Frequently Asked Questions


Select a question to view the answer.
Contact us if you have more questions.


Q. Why choose Sands over other companies in town?

Sands has been operating in Jackson Hole and on the Snake River since 1965. We have an excellent safety record and only employ the best raft guides and bus drivers. Your safety and enjoyment are our main concerns.

Q. Where do I meet for my trip?

Thirty minutes prior to your trip departure time, please meet at our south office. If you’re driving yourself, head south on Broadway, which turns into Highway 89. The office will be on the left hand side across the street from Smith’s grocery store. Our address is 1450 S Hwy 89.

Q. Do you offer transportation to/from our hotel/rental?

We do offer pick-up and drop-off service for most lodging in Jackson and Teton Village. When you make your reservation let us know where you’re staying and we’ll let you know if we can accommodate!

Q. What trip is right for me?

Are you looking for serious amounts of thrill seeking? Then whitewater rafting it is! Is it a relaxing day to spot flora and fauna that you are seeking? Check out our scenic floats! If you want to cross both off your vacation bucket list, our combination trips will give you both in the same day!

Remember that this is an activity on a wild and scenic river. You will be asked to participate at a variety of levels – please make sure you have chosen the appropriate trip for your comfort level. All our guides are here to ensure that you have a wonderful experience, whether it is your first time or you are a seasoned rafter.

Q. What class of rapids will we encounter on the Snake River?

Rapids are class II and III which indicates it is moderate rapids on a scale from one to six. One being a lazy river and six being unrunnable.   It is a mild river with some pretty good rapids and good for children and families.

Q. How old does a child have to be to go our one of your trips?

Children must be 6 years of age or older to go on our whitewater rafting and children must be 4 years of age or older to go on our scenic trip.    Please check with the office if you are booking a trip in late May or early June as that is high water season and our age limit is usually higher.

Q. Do I have to paddle?

It depends. Do you want to? If you answer yes, everyone on our 8-person raft paddles. On the 14-person raft there are 8 paddling spots as well as the option of sitting in the middle. The 14-person boat is a great option for the younger adventurers. On the 13-mile scenic float the guide stands in the middle and does all of the rowing, you do not paddle.

Q. Will I fall out?

There is the possibility that this may happen during your trip on the water. The Snake River is a very safe river with little that you can hit in the event you fall out. Your guide will give you a safety speech before you go on the whitewater explaining what to do in that situation.  Our guides spend a lot of time training and preparing to take you down the river. We do everything we can to minimize the risks without changing the nature of the activity. Rest assured, your guide will do their best to make sure it is a fun experience for everyone in your group!

Q. Will I get wet?

You will get wet during the whitewater trip. For the whitewater you can rent wetsuits and booties at the South Office prior to your trip. When you get down to the river, the guides will provide you will complimentary splash gear, which is made up of thick rain jacket material. During the scenic float, you’ll stay nice and dry.

Q. Do you cancel your trips if there is inclement weather?

Jackson is a mountain town so weather can change quickly here. We monitor the weather very closely and if it looks like conditions we cannot raft in, we try to give you plenty of notice so you can make other arrangements for your day and we can reschedule you to another date/time.

Q. Has anyone died with your company?

No, Charlie has been running the river for over 50 years and still has a perfect safety record. The client’s safety is the number one concern for Sands Whitewater & Scenic River Trips.

Q. What should I wear? Do I have to wear shoes?

For scenic floats, we recommend light layers that you can remove as it warms up. Your shoes might get slightly wet getting in and out of the boat.

For whitewater trips, we recommend synthetic clothing instead of cotton. For colder days, wetsuits are available for rent at our south office. For warmer days, a synthetic t-shirt and shorts or bathing suit is fine.

For all trips, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat are recommended

Yes, all trips require footwear because there is a gravel walkway up to the bus following your trip.  We recommend secure shoes that can get wet. Flip-flops aren’t the best option.  We rent booties (water shoes that come to your ankle) at the south office.

Q. Do I need a sleeping bag for the overnight?

No because we provide a cot with sleeping bags, pillows and sheets. They are washed after every use.

Q. Where are my pictures?

You can visit Float-O-Graphs or Snake River Photo to view your rafting photos. They both offer a number of purchasing options. Visit or Their staff will be happy to assist you and they take pictures of every whitewater group that makes their way down the river.   Float-O-Graphs office is a few doors down from our Town Office.  Snake River Photo is located off the Town Square.

Q. Do you offer any discounts?

We do offer group discounts. Please send us an email or give us a call to discuss your group and what you’re looking for.   We also have other discounts available, simply call our office and make an inquiry.

Q. Can I request a specific guide?

Yes, but please note there is no guarantee but we’ll certainly do our best to accommodate your request.

Q. Will we be able to see the Grand Tetons?

During our whitewater trip you won’t see the Grand Teton because the Snake River runs from North to South so we will be traveling away from the Grand Teton Range. On our 13-mile scenic float, we start in Wilson where the range is fully visible and you will be able to see the Grand Teton as well as the rest of the Teton Range.

Q. How far in advance should we make reservations?

We recommend making reservations as soon as you know which day and time you would like to go.  Some trips remain available until the day of, but others book up quickly.  Make your reservations as soon as possible.

We have a 48 hour cancellation policy on our standard reservations, for groups of 12 or more the cancellation policy is 2 weeks. so you can make changes to your trip without any financial penalties.  If you call us inside the 48 hours window we can move your reservation or take full cancellations on a case by case basis.


Q. What can we bring with us? Can we bring things on the raft?

For the scenic float, you can bring your camera and binoculars

For whitewater trips, we recommend bringing a waterproof camera. We also recommend that you leave a towel, a sweatshirt on the bus so it will be there for you following your trip.

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Customer Testimonials

  • 16 Mile Overnight Trip
    “We had a fantastic time going on the overnight rafting trip! It was a great group of people and Marlon and Palmer treated us very well. We loved sleeping in teepees and experiencing camp life. Our kids had a blast on the whitewater raft and wanted to go again. Definitely our favorite part of our trip to Wyoming.”

    Nicole W
  • Scenic and Whitewater Combo Trip
    “We did the morning scenic trip with Justin who was knowledgeable, fun and helpful. We stopped for breakfast and the camp cook was terrific. The scenery was beautiful. We enjoyed it very much. Then we had Troy for the white water trip and he was a riot! He was very competent and made everyone feel at ease with the trip but even more he was very entertaining . Troy had a great rapport with everyone on the raft and kept us laughing . It was a thrilling experience that we would love to do again.”

  • 8 Miles of Whitewater
    “Our guide Ben was great. He really made our first experience with white water rafting extra special. We will recommend your company to anyone that asks us about it. ”

    Stephen D
  • Overnight Trip was Just the Best
    “Gentle evening float trip, awesome steak dinner and night in tee-pee by the river, then morning of whitewater! What a great experience! Thanks Matt and Eddie!”

    Paul N
  • 8 Miles of Whitewater
    “Our guide Pat was fantastic! He was well informed, experienced, and funny. My sister and I took my dad on a once in a lifetime trip and whitewater rafting was something we all wanted to do. We couldn't have asked for a better experience or company to use to make this a trip of a lifetime. ”

    Sarah R
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