What to wear rafting (or floating).

What should I wear rafting (or floating)?

Before embarking on your white water rafting, kayaking, or even scenic float adventure the first question you might have is “What do I wear??”.

This is one of our most FREQUENTLY asked questions, and rightfully so, its definitely an important one. So, we’ll get right to it, here are the Do’s, and Don’ts of dressing for the river.

Want photos of your trip, and all the splash shots too? If you haven’t already, purchase a photo package now and save $10!

The Do’s

1. Layers

The weather in Southwest Montana is ever-changing and often unpredictable, and the best way to combat the swings in Yellowstone’s weather is, you guessed it, layers. In the summer, you will want anywhere from two to three layers depending on the time of the season and weather patterns of the day. Here are the basics to get you started:

  • Top & Bottom Base Layers: Ideally swim or athletic wear, quick-drying is key here.
  • Insulating Layers: Often in the summer this is a pair of shorts and a shirt, again synthetic is best for quick drying.
  • Protective Layers: On cooler days, a fleece long-sleeved shirt or heavier synthetic top will usually do.

The Don’t: NO COTTON! Trust us on this one, wet cotton is uncomfortable and cold.

2. Footwear

In the boat and on the river, your footwear is equally as important as the clothes on your back. You will need shoes that are both good on terrain AND in the water. We have made a list of the ideal shoe types for the river for your reference here:

The Don’t: No flip flops or slides. Flip flops or slides are easily lost in the current and have little to no traction.

3. Extras

Of course, there are a few miscellaneous items that you will want to bring with you to have available before and after your Yellowstone white water adventure. This list of items will be kept in your car and/or used before we head to the river access. Not to worry, you can leave your keys at the front desk for safekeeping.

  • Water Bottle: Be sure to hydrate before your trip and have some water for after.
  • Sun Block: You will want to protect your skin before we hit the road, the mountain sun is intense and the reflection off the water takes it to a whole other level.
  • Sunglasses with Retainer: Sunglasses are equally important to protect your eyes and we highly recommend a retainer to keep them around your neck. Many sunglasses have been lost to the Yellowstone river without them. We have these available for purchase at the shop or if you haven’t booked yet you can add them when you book.
  • Towel & Change of Clothes: Changing rooms are available and depending on your plans for the rest of the day or evening a change of clothes can be a welcome sight.

The Don’t: Bring your phone or camera at your own risk. The scenery is beautiful but boats get wet, so is the river.

4. Gear

Wait what about gear?? Helmets, wet suits, etc. All gear is included. Helmet, lifejacket, booties, splash jacket, and wetsuit (if needed). All of this is available to you at no extra cost and your guide will advise what is needed and what is unnecessary for the day’s trip.

July 2020: Mask Mandate

On Wednesday, Governor Steve Bullock issued a new directive, which requires face coverings be worn in certain indoor spaces and for certain organized outdoor activities in counties currently experiencing four or more active cases of COVID-19.

Gov. Bullock says the directive requires businesses, government offices, and other indoor spaces open to the public to ensure that employees, contractors, volunteers, customers, and other members of the public wear a face mask that covers their mouth and nose while remaining inside these spaces. The directive also requires face coverings at organized outdoor activities of 50 or more people, where social distancing cannot be maintained.

The governor says the CDC released a study this week, concluding that “mandating the use of face coverings” in a salon in Missouri likely mitigated the spread of COVID-19. According to the state’s coronavirus task force, in the last month the number of active COVID-19 cases in Montana has risen from 55 to more than 1,000.

The directive does not require face coverings in counties with less than four active cases or for children under 5, though face coverings are still strongly encouraged in both cases. The governor says other exceptions include children under 2, while eating or drinking at businesses that sell food or drinks, during activities that make face coverings unsafe (like strenuous physical exercise or swimming), while giving speeches or performances in front of a socially distanced audience, while receiving medical care or for people with a preexisting condition that would make wearing a face covering unsafe.

