Goodwin Canyon Double Days: October 21st & 22nd, 2017!

Goodwin Canyon Double Days 2016


We have great news for those of you waiting to hear when our Goodwin Canyon rafting trips will take place this year.  The government agencies and environmental organizations that manage upstream resources have told us we should have great flows the weekend of October 21 & 22! Please read on for more details:


Now Taking Reservations for Goodwin Canyon Double Days!

We are now accepting reservations for this limited once a year event, so if you’ve been waiting for this announcement now is the time to reserve your space. For this special trip, we ask that you contact us directly to discuss the specifics of this trip before you book. You can call us at (800) 247-2387, use Live Chat, or email us anytime at


What is Goodwin Canyon Double Days?

This is an annual series of rafting trips that occurs every fall on the Goodwin Canyon section of the Stanislaus River. We take advantage of special water releases that are conducted to help thousands of migrating Chinook Salmon find their way upstream to their spawning grounds. Making the most of the opportunity we run the river twice in one day (hence the name: Double Days)!

In the morning, we drive to the top of the river, run the four miles of Class II, III and IV+ rapids, ending up at a well deserved barbecue lunch (Yum!) Then we get to drive back up to the top and do it all over again! Many of our guests comment how much fun it is to do a trip this way, because the first time goes by so fast you can barely remember what the rapids looked like. The second run gives you a chance to appreciate the scenery a bit more (and possibly gives you the opportunity to make up for that one rapid your crew didn’t quite get right the first time down).

Your one-day trip fee of $189 (plus an additional 8% Government Use and Service Fee) includes:

  • Professional Guide, instruction, and equipment (see Wetsuit Information for added rental cost);
  • Delicious riverside barbecue lunch;
  • River shuttles.

Read More About Goodwin Canyon (Intermediate – Advanced / Class IV+).


Why October? Isn’t Rafting Really More of a Summer Activity?

Not in California. Fall rafting is beautiful. The soft lighting coupled with the colors of changing leaves make October one of the prettiest months of the year for rafting. Water releases from upstream reservoirs that are used to generate power also provide recreational boating opportunities to the public.

Even in drought years, we can offer whitewater rafting trips in California thanks to water releases from upstream reservoirs to meet the needs of agricultural irrigation, residential use, ecological considerations, fisheries and hydroelectric power generation. Fortunately for all of us, they also consider the timing of these releases to provide the public with opportunities for recreational use. (For a further explanation of how this works, read our post When in Drought, There’s Still Water For Rafting!)

Goodwin Canyon’s seasonal weekend release is timed especially because of the late season Chinook Salmon Run, which means that we have a very good chance to see the spectacle of the massive spawn while we raft downstream. It’s just one more feature of this trip that makes it a very unusual and special experience..

Goodwin Canyon Isn’t Just Any Rafting Trip:

If you have any interest in joining us during this very unique annual event, here are a few things you need to know:

  • The usual minimum age for this trip is 15 years old; the challenges here are not suitable for younger children.
  • Reservations are required.
  • Space sells out quickly. We currently have plenty of room, but this annual event usually sells out in advance.

We encourage you to talk to one of our office staff if you have any questions about this trip; our goal is provide an amazing experience close to home, but part of that is making sure you know what you are getting into.


Where is Goodwin Canyon? Only 1.5 to 2-hour Road Trip From Anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area!

Goodwin Canyon MapThe closest whitewater rafting trip to the San Francisco Bay Area, this hidden gem of a river is only a 1.5 to 2-hour road trip, making this one of our most convenient rafting trips.

Not many people even know that it exists.  This is a well hidden secret canyon on the lower Stanislaus River; if you’ve ever made the drive past Oakdale on Highway 120 on the way to Yosemite National Park, you probably didn’t even notice it was there. But tucked away from sight among the golden rolling foothills is a steep-walled lush volcanic slot canyon featuring fun Class III rapids and two Class IV rapids, all within a short drive from your doorstep.

Find more information about how to get to Goodwin Canyon.


Watch the Video:

Make Your Reservation Now!

To make arrangements for this trip, please contact us to speak with an All-Outdoors California river specialist.

The post Goodwin Canyon Double Days: October 21st & 22nd, 2017! appeared first on All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting Blog.

What Do You Need to Know About Whitewater Rafting During The Spring Season?

While most people tend to gravitate toward rafting trips during the warmer months of the California Summer, the Spring season months of April, May, and June are a favorite time of year for many of our guides and guests.

Adventurous paddlers have many reasons to consider an earlier whitewater rafting trip: there are typically more rivers to choose from, the canyons are alive with bright Spring colors and the snowpack adds more water to the river, providing for “roller coaster” style wave trains, exciting rapids and the potential for a bit of memory-making “misadventure.”

Fun High-Water Flows on the Merced River

Fun High-Water Flows on the Merced River

[Related: Featured Videos: High Water Flows on the Merced River]

We want to make sure that everyone that joins us on the river has a great experience, so before you make your reservation with us we encourage you to talk to one of our California river specialists to help you choose a river trip appropriate for everyone in your group.

If you’re not sure if your group would prefer joining us in the Spring, Summer of Fall, be sure to check out the most recent California Whitewater Rafting Season Update on the blog.

In the meantime, please review the following information with everyone in your group. (Share this information with them by email or social media to start the discussion, and let them know that our office staff is happy to answer any questions they may have.)

