Whitewater Rafting The West River in Vermont

Rafting the West River in Vermont

Enjoy an active vacation in Vermont on the Class III and IV rapids of the West River near Stratton Mountain, one of the state's hidden treasures. This intermediate-level white water rafting trip is an ideal way to  view the fall foliage. We welcome rafters ages 12 and up on this popular Vermont whitewater rafting trip.

Our base of operations for the West River trip is the Sun Bowl Base Lodge at Stratton Mountain, southern Vermont's premier four-season resort. With an alpine village, full amenities, comfortable accommodations, and a large meeting space, Stratton Mountain is the perfect starting point for a great spring or fall adventure!

We put in at Ball Mountain Dam, where water is released for the trip. Our first taste of big whitewater comes as we head into Landslide rapid. Several miles of continuous rapids later we meet our biggest challenge at the Dumplings where negotiating the river's natural s-turn pushes each raft's paddling skills to the limit. We stop by the riverside for a brief snack and have opportunities for swimming before taking out at Townshend Reservoir. Back at Stratton Mountain a hearty meal of barbecued chicken and a slide show of the trip provide a fitting finale to this unique adventure. Participants on West River trips should be prepared for a fairly strenuous walk down a steep rocky trail at the beginning of the trip.

Trip Dates and Prices
September 2015
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Price: $100 for adults and $88 for youth under 16.

Trip Details

A Typical Day

In 2015, the West River trip will meet at the Sun Bowl at Stratton Mountain in Stratton, Vermont at 10:30a.m.  Please try to be on time, since we must work within the schedule of water releases decided on by the Army Corps of Engineers.   You will be required to read and sign a release of liability at this time.

We raft a section of class III and III+ whitewater on the West River near Jamaica, Vermont. We put in below the Ball Mountain Dam and finish the trip at Townsend Reservoir.  The trip usually takes about 3-4 hours on the river and about 6 hours overall, including registration, transportation to the river, a snack stop, a barbecue lunch served back at Stratton Mountain and a slide show of your run through the biggest rapids.

The following statement is required by state law: "Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy."

We do not use nuts in our food, but can not guarantee that the ingredients in our meals do not contain nuts or other food allergens. If you have food allergies or other special dietary needs, we strongly suggest you bring your own bag lunch in non-glass containers and we will pack it with the other lunches on your trip. Please inform our office at 800 532-7483 or info@zoaroutdoor.com if you intend to do this.


What To Wear

You should bring the following with you for your trip.  Expect everything you bring on the raft to get wet.  We recommend you leave all valuables locked in your vehicle.  We provide a farmer john wetsuit, neoprene booties and a sprayjacket at no extra charge on West River rafting trips, so the following clothing items are to be worn in conjunction with the wetsuit for added warmth.

  • Wool or fleece sweater
  • Bathing suit and/or shorts.
  • Running tights or other synthetic tights to wear on your legs under the wetsuit if it's especially cold.
  • Wool or synthetic socks

You should also bring:

  • A change of clothes and a towel for after the trip!
  • Extra money for T-shirts, photos, snacks, etc...
  • Required medications
  • Sun screen and sun glasses (strap for sun glasses)

Cotton Clothing such as blue jeans, sweatshirts, or t-shirts, is not appropriate for rafting since cotton keeps you cold when it gets wet.  Wool, nylon, or polypropylene clothing are ideal.  These materials will wick the water away from your skin and will keep you warm when it's wet.

We provide paddles, helmets and life jackets. We must insist that you wear our life jackets; no substitutions will be allowed.

Getting Here

The West River trip meets at the Sun Bowl Lodge at Stratton Mountain in Stratton, VT.  


To get there take Route 91 North to Exit 2 in Brattleboro, Vermont. At the end of this ramp, turn left and follow signs to Route 30.

  Travel through the town of Brattleboro, turning left at the traffic light. Drive 1/4 mile and turn left onto Route 30. Continue approximately 38 miles on Route 30 to the village of Bondville; turn left at the entrance to Stratton Mountain.

 Follow the Stratton Mountain Road until you come to Mountain Road on your right, across from the Stratton Vol. Firehouse. Follow this road for about a quarter mile, then turn right onto Sunbowl Entrance Road.

 The West River is approximately 3 hours from the Boston and Hartford areas and 4 1/2 hours from the New York City area.

For further directions, please click here and enter your starting address.