Why is WET River Trips The Best Rafting Company?

There are many things that make us different from the competition but here are just a few – 2023 Top 9 Reasons WET River Trips is the Best River Outfitter:

  1. Family Owned and Operated – Our business and our staff are family and it shows. From your first call to the end of your trip with us, you will receive the personal touch of family. That’s why we are in business and do what we do.
  2. Our Safety Record – Thanks to our experience, knowledge, training, and equipment we have the best safety record in the industry.
  3. Our Experience – We are one of the original whitewater rafting companies on the American River, with almost 50 years of experience providing high-quality rafting trips. Since 1978 we have been providing whitewater rafting trips in California. From half-day trips on the South Fork American River to 5-day trips on the Lower Klamath, and everything in between we have the knowledge and experience to provide you with the highest quality trips.
  4. Your Experience – Our focus is on providing the highest quality and best rafting trips to every one of our guests. Unlike other companies that focus on how many people they can take down the river each day, quality experiences are more important to us than the number of people we take down the river. Our motto is “WET River Trips, Not The Biggest But The BEST”. 
  5. Dedicated Guides & Staff – We have the best and most experienced river guides in the industry (Our guides have an average of 15 years of experience apiece). When you come rafting with us you are in the best hands in the industry.
  6. Reasonable Prices – We keep our costs & overhead low so we can pass our savings on to our guests. We want to share our passion for running rivers, not make the most money.
  7. Quality equipment – We invest in our gear and use top-of-the-line equipment that’s well-maintained. We purchase the best equipment in the industry and tirelessly maintain it, so you know you will be using the best when you come with WET.
  8. Commitment to Diversity – We are proud to be an equal opportunity provider. We seek out the best guides and employees regardless of gender or ethnicity and embrace diversity in every customer we serve. 
  9. Environmental Stewardship – We are committed to taking care of our environment. We are active and support the communities that we operate in. Practice Leave No Trace principles. And maintain and repurpose all that we can in order to waste as little as possible.

Why Do We Do All of This?

About 5 years ago we decided to buck the trend we were seeing in the rafting industry. Instead of focusing on taking as many people down the river as we possibly could, we decided to focus on providing the highest quality and best rafting trips to each and every one of our guests. Our motto is “WET River Trips, Not The Biggest But The BEST”. 

By resisting the trend of trying to become the biggest outfitter we are able to provide a far superior product to our clients that will not only be appreciated but also brings us more business. This philosophy has rewarded us. The best and most experienced river guides and employees want to work for us.  They know that every guide they will be working with on every trip will be equally experienced, skilled, and professional. Unlike our competitors, we sell out on certain days. Not because we don’t have the ability to take more people, but because we know that no matter what infrastructure and staff you have the quality of your trips declines when you are providing trips for more than 150-200 people on a day. Our employees and customers notice the difference. We have been rewarded by greater demand, more productive employees, and exceptional reviews.

If you look at most white water rafting companies, they will brag about how many people they take down the river. We could do that as well and have the ability to compete with them if we choose to chase that metric. Instead, we made the conscious decision to use a different business model. We believe that what our customers care about is who will give them the best rafting trip. Which means the best service, product, and experience. Not who is the biggest or takes the most people down the river.

The reality is, no matter how good you are, how well your staff is trained, or the number of resources you have, there is a point where the quality of the trip you can provide is greatly diminished simply because you are taking too many people rafting.

Believe me, I know, I’ve been there.  You and your guides are more concerned with keeping time schedules and getting ready for the next 200 people they will have to push down the river the next day than enjoying the river with you. 

If you have ever been on a rafting trip where you are just 1 in 200, feeling more like cattle being pushed down the river than being on a fun, relaxing rafting trip, then you will appreciate the personal touch WET River Trip provides, thanks to this decision.

The reviews we receive from our happy guests prove that they see the difference between a WET river trip and those of other companies and are glad they chose WET. You can see for yourself what our guests say here:

If you ask our river guides they will also tell you the difference between us and other river outfitters. Many of them have worked for numerous outfitters throughout the United States as well as internationally. They all have chosen to stay with WET because we are a family and truly care about the experience of our guests and guides, not just pushing people down the river like other outfitters.

How do we do this?

1. Investing and Keeping Staff –

We have the most experienced and skilled river guides in the industry. Our whitewater rafting guide staff averages over 15 years of experience apiece. They are our pride and joy. No other whitewater company can compare with that. With all of their experience, they have chosen to come and stay with WET because of how we treat our guests and guides, like family who we respect and value.

We continually invest in our staff by doing things such as paying for their Swift Water Rescue, First Aid & CPR Training (unheard of in the industry). Many of our guides take their training even further by getting Wilderness First Responder and EMT training. We even have paramedics and certified nurses on our staff. And every year we take our staff on a 7-day river trip at the end of the season. It’s our way of thanking them for everything they do and a time when we can reconnect after a long hard rafting season. Our owner, Chad Richards, has worked as a full-time rafting guide since he was 18 years old. He takes a different approach to managing our staff. He believes that it is his job to make their jobs easier and to give them everything he can for them to be successful. You won’t find anyone here or anywhere else who works harder to do this.

Our Operations Manager (who also happens to be the owner of WET River Trips) has worked full-time in the whitewater rafting industry for 32 years. He guided on the most difficult commercially run rivers in the world, pioneered numerous rivers, and safely ran trips on almost every commercially rafted river in California at the highest and most difficult river levels ever run. In addition to all of that, he was a white water rafting instructor and Swift Water Rescue instructor both in the United States and internationally, before he came to WET. This experience extends past our amazing river guide staff. Our incredible office staff has been working in the whitewater rafting industry for an average of over 13 years. They share their knowledge and care for rafting trips with everyone who contacts us. They are devoted to our policy of providing the best possible whitewater rafting experience to each and every person and group who chooses WET River Trips

2. Selling Out and Capping Our Trips – 

We do something that is very unusual, we stop selling spaces trips if we don’t have all the necessary pieces to guarantee that adding another group or raft to a trip won’t harm the experience of anyone of our guests and that every one of our trips will meet our high standards.

That means, that we won’t hustle and push our guests down the river so that our shuttle vehicle can make a lap to pick up another trip. Or higher a guide for a day that we don’t know meets our high standards just so we can take one more group on any given day. This is not the industry standard, but we know that for many of our guests, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience or something they have been looking forward to all year. So we value that experience and refuse to discount it just so that we can make an extra buck.

3. Keep Costs Low – Past Savings On To Our Customers & Staff

We care about our product and service not flash and fluff. We don’t have an office. We are a rafting company, not a law firm. Why pay for an office when we can do everything we need to do without one? Our warehouse is an old metal garage, it’s small and not fancy but we meet our guests at the river, they don’t care about what our warehouse looks like. We would rather make do with things like that so we can focus our resources on the things that make our guests’ experience better. This means quality equipment, nice vehicles, fresh high quality food, and experienced and highly trained guides. It also means that we can pass our savings on to you.