Gov. Bullock says businesses, other indoor spaces open to the public and sponsors of organized outdoor activities may deny entry, refuse service, or ask any person to leave if they refuse to wear a face covering. If necessary, the governor says they may also rely on peace officers to enforce the state’s trespassing laws if a person refuses to wear a face covering and refuses to leave the premises.

The governor’s directive goes into effect immediately.

Yellowstone Raft Company Fire

Legends Never Die

On July 14, we lost our beloved Yellowstone Raft Company office, but today we remember the wonderful memories that have been made here since 1978. Our YRC family, friends and neighbors are safe, and we appreciate all of the hard work from our first responders. We are devastated to lose such an icon, but YRC will live on!

We are still running our trips and taking bookings during this time. If you book with us, you will now check in at our sister company, @paradiseadventurecompany just around the corner. If you have any questions about your bookings, please reach out on our webchat feature on our website and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

We are absolutely devastated, but we’re so lucky that everyone is safe. Thank you for your understanding and flexibility during this difficult time. Our purpose is to provide adventure to all, and we don’t plan on stopping.

During this time, if you need to make a cancellation or need a refund, you must speak with a staff member to cancel, do not leave any messages to cancel. No shows will be charged the full price of the trip. PLEASE give us a call if you are expecting a delay or are not able to go on the day of your scheduled trip. We would be happy to reschedule your trip.

#GardinerStrong #YellowstoneRaftCompany

Yellowstone Raft Company Fire

Bear Aware: Yellowstone’s First Bear Spotting of 2020.

The first confirmed sighting of a grizzly bear in Yellowstone has been announced by The National Park Service (NPS), as male grizzlies begin to make their way out of hibernation.

The bear was spotted prowling the ground near Grand Prismatic Spring on Saturday, March 7, by biologists tracking wildlife in the park by air.

Most of the bears seen emerging are adult males, which exit their dens in early March. Females with cubs tend to wake up in April and early May. This year’s first sighting took place a day earlier than 2019’s.

“Now that bears are emerging from winter dens, visitors should be excited for the chance to view and photograph them, but they should also treat bears with respect and caution,” bear management biologist Kerry Gunther said in a statement.


“Many visitors think bears are ravenously hungry and more likely to attack people for food after emerging from hibernation, but almost all bear attacks result from surprise encounters when hikers startle bears at close distances and the bears react with defensive aggression.”

Yellowstone National Park officials spotted this grizzly bear during a Saturday flight, making it the first confirmed grizzly sighting of 2020.


Gunther advises hikers, skiers and other visitors to travel in groups of three or more people. Guests should also make sure they are carrying bear spray and to create noise, so as to alert any wandering bears to their presence.

The park says visitors should try to avoid hiking at dusk, dawn or at night, make sure they remain alert and keep food, garbage and other items that might attract attention in bear-proof storage boxes.

Anyone who does come into contact with a bear is asked not to run, keep at least 100 yards away and report any sighting to a park ranger as soon as possible.

Information by Newsweek

Spring 2020 Yellowstone Road Opening Dates

Park Roads

All information from https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/parkroads.htm 

Feeling Chilly? These Hot Springs Will Warm You Up!

Is there really any better way to warm up on a cold winter day in Yellowstone Country than soaking in a hot spring? We think not. If you’re visiting in the winter, make sure to visit one of the local hot springs for a fun and relaxing way to beat the cool temps!


You’ll find this natural wonder is just south of the 45th Parallel Bridge, located in the Mammoth area of the park. It’s right near the North Entrance to Yellowstone (just minutes from our store)! Don’t forget your suit, and don’t bring any alcohol, it’s not allowed. The boiling river closes at dark around 6:00pm. This is a can’t-miss winter activity in Yellowstone.



