How to Shop to the Best Holiday Deals on Whitewater Adventures for 2023

By Kim Cassels   •   November 10, 2023

How to Shop the Best Holiday Deals on Whitewater Adventures

Santa Claus kayaks down the Lower Animas in winter in Durango, Colorado - Mild to Wild

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Are you ready for an impromptu inundation of Black Friday river puns, in anticipation of the best holiday deals on whitewater adventures this side of the Mississippi? 

The Big Drops are here— at these prices! 

You know when Disaster Falls? When you eddy out and miss this sale! Make Powell proud, and book now!

Discounts that’ll have you laughing all the way to the riverbank… 

Alright alright, that’s enough. We’ll save the rest for your inbox. With Mild to Wild’s big Black Friday sale coming up, we’re here to help you get the best deal on next year’s adventure. With the number of trips we offer, we know it can be a bit daunting if you don’t already have a destination and/or date in mind. Especially if you’re trying to navigate across a multitude of options with a leftover turkey sandwich in hand. Finish the sandwich first, we say. 

So give this guide a gander to help you choose the rendezvous that fits your gift list best. That way when our sale drops (like the Big Drops, ayo Cataract people!) you’ll already be hanging on tight with your dates in mind!

Shop Black Friday Deals

Top 5 Selling Trips for Black Friday

If the trips listed below have been on your radar for this sale, we would recommend not dilly dallying too much on nailing down a reservation, particularly if your dates aren’t flexible or if you want to go during the best slots for warm weather, peak runoff, or long weekends.

#1 Salt River 
#2 Gates of Lodore 
#3 Yampa River 
#4 Cataract Canyon 
#5 Castle Valley 

Boat floating through red canyon walls on the Salt River in Arizona - Mild to Wild

How to Get the Biggest Bang for your Saved Bucks

There’s two options here that can also be combined for one hog of a deal. One is to pick the longest trip option since they cost more and thus you’ll save more, naturally. Especially when it comes to multi-day trips, who really wants to be in a beautiful wild place for less than 4 days unless they have to be?

Option two is to pick the most popular dates that tend to sell out by the time the season starts, which are… 

Memorial Day Weekend 
Week of Fourth of July 
Father’s Day Weekend 
The month of June — the most popular time to raft for great flows and bigger rapids.

Yampa River - Wide shot of the outside of Signature Cave - Mild to Wild

Gift Certificates

If you can’t decide on a trip, ask us to issue you a Mild to WIld Gift Certificate since they’re also on sale!
Or, if you do have a trip in mind, but aren’t sure on the dates, you can get the exact amount and just book it later when you have your plans squared away.   

Keep in mind you do need to call or LiveChat (bottom right corner) us for Gift Certificates, since our promo code won’t run automatically online like it will when booking trips. We know, it’s a little old school but don’t worry, we’re super pleasant to talk to, and we’ll make it fast so you can get back to other shopping, or that turkey sandwich. 

Good Increments for Gift Certificates:

Day Trips for Two – $250

Multi-Day Trip For One less than 4 Days — $1,300

Gates of Lodore - Mild to Wild guide Bryn rafting gear boat  

How to Pick the Right Multi-Day River Trip 

#1 Who’s going?

Another pivotal detail in choosing a trip is how old is the youngest river runner? Unless you’re an all adult crew, feel free to breeze past  this section and onto shopping for your trip.

Although if you do want to gauge how mild or wild a trip is, the age restrictions are a good measurement! Especially if you have folks who aren’t looking for too much excitement in the whitewater department.

Every river varies in adventure level throughout the season, and thus, the ages will change depending on how high or low the flows go. If you need clarification about when high versus low flows are expected on a particular trip, as it may impact when the kids can go, feel free to reach out to us! Every year is also different which can impact our usual schedule on age limits, thanks to the weather. 

 #2 When Do You Want to Go?  

The time you choose to go can change the nature of a trip quite a bit. A spring rendezvous won’t only be different temperature-wise from summer trips, so will the size of rapids! 

Do you want the warmest weather possible but also the biggest whitewater? Opt for desert trips in Cataract Canyon, Desolation Canyon, or the Salt River Canyon, which tend to be the toastiest during the spring runoff.  

Salt River folks! Keep in mind that the Salt has the earliest rafting season in the country, starting in March and ending in May. April and May temperatures tend to be the warmest. 

#3 How Many Days Can You Plan For?

You’ve put all the effort into getting to this wonderful place, one that few people ever get to see, so why not enjoy it to the fullest extent possible? Especially if you want to explore all the incredible places that make these canyons so special.  

As for the actual length of the trip, this one can seem somewhat self explanatory— the longer you’re there, the more you get to do and embrace where you are! Like hiking, taking side excursions, and enjoying being in camp. 

So if you have the time, we always recommend trips at least 4 days long, since you’ll have two full days that don’t include any traveling to and from the canyon. 


And that’s a wrap with a big bow on top for our Black Friday Shopping Guide for the 2024 season! If you have any questions that need more of a personal touch, like the logistics involved in a multi-day excursion, or heck, just picking a place to go in general, give us a shout! We’re standing by to help as you demolish our proverbial product displays, as is your right as a Black Friday warrior.  

Shop Black Friday Deals


More Reading 

14 Outdoor Gift Ideas for Nature Lovers

How to Choose the Right Multi-Day Rafting Trip 

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