OARS has been in the whitewater rafting business since 1969 and we know the difference between a good adventure and a great adventure. We understand that when you spend your hard-earned money on an experience, you want it to be exceptional.

A one-day whitewater rafting trip with OARS includes friendly and professional guides, top-quality equipment, incredible scenery, and big fun. But it’s more than just that. It’s the laughs, the thrills, the stories, and the comfort of knowing you’re in good hands.

The OARS one-day experience is about taking a quick break from the grind, doing something exciting, having fun, and being outside. It’s about getting splashed with cold water on a hot day and laughing so hard you almost fall out of the boat. It’s the anxious feeling you get right before you drop into a big rapid, and the huge smile on your face when you come through on the other side—drenched from head to toe and more alive then you’ve felt in a long time. But more than anything, the OARS one-day experience is about letting loose with your friends or family, and creating memories that will last a lifetime.



“What a fun trip! My husband and I had never gone whitewater rafting before. We wanted to get our ‘feet wet’ with this first experience and it was truly exciting and fun. We highly recommend OARS!”

–Beth, Orange County, CA

The One-Day Experience

Ready for a fun-filled day of adventure? Our guides, who are the single-most complimented component of our organization, will explain in detail what you can expect and answer any questions you have before hopping in the boat. After all, we want you to have an unforgettable experience.

Boats & Equipment

Your trip leader will provide a detailed safety talk and distribute the appropriate gear. On our one-day rafting trips that means helmets, Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs), and paddles. On early-season trips in California and Utah, we also provide wetsuits. OARS’ boats and equipment are top-of-the-line and well maintained.

After a quick gear check (making sure those PFDs are nice and tight!), you’ll hop into a raft with your guide and fellow rafters. Depending on the river you’ll either be in a paddle raft or a paddle raft with oar assist. Sharing a boat for the day is a great chance to bond with your family and friends, or meet new friends. Now the real fun begins. Get ready for some whitewater!

Children Rafting

Whitewater rafting through the Split Mountain section of the Green River which flows through Dinosaur National Monument in northeastern Utah.



OARS one-day rafting trips offer everything from moderate, Class II-III floats like our Split Mountain Canyon rafting trip on the Green River in Utah to thrilling Class IV runs like California’s Middle Fork American River, which boasts the notorious Tunnel Chute rapid. Don’t worry; we’ll help match you with the right experience for your group before you go.

On most rivers there are stretches of flat water so between thrilling wave trains, big splashes and fun drops, you can take in the scenery, wildlife and unique geology of the river canyon.

Main Fork American




Come lunchtime, we’ll pull over to a beach for a delicious picnic. Your guides will lay out an abundant spread of cold cuts, cheeses, veggies and breads, or perhaps a tasty taco salad for roll-your-own burritos. Lunch is always accompanied by fruit, cookies, cold water and lemonade.*

*OARS half-day trips do not include lunch.

Lunch Time




After lunch, you’ll return to the rafts for more thrills before eventually arriving at the take-out. Once at the take-out, the guides will be busy packing up gear and equipment for the return trip back. You might be asked to help in some capacity, but you’re always welcome to opt out if you wish. As the shuttle gets ready to depart, grab a cold soda from the cooler for the trip back to your car. Then, bask in that feeling of accomplishment that you get after an action-packed and thrilling day on the river.



Frequently Asked Questions

Which one-day adventure is best for me?

When choosing your trip, consider the location, time of year, activity level and age range of your group. OARS offers one-day trips in California, Utah, and as far away as Fiji with activity levels ranging from leisurely paddles, to adrenaline-pumping experiences. The choice is yours.

Are the rafting trips all whitewater?

No. Most rivers are “pool and drop,” meaning there are exciting rapids interspersed with stretches of calm, relaxing floating, allowing you time to soak up the natural serenity. From a casual Class I float to maximum intensity Class IV & V whitewater, the ride itself is a lot of fun.

Will I get seasick?

The chances of getting seasick are very low. River running is not like being on the sea and does not seem to induce seasickness.

Do I need to be young and fit to go?

OARS adventurers range in age from 4 to 84 and older. There are some physical requirements for joining our trips, weight restrictions may apply, and being healthy and reasonably fit certainly makes the experience more rewarding. People with medical conditions, including pregnancy, should have a physician’s approval before taking an adventure travel trip. Persons with various disabilities are welcome on OARS trips, pending a discussion of any special requirements. If you’re in doubt about your level of fitness, we recommend checking with your doctor before you go.

Can I bring young children?

OARS invites children as young as seven on many of our one-day rafting trips adventures.

Do I have to know how to swim?

All OARS guests must wear our Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Devices (aka PFDs or life jackets). Should you fall out of your boat, the PFD is designed to float you face up in the water. Before you get into your boat, however, our guides will give a detailed safety talk and show you how to properly “swim” a rapid, or what to do if your sea kayak flips. Please be advised our U.S. Coast Guard approved PFDs are rated to accommodate persons no heavier than 260 pounds and with a chest size no larger than 56 inches. We are experienced at accommodating people of all ages and abilities.

What should I wear and what personal items should I bring?

For one-day adventures with OARS the following items are recommended:

  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen & lip protection
  • Shade hat/visor
  • Sunglasses with securing strap
  • Bathing suit and/or shorts and a quick drying top
  • River/tennis shoes or river sandals with an ankle strap
  • Dry clothes and shoes to change into after your trip

Additionally, on spring and fall trips you should always be prepared for quick-changing weather. Bring layers, and if you can, avoid bringing cotton clothing, which not keep you warm once it gets wet. On early-season trips in California and Utah, OARS will supply you with a wetsuit.

We encourage you to watch our What to Wear & Bring video for more details.

Can I bring my camera or video camera?

Of course! We typically provide a small waterproof bag on each raft (17” tall x 9” diameter—approximate sealed size) to hold your camera and other items you might need during the day. While these bags are designed to be waterproof, you may wish to place your camera in a zip-lock plastic bag or waterproof casing for additional protection. Disposable waterproof and panorama cameras are also a fun option.

Should I tip my guide?

Guests often ask whether gratuities are appropriate, and in what amount. If you feel your guides have provided a very special trip for you, a gratuity may be left with the trip leader and will be shared among the crew. Entirely discretionary, anything between 5% and 10% of trip cost is a general tipping guideline. If you plan to tip, remember to bring a personal check or cash.

What about the privy?

One of the more mysterious parts of a rafting or sea kayaking adventure in the backcountry is the toilet. Before the trip, your trip leader will provide a detailed explanation on the protocol for going to the bathroom on the river or in the backcountry. On some trips, the lunch stop provides an opportunity to use a conveniently located pit toilet, but this is not guaranteed. We also carry a small container called the “day tripper” that can be easily accessed during the day should the need arise. It is a personal disposable toilet, which includes an odor-proof transport bag, chemical solidifier and odor eliminator, toilet paper and oversized hand wipe.

Is alcohol permitted?

Alcohol is not permitted on any of OARS one-day trips.

Is OARS licensed?

Yes. The U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and the state’s park services are charged with protecting our wilderness. Members of the OARS Family of Companies are proud to hold permits with these agencies, allowing us to conduct trips on protected land and water that might otherwise be inaccessible to most members of the public.