Take the plunge into Chico’s two open-air natural mineral hot springs pools. Guests soak, swim, play and relax in their chemical-free, geothermally heated pools every day of the year. Watch the sun rise over the Absaroka Mountains or gaze into the night sky while soaking in soothing waters. Not far from Gardiner, Chico is a great escape to have fun, eat, drink and be merry! Learn more here.



Yellowstone Hot Springs is just up the road near Corwin Springs, located just eight miles north of the North entrance to Yellowstone Park, at the south end of beautiful Paradise Valley (24 E Gate Rd, Gardiner, MT 59030). Yellowstone Hot Springs is a soaking experience unique to this area. Settled between two mountain ranges, and nestled on the bank of the Yellowstone River, peace and serenity are the keynotes of this location. Their winter hours are:
Oct. 15: Open Friday 2:00pm – 9:30pm.
Sat. and Sun., 10:00am – 9:30pm.
Closed: Mon. – Thurs.

Fall 2019 Yellowstone Closings

Yellowstone’s summer season is winding down, but there are still quite a few campgrounds and lodges open for business—not to mention all roads are still open for the season. That said, you don’t want to get your heart set on a specific campground or hotel just to find out it’s closed for the season when you arrive! If you’re planning a fall visit to the world’s first national park, keep the following closing dates in mind:

Fall Road Closing Dates

October 15: Tower Fall to Canyon (Dunraven Pass). Beartooth Highway (US 212 to Red Lodge, MT)
November 4: All roads close at 8 am except the road between the North Entrance (Gardiner, MT) and the Northeast Entrance (Cooke City, MT).

yellowstone map grand loop

Fall Campground Closing Dates

September 9: Indian Creek Campground
September 15: Grant Village Campground
September 22: Bridge Bay, Canyon Campgrounds
September 29: Norris, Tower Fall, Pebble Creek Campgrounds
October 15: Slough Creek Campground
October 20: Madison Campground
November 3: Lewis Lake Campground
Open Year Round: Mammoth Campground
Closed for the 2019 Season: Fishing Bridge RV Park

Fall Lodging Closing Dates

September 2: Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins
September 22: Lake Lodge and Cabins
September 29: Old Faithful Lodge Cabins, Grant Village Lodge
October 7: Lake Hotel and Cabins, Old Faithful Inn
October 13: Canyon Lodge, Mammoth Hot Springs Cabins
November 3: Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Old Faithful Snow Lodge

A Few More Fall Planning Tips

For more lodging convenient to Yellowstone National Park, check out the Gardiner, Montana lodging directory. We’re just minutes from the park’s North Entrance and offer a wide variety of dining, lodging, services, and activities in the fall months.

Yellowstone’s Northern Range—which includes the road from Gardiner to Mammoth Hot Springs and on to Cooke City—is open year-round to private vehicles. There are plenty of things to do all year long on the Northern Range; click here for a guide to this lesser-traveled, wildlife-rich region of Yellowstone National Park.

Fall weather in the Rocky Mountains is usually characterized by crisp, cold mornings and cool to mild afternoons, but the weather can change quickly this time of year. Keep an eye on all park road conditions or call the Gardiner Montana Visitor Information Center at 406-848-7971.

Blog Post from Visit Gardiner MT

Record-Smashing, Historic September Snowstorm

At a Glance

  • A snowstorm is slamming the northern Rockies this weekend.
  • Some parts of Montana may see blizzard conditions at times with well over a foot of snow.
  • Wet snow and high winds will lead to tree damage and power outages.
  • Other lower elevations in the northern Rockies and High Plains may see their first snow of the season.
  • Record cold with dangerous wind chill temperatures is expected as well.
  • A historic September snowstorm is blasting parts of the northern Rockies with heavy, wet snow and high winds, leading to power outages and tree damage, and will be accompanied by record cold temperatures for the end of September and early October.

Happening Now

Snow continues to fall from eastern Washington across the high country of Idaho and western Wyoming, western and central Montana, and as far south as the Great Basin or eastern Nevada.


