Rafting in the Age of COVID-19

Updated January 13, 2021

We have completed a full season of rafting with COVID, and are preparing to enter another one. We had a successful 2020 season, and are planning on implementing the same protocols as last season. We will continue to follow all State, local, and CDC guidelines and are committed to maintaining our high standards, professionalism, and exciting adventures through these times. Here are some ways our family owned operation will be rafting this 2021 season.


Before your trip

  • If you are in an “at risk” category,  we recommend that you consult with your physician prior to booking your trip.
  • We have updated our Risk Forms to alert you to the risk of exposure to viruses while on a trip. Everyone will need to read, acknowledge, and sign a waiver prior to their trip. These forms are contained in our confirmation email, which the group organizer will email out to each guest.
  • We will be sending guests our Health Pledge and asking each person to review and sign prior to their trip.  This pledge states that in the 14 days before your trip you have neither experienced COVID-19 symptoms nor been exposed to anyone testing positive for COVID-19.
  • If you start experiencing symptoms prior to the trip, please let us know and we can help reschedule your trip. Limiting contact with others for 14 days prior to your trip is strongly encouraged.

During your trip

  • Check in will be done outdoors and the Trip leader will be informing guests of proper procedures and distancing between groups during check in. Please wear a mask upon checking in.
  • Please bring your own face covering/mask and a ziploc bag. Coverings that can be worn around your neck, like bandanas or buffs, work great in addition to cloth masks.. Guests and employees will be required to wear a mask or face covering during transportation to and from the river, and when social distancing is not possible.
  • Bring hand sanitizer to use in times where we do not have it available. 
  • It is important to remain hydrated during our trips, so please make sure to bring your own water bottle. We will have bottles for sale upon check in. 

If you or someone in your group has symptoms or tests positive anytime in the 14 days following your trip, please let us know. We will need to notify our local agencies and other guests present on the trip.


Employee Screening– All Whitewater Excitement employees will monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days prior to their first trip following the symptom check questions. Employees will go through an appropriate screening process each day before work, and will have a thermometer on site to regularly check their temperatures.  Employees who show any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to work until they test negative or show no signs or symptoms for 14 consecutive days.

Guest screening has been enhanced to minimize participation by at-risk individuals, by individuals displaying COVID-19 symptoms, and by individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19. 

Transportation– We are reducing the capacities of our vehicles to provide adequate distancing between each group. Guests and employees will be required to wear a mask or face covering during transportation to and from the river. Our vehicles will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized between uses.

Personal Protective Equipment– We will promote the use of personal protective equipment throughout our trips. We encourage our guests to bring their own masks/face coverings and hand sanitizer to utilize during transportation and any other time that increases comfort. We will not be requiring masks to be worn on the river due to safety concerns. 

Hygiene – Employees and guests will be encouraged to wash their hands throughout the day, and will have access to hand sanitizer/handwashing stations.

Physical Distancing– We will be practicing physical distancing between non-associated groups. This will be focused on especially during the pre-trip meeting, safety talk, and PFD fitting, while on boats, during shuttles, at camp, during meals, and during hikes. When social distancing is not possible, face coverings will be utilized or encouraged.

On River– We’re bringing more rafts and more guides this year. We will not be combining different groups in boats, so boat loads will be smaller and more private. **Because of this, we are requiring a minimum of 4 people to book.

Sanitation– We will increase our commitment to maintaining a clean environment and to reducing the spread of viruses and germs during our trips. Special attention will be paid to sanitizing gear between trips, sanitizing vehicles between uses, sanitizing commonly touched surfaces and equipment between uses, and sanitizing kitchen and cooking equipment frequently.

Food Service Protocols– We will still be providing the same delicious meals during our trips. In addition to our existing food handlers and manager certifications, and our sanitation process, we will remain up to date on all food service standards. Employees will wear face coverings and gloves when preparing and serving meals. Food will be served by guides to each group, and seating will be set up for appropriate distancing. We encourage each guest to bring their own water bottle. 

Employee Training– All our guides have current First Aid/CPR/AED certifications, and many have Wilderness First Aid/Responder, and EMT training. In addition to these certificates, our staff will receive additional training on protocols to follow in case health issues arise.

If you would like more information on specific State Guidelines relating to camping and whitewater rafting, you can follow the links below.

California Guidelines – https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-campgrounds.pdf

A message from the El Dorado County Health Official

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