FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Frequently Asked Questions

Trips meet at our office, located at 121 Vermillion St. Carlton, MN 55718. Look for the Swiftwater parking signs and check in booth.

We can accommodate 1 to 52. We can fit up to 6 adults in a raft plus the professional in raft guide steering your crew. We can sometimes squeeze 7 or 8 in a raft if they are smaller sized people and the groups wants to ride in one raft together really bad. 6 person rafts are the perfect size for the St. Louis River at its various flows throughout the rafting season.

Our trips cost $50/person and include all necessary equipment (helmets, paddles, pfds, waterproof cases and paddling suits if needed) and a professional in raft guide. We do have discounts for large groups too. If you have a group of 10 or more call or use the contact form.

While our trips are for almost anybody and no previous experience is necessary our trips are not like an amusement park ride: your effort and cooperation are needed. If you can’t paddle or don’t want to then our trips aren’t for you. Our trips are a wilderness and whitewater adventure.

Ages 10 and up, no experience necessary!

Click here for more information on who can go!

Homegrown guides with world experience. Our guides are from the region but most have traveled and/or guided in other regions or countries. We have taken the best of what we have seen and experienced and applied it to our trips

Our trips are guided by professional in raft guides and are led by trip leaders in safety kayaks. This makes your trip more fun and safe with experienced and trained guides both in the raft and on the river.

Specialized training and certifications: We set the industry standard in the area. Our trip leaders are certified in Swift Water Rescue, Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder, and CPR.

Education and knowledge of local ecosystems where trips take place. From geology to flora and fauna of the region, we know it, love it, and share it with you.

You are special: we don’t operate like a whitewater factory in a hurry to get you down and on to the next customer. Our goal is to offer a unique, quality experience where you are part of the team. We encourage everyone to be fully in the moment and enjoy their surroundings.

Call to book your whitewater adventure today!

No prior paddling or rafting experience is required as we have professional in raft guides steering each raft. You do need to be physically able to paddle and mentally able to understand and follow directions.

A lot is a relative term, but you do need to put in an effort. This is not an amusement park ride. At times we will paddle easy and other times everyone will need to paddle hard to successfully navigate a rapid. We do take a couple of breaks along the way.

For colder conditions, you want to dress in layers. For your base layer polyester or fleece, long underwear is best. No cotton as it loses its insulating properties once wet. For your insulating layer, wool or fleece is ideal as it can get wet and still insulate. For your external layer, you want something like Gortex to shed water and stop the wind. Early and late in the season and on days with cold conditions, we supply wetsuits at no extra cost.

For footwear: in colder conditions wear wool socks and tight fitting shoes such as tennis shoes. If you have neoprene booties then water those. In warmer conditions wear tight fitting shoes such as tennis shoes or sandals that have a strap across the back so they stay one. Flip flops are a poor choice as they can easily fall off and be lost.

Depending on flows the trip is typically 2 hours long. Larger groups can take a little bit longer but typically 2 ½ hours is the maximum time.

Check out the trip description for more information!

Depending on flows and the section of river we run, most trips will paddle a couple of class II rapids and several class III rapids. In high water most of the rapids are class III to class III+ which can be waves larger than 6’ tall!

At low flows we run a different section of river through a canyon where the rapids are more technical class III and one class IV rapid.

This video provides visual examples and discusses how rapids are rated: Rating Rapids

Yes you can! We even have helmets available with Go-Pro mounts. Please ask to ensure you get one.

As far as time of day, we offer rafting trips at 10 am and 2 pm, whichever suits you best. We also offer a 5:30 pm trip Wednesday-Saturday.

As far as time of year, if you are looking for high water then May and June typically sport higher flows. Spring and early summer rains bring the river levels up.

July and August are also great times to raft as the St. Louis River holds water well, conditions are warmer, and besides there still being challenging rapids, the river is a wilderness area providing fantastic scenery.

We want everyone to have fun but you CANNOT be under the influence of alcohol or drugs on our trips. Not only can this cause unnecessary danger to yourself but to others as well. There are enough variables to try to manage risk while in a whitewater and wilderness setting that being of an altered mental state exemplifies that risk too much.

Once the trip is over, then visit your favorite watering hole or the River Inn for adult beverages and additional good times!

As far as time of year, if you are looking for high water then May and June typically sport higher flows. Spring and early summer rains bring the river levels up.

July and August are also great times to raft as the St. Louis River holds water well, conditions are warmer, and besides there still being challenging rapids, the river is a wilderness area providing fantastic scenery.

The headwaters of the St. Louis River, and its tributaries, start out in wetlands or bogs where decaying vegetation releases tannins that stain the river a ‘rootbeer’ color.

Check out this video for a longer explanation: St. Louis River Color

Don’t see your question above? Ask us here:

Name (required)

Email (required)

Phone Number (required)

Your Question