OARS Wet and Wild Whitewater Rafting Adventures Just Outside of Yosemite

OARS California runs 1-day trips on the Merced and 1- to 3-day trips on the Tuolumne near Yosemite National Park
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Rafting with OARS on the Tuolumne River

Rafting with OARS on the Tuolumne River

Experience two of Yosemite National Park’s rivers for a thrilling whitewater rafting adventure.

Both the Merced River and Tuolumne River flow out of the park, offering class III and IV rapids. For a day trip, go with OARS down the Merced River, a fun, rollercoaster of rapids with a break for lunch.

For a multi-day trip, raft the Tuolumne, one of the best whitewater rafting experiences in the country, says Steve Markle, a spokesman for OARS. Only two commercial trips are allowed down the nearly continuous stretch of class IV rapids per day, making for a remote and pristine experience. Along the way, you’ll stop to do some hikes, explore an abandoned mine and play beach games.

“You are literally laughing like a kid bouncing through the rapids, and there are not many activities that evoke that kind of response,” Markle says. “Even if you fall out of the boat, it’s a story you’ll tell for the rest of your life.” 

Depending on water flows, OARS has minimum age requirements for each trip.

Merced River Rafting 

Tuolumne River Rafting 

Rafting Clothing List

Don’t miss the boat on what to bring on your summer rafting adventure. Here are some tips from Steve Markle of OARS for your day on the river.

  • Warm layers, including a rain jacket, for cool mornings and cold river water.
  • Sandals with a secure strap or an old pair of sneakers. Don’t bring flip-flops.
  • Quick-dry shorts and shirt. Avoid cotton clothing.
  • Hat with a brim.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Sunglasses with a strap.

For more information:
(800) 446-7238