COVID Update: California Rafting in 2021

Posted March 19th, 2021 by Gregg Armstrong, Co-Founder

(Last updated May 21)

To the All-Outdoors extended rafting family:

Welcome to the 2021 California whitewater rafting season – We can’t wait to see you on the river again!

How will COVID affect the California whitewater rafting season in 2021?

The pandemic situation in California has improved significantly over the last few months and Covid cases are steadily declining. As a result, the government is planning to open up the State again on June 15.

While this is great news, we are choosing to keep some of the same safety protocols that allowed us to run California rafting trips responsibly in 2020.

Last year we revised our Cancellation Policy to give peace of mind and added flexibility to anyone planning to raft with us. The revised policy is still in effect throughout 2021. Learn more below.

Below is a list of protocols we plan to implement for the 2021 rafting season. Keep in mind that these practices may be adjusted throughout the season based on the latest developments and government guidelines.

All-Outdoors COVID-19 Rafting Trip Protocols as of May 21, 2021:

1. Private Rafts

Trips prior to June 15:
We will not be mixing different groups in the same raft until the State of California opens up again on June 15. Until then, each group* will get their own “private” raft(s).

Trips on and after June 15:
When California opens up again, we will be mixing different smaller groups in the same raft the way we typically do. If you prefer, you may reserve a “private” raft(s)* for your group by meeting per-raft minimums.

*Each private raft may require a minimum number of paid spaces. Contact us for more details.

2. Separate Picnic Lunches for Your Group / Raft

For all trips in which lunch is included, the fixings for a delicious picnic lunch are provided for each group / raft separately. We will not be doing the communal lunch buffet as usual.

3. Health Declaration Form

A few days prior to each trip all guests will fill out this form stating they have not experienced COVID-19 symptoms nor been exposed to anyone testing positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days.

4. Short Screening Process At the Meet Place

The day of your trip you will be asked a few questions about how you are feeling to ensure you are symptom free and have your temperature taken.

5. Shuttle Vehicles

Guests and guides will be required to wear a face covering during shuttle rides and apply hand sanitizer just before getting on the bus. Groups will be seated together and protocols will be followed during boarding and off-boarding to minimize contact.

6. Enhanced Sanitation

Between each trip (and periodically throughout the day) we clean all our facilities. Bathrooms get cleaned and restocked and shuttle vehicles get sanitized so they are ready for the next groups’ arrivals.

7. Guest Involvement in COVID Protocols

Keeping COVID down is a team effort. Here’s what we ask of our guests to help us limit the risk of spreading the virus:

  • We can’t take symptomatic people. So if you start experiencing symptoms in the days leading up to your trip, you need to give us a call and we’ll help you reschedule.
  • Bring hand sanitizer for personal use at times when we don’t have it available.
  • Bring a face covering you can wear around your neck during the trip and use when necessary (at our facility, on shore, on board our shuttle vehicles, or when asked by guides). If anyone forgets to bring an appropriate face covering, we have them available for purchase.
  • Bring a water bottle. It’s important to stay hydrated on a rafting trip. There will be opportunities to refill your bottle at the meet place and during the trip. If you forget to bring a water bottle, we have those for purchase as well.
  • If you come down with symptoms or test positive anytime in the 10 days following your trip, you must let us know. It’s important for us to share that information with local government agencies and other guests who were on the trip.

What if you can’t go or we can’t go?

We realize that COVID has made all our plans a little less certain, so let’s be in it together. When you book, you’re getting a rafting trip — no matter what. Ideally that will be just the trip you want on the day you want. But, if that trip can’t go we’ll both agree to do it another time. If you can’t make it for any reason, we’ll give you your trip at a later date, either this year or in any future year. If we can’t run it for any reason, COVID or otherwise, you’ll agree to go another time.

For full details, see our updated Cancellation Policy.

For more information on state and local regulations regarding whitewater rafting and other outdoor activities, you can visit the following resources:


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