Here’s what you need to know before you book your Spring rafting trip with us:

  • Wait until the summer to take the younger kids. Rafting trips can be a great experience for the whole family, but Spring season conditions may require us to increase our usual minimum age recommendations for each river. These guidelines are meant to help you decide whether a specific trip is appropriate for your child’s level of physical and mental maturity.

    During the Summer and Fall, normal summer flows and warmer weather provide plenty of river trip options for everyone ages 5 and up.

  • No paddling experience is required. Is this going to be your first time on a whitewater rafting trip? Taken alone, that’s not a problem. Plenty of people go rafting during higher flow rafting trips without having ever been before and have a great time.

    If this is your first trip, we typically recommend starting on the South Fork of the American River. On our more advanced rivers, previous paddling experienced is recommended but not required.

  • You should be a competent swimmer. In the event that you fall out of the boat, it helps to feel confident in your ability to stay calm and swim actively under your guides direction. You don’t have to be an advanced swimmer, but you should be comfortable in the water and be able to swim hand over hand when the situation calls for it.

    If you are not confident in your swimming ability, you should go rafting in the Summer or Fall when the rivers are running at typically normal flows.

  • Bring an adventurous attitude. (But it’s ok to be nervous!) Paddlers should be up for a real adventure, including the possibility that you could unexpectedly fall out of the raft in a rapid.  These experiences are often the highlights of the entire trip for many people; you’ll find yourself telling stories of how your entire crew fell into the river, and how you helped each other get back into your boat!

    It helps to come to the river with the right mindset: a positive attitude and an ability to play well with others can go a long way toward making sure everyone in your boat has a great experience.

  • You don’t have to be an athlete. But you should be in good physical health. Rafting is a physically active team sport, and everyone in your group should arrive prepared for a good workout, as well as the possibility that you might find yourself unexpectedly swimming in a rapid.

    To assess your physical condition before you book your trip, here are a few things you should be aware of:

    1. Body size and type:
    Although we want to provide everyone with the opportunity to go rafting with us, trips during higher Springtime flows may not be suitable for people who are inappropriately overweight.

    We recognize that everyone carries their weight differently, but when it comes to whitewater, size does matter: at a minimum, everyone must be able to fit into an All-Outdoors issued Personal Flotation Device (PFD). (The maximum chest size is 52 inches, measured with a tape under your arms around the fullest part of your chest or midsection.)

    Furthermore, if anyone in your boat falls out of the raft and into a rapid, your crew must be able to help pull them back in. The heavier the person, the more difficult this can be. In our experience, a person’s height to weight ratio becomes more of a factor for people who are over 200 lbs (especially if they are well over 200 lbs.)

    Please be sure to discuss the height and weight of everyone in your group if you have any concerns or questions.

    2. Physical limitations:
    Do you have any injuries, medical conditions or other physical limitations that may impede your ability to paddle, stay seated in the raft or hold your breath under water without putting yourself at unnecessary additional risk?

    Note: if anyone in your group has a physical consideration that requires assistance or the use of a prosthetic or other physical aid, special accommodations can be made in many cases with advanced notice before you make your reservation.

    3. Are you “Heart & Lung Healthy”?
    In particular, people who have a history of heart conditions or respiratory issues should confer with their medical doctor before joining any of our trips. Unexpected events (flips, swims, “dump trucks”, etc.) can and do happen occasionally; it’s part of the sport. Physical exertion or stress during these events can exacerbate some medical conditions.

    Please talk to your physician and avoid putting yourself at unnecessary risk if you believe you have reason to be concerned.

  • Dress for success: Wetsuits are required. Compared to normal summer flows, the water is colder and the weather may vary. Proper attire can make an otherwise cool day more comfortable so you can focus on the fun. Wetsuits and splash jackets are available for rent at check-in on all of our rivers during the spring season if you don’t have your own.

    For more information, read our post about staying warm on Spring rafting trips.

Avoid That Awkward Moment When You Get To The River
In some cases, our guides may not feel comfortable taking a member of your group down the river with the rest of the trip; when this situation occurs, that person will not be able to participate.  We do everything we can to educate everyone about the above requirements in order to avoid situations like this, but it does happen on occasion and it’s never fun for anyone. 

Please make sure everyone in your group is aware of these considerations both before you book your trip and before they make the drive on the day of the trip.

Before You Book Your Trip: Please Talk to Our Reservations Staff!
Everyone in your group should be familiar with these considerations, as well as the specifics of the river trip you choose. If you have any questions or need further clarification about any of our trips, we’re more than happy to talk to anyone to help them make an assessment for themselves.

Let us know how we can help! We are available by phone, email and Live Chat.

The post What Do You Need to Know About Whitewater Rafting During The Spring Season? appeared first on All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting Blog.

Featured Videos: High Water Flows on the Merced River

While we are currently in the middle of one of the best seasons for high water rafting we’ve seen in the past decade, our Merced River crew have shot a few short videos that capture the speed, power, and fun of the river right now.

They are having a great time (and they really want more people to come visit them while the river is running like this!), so share this with your friends, get your crew together, book your trip and get down there!

For more videos about the Merced River, visit our Merced River playlist on our YouTube channel.

Subscribe to our channel here:

The post Featured Videos: High Water Flows on the Merced River appeared first on All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting Blog.