Group of rafters getting splashed and soaked by water from rapids
Group navigating the west river rapids
West River Dam

West River Rafting




Whole Day




Stratton, VT




Chill – These trips offer a mellow outdoor experience with a minimal (but not non-existent) chance of falling out of the boat. They require a basic level of fitness.


Looking to Explore – These trips have some exciting parts and some more laid back parts. They require a moderate level of fitness.


Epic – These are our most exciting trips.
They require a higher level of fitness and carry a higher chance of falling out of the boat in challenging rapids.

Due to an ongoing construction project at Ball Mountain Dam, we will not be scheduling West River trips this season. We look forward to returning to Vermont in 2023.

Enjoy an active Vermont vacation on the Class III and IV rapids of the West River near Stratton Mountain, one of the state’s hidden treasures and your only opportunity for Vermont whitewater. This intermediate-level white water rafting trip is an ideal way to view the fall foliage or the spring thaw. We welcome rafters ages 10 and up on this popular Vermont whitewater rafting trip.

A Typical Day


Our West River trip meets at the Main Base Lodge at Stratton Mountain in Stratton, Vermont. 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. All guests will be required to wear a Zoar Outdoor issued PFD (Personal Flotation Device) and helmet. You will also be provided with a paddle.

We raft a section of class III and III+ whitewater on the West River, putting in below the Ball Mountain Dam and finishing the trip at Townsend Reservoir. Our first taste of big whitewater comes as we head into Landslide rapid just below the put-in. Two 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 a series of easier rapids leads to the confluence with the Wardsboro River.  Another mile of fun class II+ rapids ends at the takeout at Townsend Reservoir.

The trip usually takes about 2-3 hours on the river and about 5 hours overall, including registration, transportation to the river, and a riverside snack spot. At Stratton Mountain a hearty lunch is served while viewing a slide show of your run through the river’s largest rapids.

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


We provide a farmer john wetsuit, neoprene booties and a sprayjacket at no extra charge on West River rafting trips. The following clothing items are suggested to be worn in conjunction with the wetsuit for added warmth; Other-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 and wool or synthetic socks. 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. We provide paddles, helmets and life jackets. We must insist that you wear our life jackets; no substitutions will be allowed. Bring any required medications as well as extra money for souvenirs, etc

For all of our whitewater trips, guests must be able/willing to do the following: Wear a helmet and our personal flotation device (PFD), respond to and follow verbal or visual instruction, roll from front to back in water while wearing a PFD, demonstrate dynamic sitting position (sitting upright), and float with feet up in water. Specifically for the intermediate West River trip, guests should be able to paddle in the rapids, but with frequent rests. Remain calm, lay flat, and orient their body so their feet are aiming downstream if they find themselves unexpectedly in the water. On the West trip, guests need to be prepared to spend a longer period of time in the water with an unexpected swim, and should be able to swim to the nearest raft or shore in current. Participants on this trip should also be prepared for a fairly strenuous walk down a steep rocky trail at the beginning of the trip. Our PFDs fit a maximum chest size of 56 inches.

Don’t forget to read your confirmation letter (there is a lot of useful information in there!). And remember: This trip does meets at Stratton Mountain in Vermont. Please click on the Directions link on this page for more details. Feel free to call our office if you have any additional questions. We’re always happy to help!


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Our guide provided us with an amazing experience. From start to finish, the entire trip was beyond memorable. We plan on being part of it all again next year. Can't wait!