All participants are required to complete their registration forms and sign a standard liability waiver or assumption of risk before the trip, acknowledging awareness and acceptance of some risks associated with adventure travel.
On an OARS trip, we supply all meals and rafting and expedition equipment along with knowledgeable, experienced guides. Tents are generally provided and sleeping gear is available to rent, or in some cases, included in your trip cost. All you have to bring is a sense of adventure along with your clothing, shoes, water bottle and personal items as outlined in your Packing List.
If you need gear, a great place to shop is online at www.oars.com/OARStore. We can outfit you from top to bottom for any conditions. The OARStore also has a great selection of duffels, packs and miscellaneous accessories like binoculars, sunscreen, sunglasses and water bottles.
Our outdoor adventures are active participatory trips. Most of our rafting, kayaking, hiking and multi-sport itineraries are suitable for reasonably fit first-timers. It is your responsibility to understand the rigors of the trip and to represent to us that you are physically capable of participation. You understand your own health and fitness better than anyone and we will rely on you to provide accurate health information on your registration form. A combination of cardiovascular and resistance training exercises before your trip will help ensure preparedness for an outdoor adventure and will certainly add to your overall enjoyment. If you have any medical conditions that might impact your ability to safely participate, we encourage you to check with your doctor before you reserve your trip.
To increase your safety, we expect everyone to watch our 23-minute Whitewater Orientation video before joining us. Watch at https://www.oars.com/experience/safety or call 800-346-6277 to request a free DVD. Please don’t leave home without watching.
Be sure to let us know if you will have a birthday or anniversary during your trip. We need to know as soon as possible about any dietary requirements we should consider in planning your trip. If you have food allergies or restrictions, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. However, people with severe food allergies may need to supply some or all of their own food since we can’t entirely mitigate the risk of cross contamination*. Additionally, some specific needs can only be met if we charge you a supplemental menu fee to cover our increased costs.
*Note: Pending a detailed discussion about a guest’s specific dietary requirements, OARS may determine that a severely allergic person is not suitable for our adventures due to the constraints of preparing food for groups of people in a wilderness setting.
We are proud to hold permits with various state and federal agencies charged with protecting wilderness areas, allowing us to conduct trips on protected land and water that might otherwise be inaccessible to members of the general public. We are an authorized concessioner in Grand Canyon National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Canyonlands National Park and operate by special permit in Yosemite National Park.
In Idaho, O.A.R.S. Dories, Inc. is a licensed and bonded outfitter and our guides are licensed by the state. On the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and the Main Salmon River we operate under special use permit in the Salmon-Challis National Forest. The Wallowa Whitman National Forest oversees our Snake River permit in Hells Canyon. We operate our Gorges of the Lower Salmon trips under authorization from the Bureau of Land Management: Cottonwood District.
In Oregon, O.A.R.S. West, Inc. has a permit to run our trips on the Rogue River from the Bureau of Land Management, Medford District, along with the U.S. Forest Service in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. In California, the Stanislaus National Forest has granted us a permit to run our Tuolumne River and North Fork Stanislaus River trips, and we operate on the Klamath River under permission from the Klamath National Forest. On the Merced River, we operate under authorization from the Bureau of Land Management.
Trips are provided by individual subsidiaries of O.A.R.S. Companies, Inc. or affiliated companies as identified in the Terms and Conditions section of the “Before You Go” page for your trip.
OARS is an equal opportunity provider. In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, OARS is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write:
USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights,
Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Ave., SW,
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
or call (202) 720-5964
Our international trips are operated by independent suppliers arranged through O.A.R.S. International, Inc. We have no right to control their operations and therefore make the described travel arrangements upon the express condition that O.A.R.S. Companies, Inc., its subsidiaries, agents and employees, shall not be liable for any delay, mishap, inconvenience, expense, irregularity, bodily injury or death to person, or damage to property occasioned through the conduct or fault of any company or individual engaged in providing these services. Proof of medical evacuation insurance is required for all of our international adventures.
All prices are in U.S. Dollars. Prices for trips in National Park units are subject to National Park Service review. Prices are subject to change without notice. You can always find the most current prices on our website or by calling us.
OARS is proud of the fact that we can sometimes bring clients together with their favorite guides. However, guide requests are often not possible and cannot be guaranteed for a variety of reasons. We will do everything we can to schedule you with the guide you have requested, but in the end, please understand that accommodating your request may not be feasible.
