Frequently Asked Questions
Our river center is located at 7050 Highway 55, Horseshoe Bend, ID. It is about 1 hour from the Boise airport and slightly less from Meridian, Eagle, or downtown Boise.
How do I make a reservation?
Reserve online through our secure website or give us a call at 208.793.2221 and our friendly reservations staff will assist you. Payment is required at the time of the reservation. We accept all major credit cards.
What happens if I have to cancel my reservation?
That would be a bummer! But things happen, so here’s the fine print. For cancellations made ten or more days before your trip, you will receive a full refund. For cancellations made three to nine days before your trip, you can choose a 50% refund or 100% Cascade credit. Cancellations made within 48 hours of the trip departure time are non-refundable. This applies to each member of the party.
What are the age requirements for rafting?
On the Main Payette or North Fork Cabarton, we can take children as young as 5 as long as they are comfortable with the water. For the full and half day South Fork trips (class III-IV), everyone must be at least 12 years old, at least 95 pounds, active, and in good health.
How many people go in one raft?
The non-answer. . . . it depends! We have rafts of several sizes. For our family-friendly trips on the Main Payette and Cabarton, we can take rafts that accommodate up to 9 paddlers in addition to the guide. For the more adventurous trips on the South Fork (full and half day), the rafts accommodate 6 paddlers in addition to the guide. These are general guidelines and are flexible depending on safety considerations such as the water levels and the total weight of the rafters. If you have any questions about how we will accommodate your specific group, please give us a call.
What should we wear?
Clothes you don’t mind getting wet – swimsuit, nylon shorts, t-shirt, and river sandals or tennis shoes you can get wet. Except in the heat of summer, it is best to avoid wearing cotton clothing. For trips with cold water or in cooler weather, we provide wetsuits and other insulating gear at no additional cost. We have changing rooms with lockers and rest rooms at our river center, so don't forget a change of clothes for after the trip.
What should we bring?
It is usually wise to bring sunscreen and water, a hat, and perhaps a towel. If you plan to wear glasses or sunglasses, we recommend a strap to keep them on. We offer Chums glasses retainers as well as waterproof phone cases for sale in our gift shop. Anything you take with you is likely to get wet, so plan appropriately. At no time can we take glass containers or alcohol on the river.
Do you have wetsuits?
All necessary equipment is included with our trips. Depending on the weather and water temperatures, we provide wetsuits, wetsuit booties, and splash jackets or thermal jackets at no additional cost.
What training do your guides have?
All of our guides are licensed by the State of Idaho. These standards require guiding proficiency, first aid and CPR training, and a background check, among others. At Cascade Raft and Kayak, we also require river rescue and safety training and ongoing guiding training and practice. Most of our staff far exceed these standards with years of river experience, and advanced first aid training.
What kinds of rafts do you use?
Our fleet of self-bailing AIRE and Maravia rafts are top-of-the-line. (And they are produced in the Treasure Valley!) We run guided paddle rafts--a guide in each raft and all participants assisting in paddling. The self-bailing floor lets water in and out, so your feet will definitely be getting wet. Our rafts range from 13-15 feet in length and hold from 6 to 9 paddlers in addition to the guide.
Do I have to paddle?
Yes and no. On the full and half day South Fork trips (class IV whitewater) everyone will need to paddle to safely maneuver the raft in the more difficult rapids. For the North Fork Cabarton and Main Payette trips, it is not necessary that everyone paddle. While the guide will need the assistance of most participants, those unable to paddle, such as younger children, are welcome to ride along or participate as they are able.
What if it is raining on the day of my trip?
We run our trips, rain or shine. Showers are unusual during the Idaho summer and they are typically isolated and pass very quickly. For this reason we do not make advance changes for weather to our scheduled departures. We will provide all the equipment necessary for your comfort on the water (wetsuits, splash jackets, etc). Hey, you are going to be getting wet anyway!
Do I need any kayaking experience to sign up for the Introduction to Whitewater class?
Nope. In each of our introduction classes we often have people who have never been in a kayak before as well as those who might have tried kayaking in the pool, inflatable kayaking on the river, or even done some hardshell kayaking. A roll is not necessary. Our 3-1 student to instructor ratio ensures that we can accommodate a variety of skill levels while keeping everyone safe and challenged.
What makes Cascade Raft and Kayak special?
Our private riverside facility is complete with a café, gift shop, riverside deck and patio, changing rooms, no-fee parking lot, and in-house professional photography department. On weekend afternoons, the silo bar serves local micro brews, street tacos and other snacks on the patio. Our outdoor adventure staff is highly trained, enthusiastic, and downright fun to be with.