Trip Preparation

On an O.A.R.S. 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 and personal items as outlined in your Packing List.

If you need gear, a great place to shop is online at We can outfit you from top to bottom for any kind of conditions—there are sun hats and wetsocks, windbreakers and thermal underwear, all from top suppliers. 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, sea 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 during the registration process. 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 special medical conditions, 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. You can watch the video here. 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, some specific needs can only be met if we charge you a supplemental menu fee to cover our increased costs. If you are a vegetarian or a vegan and you let us know well in advance, we can provide meals for you without additional cost. We cannot always guarantee the same diversity or sophistication as our regular menu for special dietary requests.

Permitting Agencies

The U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and the states’ park services are charged with protecting our wilderness. Members of the O.A.R.S. family of companies are proud to hold permits with these agencies, allowing us to conduct river trips on protected land and water that might otherwise be inaccessible to most members of the public. We are honored to be authorized concessioners in Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park and to operate by special permit in Crater Lake, Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks.

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.

All our operations and facilities are operated on a non-discriminatory basis. Trips are provided by separate corporations that are members of the family of O.A.R.S. companies and affiliated outfitters as identified in your confirmation packet. O.A.R.S. is an equal opportunity employer.


All prices are in U.S. Dollars. Prices for trips in National Park units are subject to National Park Service final approval. Prices are valid at the time of printing and may change in the course of the year. In general, the best prices are available earlier. You can always find the most current prices on our website or by calling us.

Cancellations and Refunds

Please understand that our trip dates and capacities are limited by 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%, depending upon the date you cancel and the trip you cancel. We regret we cannot make exceptions for personal emergencies. For this reason, we strongly urge you to purchase trip cancellation insurance (see “Travel Protection Plan” 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.

Transfer Fee

For 1-day trips, if you transfer from one trip to another, the deadline is 7 days prior to your departure and the fee is $30 per person. For trips of 2 days or longer, the deadline is generally 60 days prior to departure and the fee is $50 per person. Transfers made after deadline will be treated as cancellations. Transfer fee policies are more stringent on Grand Canyon and Middle Fork Salmon trips and those run by affiliate outfitters.


Weight restrictions may apply. More strenuous trips require higher levels of physical fitness. People who are obese, pregnant, have heart trouble or have special medical conditions should have a physician’s approval before taking a river trip. Persons with various disabilities are welcome, pending an advance discussion of all special requirements.

Travel Protection

Although our intention is for a safe trip for all, we recommend that you protect yourself, your belongings, and your vacation through the purchase of a travel protection plan. A travel protection plan with trip cancellation coverage may cover non-refundable payments in the event you have to cancel your trip at the last minute due to a covered illness or injury. Trip participants should realize that in the event of illness or injury on a river 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.

Liability Waiver

Everyone is required to sign a standard liability release or acknowledgement of risk before the trip, acknowledging awareness and acceptance of some risks associated with the trip.

Foreign Travel

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.

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, 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.


Our guides work very hard to please you and provide an excellent experience. They appreciate whatever feedback you care to give them, including a gratuity if you so desire.

Guide Requests

O.A.R.S. 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, your request may not be feasible.

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/spyware protection and firewalls that block unauthorized access by individuals or networks. O.A.R.S. Companies, Inc. is a PCI Compliant company.

Privacy Policy

O.A.R.S. sends out a monthly e-newsletter and occasionally area or activity specific news that we think you’ll want to hear about, but you can count on us NEVER to sell or share your email address with any third party company and you can unsubscribe at any time. Additionally, all address, personal and financial information is strictly protected. Click here to read our complete 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 material in this website, including text, graphics or photos.


Any use of the O.A.R.S. family of companies’ trademarks is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of O.A.R.S. Companies, Inc.