Please visit https://www.oars.com/experience/safety to review our essential eligibility criteria. Weight restrictions may apply, particularly during periods of high water when the probabilities for non-voluntary swims are increased. More strenuous trips require higher levels of physical fitness. People who are obese, pregnant, have heart trouble or other medical conditions should have their physician’s approval before joining an OARS trip. People with disabilities are welcome, pending an advance discussion of all special requirements.
The trip leader has the right to disqualify a guest at any time during the trip, or at the pre-trip meeting, if she or he feels the guest is physically or mentally incapable of participation or if the guest continuing on the trip will jeopardize the safety of the individual involved or the group. Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. Refunds are not available under such circumstances.
Responsibility – An Important Notice
Payment of your deposit represents your acceptance of the following conditions: O.A.R.S. Companies, Inc., its subsidiaries and cooperating agencies act only in the capacity of agents for the participants in all matters relating to transportation and/or all other related travel services, and assume no responsibility for injury, loss or damage to person or property, however caused, in connection with any service, including, but not limited to that resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, annoyance, pandemics, delays and expenses arising from quarantine, 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 changes in transit over which we have no control. Reasonable changes in itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the participants, including cancellation due to water fluctuation, insufficient bookings, and other factors. Prices and dates subject to change without notice.
OARS trips occur in areas where unpredictable environmental conditions are to be expected. To avoid dangerous situations for our guests and guides, it is important that all travelers 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.
Gratuities are greatly 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 personal check, who will then distribute appropriately amongst all the guides and support staff.
Cancellations and Refunds
Please understand that our trip dates and capacities are limited by the managing agencies, and when we accept your reservation, we may be turning others away from booking that trip. If you find it necessary to cancel your trip, please notify us as soon as possible. You can telephone, but we also need a written notice. Cancellation penalties can range up to 100% of the trip cost, depending on the date and particular trip on which you’ve been holding spaces. We regret we cannot make exceptions for personal emergencies. For this reason, we strongly urge you to purchase a travel protection plan (see “Travel Protection” below). If you have any questions regarding our cancellation policy for a specific trip, please consult your pre-trip materials or contact one of our Adventure Consultants.
You may transfer from one trip to another during the same season for a nominal administrative fee. Transfers on multi-day trips that are requested after full payment is due will be treated as cancellations. Transfer fee policies are most stringent on Grand Canyon and Middle Fork Salmon trips and those run by affiliate companies.
Although our intention is for a safe trip for all, we strongly recommend that you protect yourself, your belongings, and your vacation through the purchase of a short-term traveler’s policy. For multi-day adventures, OARS recommends a travel protection plan that combines trip cancellation and interruption coverage, baggage loss protection and medical coverage along with emergency medical evacuation coverage. A travel protection plan can cover non-refundable payments for cancellations due to covered medical reasons. Trip participants should realize that in the event of illness or injury on a wilderness trip, evacuation can be prolonged, difficult and expensive. Baggage and cameras are carried entirely at the owner’s risk, and we accept no responsibility for lost, damaged or delayed property. For complete details and to purchase the plan we highly recommend, visit: https://www.oars.com/tpp.
How We Protect Your Personal and Financial Information
We use many safeguards that include both technical and physical measures to protect your information. These safeguards are continually updated and maintained by our information security professionals.
For online transactions, we use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology which encrypts your information automatically, and digital security certificates that guarantee your information is being transmitted in secure form directly to our web servers, and not to an unauthorized server. Due to the nature of our services, it is necessary to collect and store a certain amount of personal and financial information. By submitting your information to us, you consent to the storage of this information for a period of time deemed appropriate by us. Our internal computer systems are protected with anti virus protection and firewalls that block unauthorized access by individuals or networks.
OARS sends out semi-weekly e-newsletters and area- or activity-specific news that we think you’ll want to hear about, but you can count on us to not share your email address with any third-party company without your permission and you can unsubscribe from our emails at any time. Additionally, all address, personal and financial information is strictly protected. Learn more here: https://www.oars.com/privacy-policy/.
Domestic and International copyright and trademark laws protect the entire contents of this website. The owner of the intellectual property, copyrights and trademarks is O.A.R.S. Companies, Inc. You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit or distribute in any manner the content on this website, including text, graphics or photos.
Any use of the OARS Family of Companies’ trademarks is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of O.A.R.S. Companies, Inc.