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

West River Rafting

Ages

10+

Duration

Whole Day

Season

May & September

Location

Jamaica, VT

Intensity

Moderate

Mild

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.

Moderate

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

Wild

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.

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 Fire Department in downtown Jamaica, Vermont.

We raft a section of class III and III+ whitewater on the West River, putting in below the Ball Mountain Dam and finishing across from the Jamaica State Forest. Our first taste of big whitewater comes at 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. Want to run the Dumplings a second time? The riverside trail makes setting up a second run easy, there’s even an observation deck if you would rather just cheer your fellow boaters.

This is a half day Green Mountain adventure with morning trips departing at 9:30 am and afternoon trips at 1:00 pm. For the full Vermont experience, the charming Three Mountain Inn is a convenient stay just down the road.

Please 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.

 

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Expect everything you bring on the raft to get wet!

Best options for clothing:

  • Long pants and long sleeved shirts such as leggings or long underwear made of wool, nylon, fleece, or polypropylene are perfect to wear underneath the wetsuit. Layer a sweater or fleece on top to wear underneath the splash jacket.
  • If you choose not to wear the booties that are provided, sneakers or other shoes that can get wet and can remain securely on your feet during a whitewater swim.  (Bare feet and flip-flops are not allowed)
  • Avoid cotton clothing such as blue jeans, sweatshirts, or t-shirts as cotton keeps you cold when it gets wet and are not appropriate for this activity.
  • We provide all the in-raft equipment!

A few more details:

  • For this trip, Zoar Outdoor will provide a wetsuit, splash jacket, and river booties at no extra cost.
  • Bring any required medications as well as extra money for souvenirs!
  • Before the trip, please leave any and all valuables including money as well as your dry clothes and towels for after the trip in your locked vehicle. Keep your car keys with you during registration; we’ll collect those and put them in a lock box before gearing up, and then return them to you when you get off the boats.

Adventurers on the West River trip must be 10 years old or older.

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.
  • Be able to walk on rocky, uneven ground and descend staircases with no railings.

Specifically, for our 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.
  • 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.*

Please take the time to fill out your online guest details (available through your confirmation) as fully as possible, as this helps us provide correctly sized wetsuits and booties for everyone.

Our PFDs fit a maximum chest size of 56 inches.

Remember 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.

Call our office if you have any additional questions: 413-339-4010. They’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!

Bianca