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  • Writer's pictureMikah Meyer

5 Reasons to River Raft: A Must-Read Before Your Next Vacation

Updated: May 13

A raft in Desolation Canyon Utah

In my new short film CANYON CHORUS, I describe how I spent years trying to convince my 75-year-old mentor to come on a multi-day river rafting trip with me.

As he admitted afterwards, “It was a life changing experience and I’m very glad Mikah persevered.”

Because many people are unfamiliar with this type of vacation, but it’s my absolute favorite way to travel, I’ve compiled 5 Reasons to River Raft:

Why you absolutely must experience one of these journeys in your lifetime.

And if my words aren’t enough to tell you, this short film, below, will show you all the joy and love that comes from floating down the waterways with those you care about.

1. You Don’t Have to Do Any Rowing

When I invite people on these trips, most assume they will be rowing all day and sore from the work.

But in reality, when you book a river rafting trip with a guiding company, they do all the work.




A “Floating Trip” is more accurate than a “Rafting Trip,” because your only job is to relax and enjoy the magnificent scenery.

As you’ll see in this short video, this is the reality of what your “raft” down a beautiful river will look like.

2. Your Cell Phone Has Zero Service…And That’s A Good Thing!

Wholesome, old-fashioned fun.

Those words probably terrify any teenager hearing them.

But if you’ve ever sat around a campfire playing a group game, hearing a great story, or stared up at the stars in awe, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Those experiences are really hard to have nowadays. Where cell phone signals reach virtually every corner of the earth.

…But not in river canyons.

The high walls that surround the rushing rivers make it impossible to get a cell phone signal.

Meaning you can’t be sent an email from work or spend hours scrolling on TikTok.

Which can be scary on Day 1, but by Day 2, 3, 4, 5…until you get off the water, you’ll be so thankful for the forced opportunity to cut yourself off from the rest of the world and just focus on the wonderful people and beauty all around you.

If you haven’t experienced a digital detox in a while, I guarantee a river trip will refresh your soul, and make you yearn for more vacations where having a cell phone on you is absolutely pointless.

Friends laugh together on a river trip

3. There Are Trips of Varied Lengths

There are lots of commercial rafting companies offering epics tours.

My first was an 8-day sojourn down the Grand Canyon with Grand Canyon Whitewater.

Then I did three trips ranging from 4 days to 6 days with Holiday Rafting Expeditions.

Followed by a 12-day adventure through Artic Alaska with Alaska Alpine Adventures.

And most recently, three trips averaging 6 days with OARS Rafting.

With options as short as day trips and as long as 24 days crossing entire national parks, there are a vast amount of providers across the United States and around the world.

And companies offer options such as Yoga/Wellness-focused expeditions, Photography workshop adventures, LGBTQ+ affinity trips, Painting workshops, String-Quartet concerts, BIPOC groups, Astronomy tours, Craft Beer tastings, Hikers Specials, or even Gourmet Wine and Food specialty trips.

Every river within a National Park Service site will have a list of approved concessionaires on their government website.

And in the United States, a great resource to find a trusted company is to see if they are a member of the America Outdoors Association.

These vast opportunities mean that whether you’re looking for a vacation close to one of the 50 states, or as far flung as Tasmania, Bhutan, Botswana, Zambia, Patagonia, or Canada’s Northwest Territories, British Columbia, and the Yukon, there’s a multi-day river trip to help you get lost in adventure.

A water gun fight on a rafting trip

4. The Food is Incredible!

Salmon on Night 1

Pork Chops on Night 2

BBQ Chicken on Night 3

And Steak on Night 4.

You’ll be amazed at the meals created from dry-ice stored food in your raft.

And even if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, or have other food requirements, they cater to your dietary needs.

Here’s a video showing the meat vs. veggie options my friend and I experienced on a recent trip.

5. Life Is Too Short Not To

As I discuss in the film, I lost my dad to cancer when I was 19 and he was 58.

That experience taught me a valuable lesson that none of us are guaranteed to make it to retirement, and we might not get the opportunity to pursue our dreams or have the experiences we want with our loved ones unless we make space for them as soon as possible.

It’s why from age 30 - 33, I visited all 400+ U.S. National Park Service sites on what became a world record journey.

And it’s why I worked so hard to make the rafting trip seen in Canyon Chorus happen.

To take a moment to experience God’s beautiful creation with the people I’ve been so lucky to have as part of my life.

Two friends inflatable kayak together

I hope you’ll watch the short, 16-minute film I made to share all these above lessons with you, and that it inspires you to take your first adventure floating down one of the beautiful rivers in the world.

If this film makes you ready to hit the rapids, I’ve shared my Ultimate River Trip Packing List to provide you an expert checklist of needs from my experience on many river trips.


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