Make your next family reunion a family adventure

For your next reunion in Idaho, take the family whitewater rafting

Are you planning your next family reunion in Idaho? Bear Valley Rafting offers whitewater rafting trips for all levels of experience, including some perfect for families with children as young as 4. These specially chosen sections of the Main and North Fork of the Payette River are beautiful and exciting, for a trip your family won’t soon forget!

Family fun on Idaho’s legendary Payette River

Are you planning a family reunion in Idaho this year? You should consider taking the family on a whitewater rafting trip with Bear Valley Rafting. Potato sack races and bobbing for apples are fun, but this year, why not take the family on a thrilling adventure that will give them thrilling memories to last a lifetime.

Idaho’s license plates say “Famous Potatoes” on them, but for us, we think “Famous Rivers” is a much better choice. Idaho boasts the fourth most miles of river in the US. While maybe not as famous as the Salmon or Snake rivers, the Payette River offers an incredible combination of accessibility, natural beauty, and a wide range of whitewater experiences, making it an ideal choice for a family reunion in Southwest Idaho. 

While the Payette river does have some great Class IV & V rapids for experienced rafters looking for their next adrenaline fix, the Payette also has plenty of Class II & III rapids ideally suited for families with older adults and kids age 4 and up. Your family will enjoy sandy beaches and great swimming holes on the main fork of the Payette River, with a nice splash of rafting that famous Idaho whitewater. 

Family whitewater rafting on Idaho's Payette river

Why Bear Valley Rafting?

Family riding the rapids

Bear Valley Rafting has been taking people down the Payette River in Idaho for over 30 years. Our staff goes through an extensive training program every spring to practice their skills, regardless of their experience levels. Bear Valley Rafting guides are licensed through the Idaho Guides and License Board, First-Aid/CPR certified, and most have taken it upon themselves to be Swiftwater Certified through Sierra Rescue and Rescue 3 International

Most people planning a family reunion or get-together need to accommodate a wide range of people, from young children to grandparents. Bear Valley Rafting has half-day and full-day trips down the Payette River on Class II & III rapids, ideally suited for families with kids age 4 and up. Our rafts typically accommodate 6–8 people per raft, so plenty of room for the whole family.

Need help planning a rafting trip for your family reunion?

At Bear Valley Rafting, we know the challenges of putting together an event for your family reunion or get-together. We’ve been helping families enjoy the Idaho outdoors for 30 years, so we know how to help you plan your family event. Bear Valley Rafting offers half-day and full-day whitewater rafting trips on Class II & III rapids for ages 4 and up. Full-day trips on the Payette River include a stop on one of the beautiful beaches along the way for lunch, where our guide team will prepare your meal riverside and serve it up salad or burrito-style. Half-day trips typically run three times a day, with departure times of 9:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 5:00 pm, allowing you the flexibility to plan your time and allow for travel from Boise, McCall, Cascade, or elsewhere in Southwest Idaho.


Still have questions about planning your family gathering trip? If you have never been whitewater rafting in Idaho before, we can help. If you don't see the answer below, please contact us; we love to help families plan a great day on the river!

What is the best way for me to reserve a group trip?

Bear Valley Rafting has online reservations for half-day and full-day rafting trips, but when planning a large family rafting trip, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help you book the ideal trip for your family reunion, and answer any questions you might have when taking out a large group. Bear Valley runs trips 7 days per week, May through September. Reservation and office hours are from 7am to 10pm daily.

How long of a drive is it to Bear Valley Rafting?

Bear Valley Rafting is located in Banks, Idaho, on Idaho State Highway 55. We are less than an hour drive from downtown Boise, one hour and twenty minutes from McCall, Idaho, and less than 45 minutes from Cascade. Be sure to allow for some extra travel time during weekends and holidays, as Highway 55 can sometimes get busy.

Where can we park?

We have plenty of parking and have buses to take you and your family back to your vehicles at the end of your rafting trip.

How long will the rafting trip take?

Bear Valley Rafting offers half-day and full-day trips. Half-day trips are approximately 8 miles in length and typically take about 3 hours. Full-day trips are between 12 and 14 miles, leaving Banks at 9:30 am and returning to Banks at about 4:00 pm. Please note that these are estimates and these times might vary a bit depending on river conditions and other factors.

What should we wear, and what should we bring for our whitewater rafting trip?

You will get wet, that is a big part of the fun. Board shorts or swimwear is great, but please avoid cotton garments, as they will weigh you down when wet. Quick-drying synthetic fibers are the best choice. Please remember a hat and sunglasses, preferably with straps to hold them in place. Finally, we highly recommend closed-toe shoes that won’t fall off your feet. Leave the flip-flops at home!

Can we get photos from our raft trip?

Yes! Bear Valley Rafting has several photo packages available, so no need to risk dropping your smartphone in the river. 

Ready for the best family reunion yet?

This summer, give your family a unique, unforgettable experience by taking the family on a whitewater rafting trip. The team at Bear Valley Rafting can help you put together a custom trip for your family and answer any questions you might have. You can book online, and we are also available from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm daily to help you plan your trip. Give us a call or send us an email today!

Half-Day Rafting Trips

We offer two half-day Payette River Rafting trips down either the Main or South Fork of the Payette river. Come enjoy the beautiful scenery on Idaho’s most popular whitewater run. 
Learn More About Our Half-Day Trips
Starting at $56
Per Adult
Book Now!
full-day whitewater rafting trips on the Payette River in Idaho

Full-Day Rafting Trips

We offer two full-day Payette River Rafting trips down either the Canyon-South fork or Cabarton-North fork. All of our full-day trips include lunch prepared by your guide! 
Learn More About Our Full-Day Trips
Starting at $99
Per Adult
Book Now!