Several locations in northern Montana have already picked up over a foot of snow. The highest snowfall total so far is 23 inches in Browning, Montana. East Glacier Park has already measured 21 inches of snow.

Over 9 inches of snowfall was recorded by the National Weather Service in Great Falls, Montana, Saturday, alone, an all-time record daily snowfall in September, there. Their total of 14 inches since Saturday is closing in on an all-time autumn two-day snowstorm record of 16.1 inches from Nov. 26-27, 2005, according to NOAA’s ACIS database records dating to 1937 and is already the snowiest September, there, topping September 1934’s 13.2 inches of snowfall.

Tree limbs were reported downed on “most, if not all, side streets” due to the weight of 14 inches of wet snow and winds in Choteau, Montana, about 45 miles northwest of Great Falls along the Rocky Mountain Front Range, according to a report relayed to NWS-Great Falls. Two to three-foot drifts were reported in Augusta, Montana, Sunday morning.


View the Rest of the Article on the Weather Channel



Beartooth Pass closes in Wyoming

The Beartooth Pass has closed in Wyoming for the season but remains open from Red Lodge to Montana’s border with its southern neighbor.

The Montana side of U.S. Highway 212 is expected to close sometime over the Columbus Day week, but adverse weather could lead to an earlier closure, according to the Montana Department of Transportation.

Read More

Photo by Billings Gazette

The Saddle & Paddle Experience

There are countless ways to spend your time in Yellowstone, but when it comes down to it, it can be difficult to fit everything you want to do into your vacation. Luckily, we’ve got a perfect day trip for those of you who want to experience the thrill of whitewater rafting down the famous Yellowstone River, and be able to sit back relax on a horseback ride through the Absaroaka-Beartooth Wilderness… all in one day!

Paradise Adventure Company has two “Ride and Raft” trips available every day. The first is for those who are really on a time crunch. The Express Trip includes a one hour horseback ride, followed by an 8-mile whitewater trip. With Montana’s long summer days, you’ll even have time for a drive or a short hike in the Park! The second trip is the Deluxe Ride & Raft Trip. This includes a two hour horseback ride, followed by an 8-mile whitewater trip. This trip also includes a lunch voucher.

If you choose the Deluxe trip, you’ll need to arrive about an hour before your departure time at Paradise Adventure Company’s office to pick up your lunch voucher, then you will head up to the beautiful forested town of Jardine, Montana. It is about an 8-mile, 30 minute drive up a country road of switchbacks and stunning views to reach Hell’s-A-Roarin’ Ranch. Once you arrive, the friendly cowboys (and cowgirls) will assist you in hopping on a trusty steed. They will adjust your stirrups, teach you how to use the reins, and give you a saddle bag to keep your phone or other belongings in. No backpacks allowed!

Your two hour trail ride will take you through the most stunning 360 degree views of the Gallatin and Absaroka mountain ranges at almost 7,000 feet above sea level! The wranglers will help keep you on the trail and are full of fun information about the area. This is a can’t-miss trip!

“Beautiful doesn’t begin to explain this place.  We took the 2 hour tour and loved it.  The views are amazing, and saw some great wildlife. The guide and horses were fantastic.  Highly recommend!” – Tom K.

After your ride, head back down to Gardiner, grab some lunch and head to Paradise Adventure Co.’s office to meet up with the friendly staff to get suited up with all of the safety gear you will need for your rafting trip! Once geared up and ready to go, your rafting guides will take you for a short drive to the put-in to have a safety talk. You’ll learn everything you need to know to stay safe, and to have the most fun possible.

The guides at Paradise Adventure are full of interesting facts about the Yellowstone, the landscapes, and will be sure to point out any wildlife you may see along the way! They will navigate you in and out the rapids, and describe the ways in which the Yellowstone River changes every single day.

After you reach the take-out, you’ll hop in the van for a quick drive back to Gardiner where you can get changed and be on your way to take on whatever you can before the sun goes down!

Book Your Experience Here!