If you’re looking for an amazing family adventure, book a trip with with OARS White Water Rafting in California!

Top 10 Reasons to book with OARS Whitewater Rafting California!

I love rafting and I love my home state of California, so when my friend Chelsea from Pack More Into Life told me she was doing a white water rafting trip with OARS down the Klamath River, I asked her to write about her experience.

Looking for the best whitewater rafting in the US? Look no further than OARS whitewater rafting, California! A family-owned company that takes all the stress and planning away from your whitewater adventures on the Klamath River and around the globe. Enjoy camping under the stars along the river, indulging in gourmet meals and hitting the rapids in a whitewater kayak. The OARS river rafting trips can’t be beaten with their knowledgeable guides, impeccable safety record, and high-end rafting gear.

Read an in-depth review of the Klamath River white water rafting trip (minimum age 4).

OARS White Water Rafting1. Enjoy your family vacation!

Yep, that’s right. When you take a trip with OARS, you actually get to enjoy the trip. From skipping rocks along the river banks, taking part in water shooter fights and sitting around the campfire telling stories, the OARS white water rafting company has all the logistics covered so you can just relax and enjoy the scenery. I know as a mom I can say that this was one of my favorite parts!

OARS White Water RaftingThe Klamath River, California rafting trip starts at age 4, which is perfect because our son was aged 4 and loves adventure! We appreciate OARS making their rafting trips accessible to children at a young age. As moms, we were reminded on day 1 to just enjoy our time as a family and leave all the logistics to the staff.

OARS White Water Rafting2. Amazing food!

I won’t lie, food is one of my favorite things about traveling! Anytime I think about “camping”, gourmet meals do not come to mind! But I can assure you that the food during our OARS lower Klamath river rafting trip was wonderful! From meat eaters to vegetarians, the staff had it all covered and whipped up some amazing creations.

Breakfasts were plentiful and featured items like French toast with fruit, eggs Benedict (made to order), bacon, vegetarian sausage, yogurt with granola/nuts, coffee, tea, milk, and cereal. 

OARS White Water Rafting

OARS White Water RaftingLunches were served along the Klamath River and started with appetizers: carrots, dip, chips, olives, fresh peaches/ watermelon the next lunch, cookies, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (crunchy and creamy). 

OARS White Water RaftingThen the staff rolled out the main dish: pulled pork sandwiches on the first day with all the fixings:  lettuce, pickles, avocado, tomato, onion, cucumbers and more. Other days had a platter with various sliced meats: turkey, roast beef.  The vegetarian option was hummus with the same fixings on sandwich thins/bread.

OARS White Water Rafting

Drinks: water, drink of the day (fruit juice). At Night: beer, cider, wine, soda. You are also welcome to bring your own alcoholic drinks in plastic containers or cans. 

Dinner was a treat! The first night featured steak, salmon, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, wine, beer, and other drinks. The second night was burritos with Mexican rice, beans, fresh guacamole, salsa, chicken or tofu with fresh vegetables, sour cream, cheese, and all the fixing.

OARS White Water Rafting

OARS White Water Rafting

Deserts included s’mores and chocolate fondue with fresh fruit. We were never hungry and slept well with full bellies during the entire trip.

OARS White Water Rafting

3. A Unique Experience

When people ask me my favorite places to visit, it isn’t usually the place I mention, but the experience. Cooking classes in the family kitchen in Tuscany, visiting a Finnish Santa Claus and sleeping on an overnight train. For us, it’s the unique experiences and this white water rafting trip is high on the list!

The lower Klamath River rafting trip allows you to immerse yourself into nature, feel the power of the water as you float through the wilderness. Enjoy the Klamath river camping while sleeping under the star-filled sky while soaking up the sounds of nature all around you.

OARS White Water RaftingNot to mention the whitewater rafting adventures that await you in the river! A highlight is the variety of boats that OARS rafting trips offer to its guests. You can choose to ride in the gear boat where you get to sit back and relax while floating down the Klamath River. Enjoy the sounds of the birds, spot turtles basking in the sun or chat with the amazing guides. 

OARS White Water Rafting

Looking for a bit more adventure, jump into a paddleboat where you can work as a team with the other guests while paddling into the rapids. 

Or take it a step further and hop into a whitewater kayak for the ultimate white water river rafting adventure! Tackle the rapids in an inflatable kayak to truly experience the surge of the river and feel the crashing water against your skin. The whitewater kayak was a highlight for my husband and I. Not to mention the OARS guides are happy to keep little ones in a gear raft while you enjoy a bit of adventure on your own. Our son loved shooting my husband and me with water shooters, so it was a win-win. 

