• Elisabeth Dorosh

Rate the Date: Ohiopyle White Water Rafting


The weather is finally getting wonderful, and summer is just around the corner. If you are anything like us, you are itching to get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine!

Not too long ago, some very adventurous friends of ours asked us to join them for some whitewater rafting! We were intrigued, until we heard that they didn't want to have a guide, but instead wanted to do the self guided tour. That sounded perhaps a bit too treacherous - well, for me at least. The boys were all about it while the wives were a bit more hesitant. But their persistence eventually wore us down and despite their complete lack of rafting experience, we reluctantly agreed.

Nazari and I had been whitewater rafting before, but never at Ohiopyle. Located about an hour and a half south of Pittsburgh, we enjoyed the scenic trek outside of the city. We were gifted with the PERFECT weather and enjoyed a fun day on the water that far exceeded expectations.

As it turns out, the hesitancy at being self guided by our fearless leader wasn't completely unwarranted. As you'll see in the video, there was a point out on the water where we went into a rapid all wrong and our raft completely flipped, tossing us all into the rushing current. I promise you it was much more treacherous than the video conveys! (Perhaps less blame should go to the one guiding the tour, and more to the one sitting in the middle of the boat not paddling at all. ;)

While terrifying in the moment, it does make for a pretty great story! But may be worth using caution (or opting for a guide to steer your boat) if it's your first time. Regardless, we can pretty much guarantee you'll have a blast.

Pros:

  • It's an awesome double date. You get to spend the day with another couple for the road trip portion and the rafting experience!

  • Thrilling adventure

  • You get to be outdoors!

  • They serve Lunch! (deli-style lunch set up picnic-style) is provided on all guided tours, they offer a variety of lunch meats, some form of fruit (apples, oranges, watermelon), cookies, and, of course, PB&J as well as water, tea or lemonade.

  • You get some exercise! The paddling can be tough!

  • It is only 90 minutes from the city!

Cons:

  • It is expensive. However, it really is a whole day event, which we feel makes it well worth the investment for both the time and the experience!

  • It is a little dangerous. While there are experienced guides nearby at all times, you are boating through waters that can be rather treacherous

  • You have to stay within your tour group (10-20 other rafts). However, this helps keep you safe, so isn't so bad after all.

General, good to know info:

  • Tour Includes rafts (4-6 person), paddles, life jackets, helmets, snack lunch riverside, transportation back to check-in by bus, guides alongside in kayaks. 7 ½ miles, class II-IV rapids.

  • You can expect to be on the water between 3-5 hours

  • Fully Guided puts a guide in the boat with you. You are still paddling and participating but our guides steer the boat through the rapids. Fully Guided is the recommended way to go for first timers.

  • Guide Escorted (the tour we chose) means you are in charge of captaining your own boat, our guides drive the trip. The guides will pull you in above and below all major rapids, brief you on how to run the rapids, then set safety for you in the rapids.

What to Bring:

  • Swimsuit

  • Old shorts, (no jeans or sweat pants)

  • Water shoes, sandals, old tennis shoes

  • Dry clothes and towel for after the river (Leave these in your car)

Pricing:

  • Saturday & Holidays: $101.00

  • Sunday: $81.00

  • Monday & Friday: $73.00

  • Tuesday - Thursday: $70.00

  • Trip rates per person do not include $4.00 per person Park Fee - Applicable on all guided trips. Group rates start at 10 people. Call 724-329-1450 for details.

Trip check-in times: | 8:30 AM | 10:30 AM | 12:30 PM

To check out more on their website or book, just click here!

Overall date rating:

Naz: 9 (So much fun! However, the water was really cold, and at one point I thought I was going to die)

Lis: 9 Outdoors. Physical Activity. Friends. Hard to beat! (9 only for the flipping into the water near death experience ;)

All in all, we definitely recommend a rafting trip for a double date! It is a super fun road trip, an awesome opportunity to get outside, have some adventure, and a ton of fun!


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