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Yosemite Valley

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"Rafting" in the Valley

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avatar "Rafting" in the Valley
August 01, 2011 10:57PM
I have been to Yosemite many, many times and never considered rafting. I have done "real" rafting and just never gave it much though. We were joined by friends and family with children this year and we all decided to take the rafting trip as a big group.

The price went up a few days before we were there and it is now $28.50 per adult and $20.50 for kids. When I called, they stressed getting there by 10:00 am and they weren't kidding. I was in line at 9:45 and had about 25 groups ahead of me. By 10:00 am, I had another 25 behind me. They only allow a certain number of rafts on the river at any given time and once that number is reached, people have to wait until a truck returns with a stack of accumulated rafts.

We paid, got our life jackets (which adults have to wear at all times too, so they tell you anyway), and had orientation. I honestly wasn't expecting much but we were sharing the experience with friends and family. All I can say is what a treat! I had no idea how enjoyable of an experience this way! Floating down the river, seeing new perspectives of the Valley, and just relaxing was amazing! We had three boats (and one kayaker) and we all decided to stop every time we saw a beach. We made three big stops and a few small ones. The kids played in the water (well, some of us adults did too), we took pictures and just enjoyed. We saw fish, ducks, deer, and the beauty of Yosemite Valley. We started at 10:15 and ended about 2:30. We packed lunch, snacks, drinks and a few water guns.

We did see some glass on the sand beaches and in some of the shallow water. Water shoes are a great idea!

The shuttle back to Curry Village is a school bus, and the kids got such a kick out of that. It brought back memories for the adults as well but the kids were so into being on the school bus. We rode our bikes to the rental area and there are bike racks there to lock up to.

While taking the shuttle around the valley I saw many people boarding at the Lodge. They were a little wet and holding deflated rafts. They would float from Curry and end at Swinging Bridge, deflate, and walk to the lodge. Our kayaker left his kayaker at the Curry bridge, drove to Swinging bridge parking lot and rode his bike back to Curry. When he left his car at 8:00 am, there was no one in the parking lot and there were plenty of spaces.

I might be a little long-winded, but I want to share my experience and observations with anyone who is interested. This is such a great forum and I have learned so many great tips/tricks that I feel inclined to share smiling smiley Thanks for reading!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/2011 12:01AM by robinjayp.
Re: "Rafting" in the Valley
August 01, 2011 11:49PM
There is actually a bus stop at the end of the path across swinging bridge on the north side, that is probably where the people you saw got on. I also have my own raft and I rent a life jacket for $2 which gets me a ride on the school bus. I deflate my raft and put it in the under seat storage. You don't have to wait in the long line for jacket rental, just rent at the bike rental register.
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