OARS White Water Rafting

4. Nature without the crowds

As more families are able to travel, it gets harder to find a slice of nature without the crowds. That’s one of the things that I loved about this white water river rafting adventure. Being able to experience the wildlife, the Klamath River camping, and feeling like we were the only ones out on the river! 

The lower Klamath River has a variety of geological formations ranging from sandy beaches to towering cliffs (with great jumping rocks), rocky islands, mountain streams flowing into the river and grassy fields. 

OARS White Water RaftingNature was abundant with sightings of over 5 bald eagles, finches, heron, osprey, ducks, dragonflies, butterflies, and turtles. 

5. Safety and security

I don’t know about you, but knowing that my family is safe while enjoying our adventures is a top priority. The staff at OARS are meticulous in making sure everyone, including the kids, are safe at all times. They aren’t there to babysit your kids, but it’s a family affair with everyone helping to make sure we all make it to the end in one piece.

River Rafting in California provides a whole host of concerns with water safety, campfire safety and more. The OARS guides bring life vests for each guest (matching their weight requirements), a helmet (for use in kayaks and paddle boats), as well as a safety briefing at the beginning of the trip. 

Children under the age of 7 aren’t allowed to kayak down the rapids, but our son was able to hop into the kayak during a flat water area to play in the ripples. 

We were all briefed on what to do if we exited one of the kayaks or boats in a rapid and how to get to shore safely. I can attest to falling out of a kayak and making it back in one piece. I always felt in safe hands with a knowledgeable crew. 

The white water rafting gear was also top-notch. Boats were in control, well secured with rafting gear and in excellent working condition. The camp was set up to ensure that children didn’t wander into the kitchen area with hot burners and boiling water. 

Guests were required to wear life best anytime we played near the water and the guides pulled lifeguard duty whenever we went swimming offshore. 

6. Knowledge

I can attest that the knowledge of the crew is immense! Everything from the local wildlife to the best practices for our rafting adventure. If I had a question, the staff was able to answer it!

We enjoyed riding in the gear rafts and listening to Suzy, Sam and David tell us about the river, past experiences and point out wildlife as we traveled along the river. I’m sure they’ve seen many bald eagles during their river rafting days, but they got just as excited as we did! 

The guides were also knowledgeable about rafting techniques and safety strategies. They packed the boats meticulously each time we docked and had a quick strategy to unload and have lunch ready when we pulled up for a quick stop. The guides also quickly connected with the kids on our trip and it made all the difference! Our son still talks about Suzy. 

7. Packing lists and info

I won’t lie, the cost for the trip doesn’t include all the whitewater rafting gear you’ll need. Even though we enjoy the great outdoors frequently, there were still a few items that we had to purchase for this white water rafting trip. As you start adding up your family members, the cost can add up. However, O.A.R.S has all the information you could ever ask for on their website about what to pack, how to pack, adapting to the various seasons and what mistakes not to make.

We utilized their techniques and added some of our own and we were never cold or overly hot. We did have gear that we didn’t utilize, but that’s only because we ended up with fabulous weather!

Their staff is also easy to reach with any questions!

8. Communication

Everything from answering my questions to the booking process, planning, pre-departure and during the trip, the reservations team is on point.

Emails are answered quickly and thoroughly. I know when I am spending a considerable amount of money, I want to know that everything is going to run smoothly. Early communication gave me confidence that the trip would run smoothly. OARS white water rafting is a well-oiled company that is family owned and takes pride in its business. 

We even received a discount when an item that was promised to us wasn’t delivered. We didn’t say anything because it wasn’t a big deal, but the OARS company wanted to make it right!

White Water Rafting California

9. Environmentally conscious

The concept behind “leave no trace” is strong with OARS. Biodegradable soap, reusable materials, and less waste are all evident. They even ask you to not print their emails if possible.

With the current environmental changes, we appreciate the effort that goes into leaving a smaller carbon footprint with our travels. We were happy to take part in their composting program and even doing dishes next to the river was an enjoyable experience!

white water rafting California10. Digital Detox

Haha; I know. Travel blogger here with all the social accounts, but it was really nice to ditch all of it and live in the moment! There isn’t any cell service along the river, so it forces you to just soak in the moments with your family, tell campfire stories, look up at all the stars in the sky and rest those typing fingers. 

Sometimes getting away from everything is just the refresh that is needed from our tech-based world. Enjoy the whitewater adventures and those emails and social media accounts will be waiting for you when you get back. 

white water rafting CaliforniaChelsea is a military wife and mother of a young son. Her life’s goal is to show her son the world with all of its amazing experiences, cultures, and people. She is a travel blogger and documents all of her families travels on her blog www.packmoreintolife.com. She hopes to inspire you to travel and enjoy more time together as a family.

READ NEXT:
The Only Italy Travel Guide You'll Ever Need