion, nor will OARS be responsible for additional expenses incurred by the guest for accommodations, return transport, change fees, etc. Prices subject to change without notice. Upon advancement of deposit, the depositor agrees to be bound by the above-recited terms and conditions. OARS is an equal opportunity provider.

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