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Superior Whitewater Rafting - CLOSED
Review Highlights
Lots of safe fun.

If you have whitewater rafted in the mountains you will find this river very tame. But for the... read more

Reviewed 6 August 2013
Everything we expected!!

We had a really good time. The river was high and fast. Guides were great!! We will be going... read more

Reviewed 12 October 2015
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Reviewed 10 August 2013

We went on a white water rafting trip with Superior White water rafting based in Carlton MN in August 2013.These were just class I and II rapids so I figured we could handle that. My wife, 19 yr old daughter, 25 yr old son, his girlfriend and myself were in 1 boat. Our rafting skills were awful, I could not steer worth a crap, and the guides were rude & condescending in all their dealings with us. It was obvious that we were the weakest boat in the group of 9. There were 4 guides in Kayaks for 9 boats totalling 45- 50 rafters. The guides wore helmets but we did not. We made it through the first 5 rapids OK, but crashed badly on the last, longest, and strongest rapid when I missed the correct entry point and got hung up on a rock. My daughter and wife got swept out, my son lost his paddle and our raft was completely filled with water and we were out of control. I lost sight of my wife, but we were following my daughter. She did OK initially but then got swept under 2 or 3 times and panicked. She was coughing, choking and crying. We finally got to a point of slightly calmer water and she was able to grab onto one of the guides' kayak. One guide screamed to the other, " she is panicking, we need to get her out first" The guide whose kayak she was holding on to started screaming at her " YOU HAVE TO SAVE YOURSELF , YOU HAVE TO SAVE YOURSELF". Is this the correct response to an exhausted, panicked, 95lb, 18 yr old girl, from an experienced professional guide? No clear directions , no," just hang on, we are gonna get you out", no encouragement. What exactly does "you have to save yourself" mean anyway?
I could not believe it !. My son and I were finally able to get our raft close enough so I could extend my paddle to her and pull her to our raft and pull her in. We then moved over to other kayak that my wife was clinging to and pull her in. She had not fared much better and was exhausted. She said the guide had been screaming at her to "grab the handle" but with the water splashing over her face she could not see. The tone of the guides screaming only made her more frightened.
They were totally exhausted, we had only 2 paddles, and our raft was full of water. Immediately 1 of the guides came over and started screaming 'YOU HAVE TO GO , YOU HAVE TO GO ". No are you OK, no encouragement, no attempt to calm anyone. They were in the water for at least 7-8 minutes, maybe longer. No other guides came to help. They seemed to be as panicked as we were. At this point we were helpless. We started moving again bounced off a couple rock and got swept into a shallow area. For the next 30 minutes we fought our waterlogged raft through the shallow area constantly getting hung up on rocks, climb to the front, climb to the back and bounce and push trying to get off the rocks and try to bail the water out.The whole time all the guides did was scream at us. The girls were so scared and exhausted that even though they did their best they could not help my son and I much. We finally got through it and had a flat calm 15 minute paddle to pick up point. At no point did any guide come over to us to check on my wife and daughter's welfare or try to encourage us. It was just keep going, move move, move. We were wiped out. I have been on 3 other rafting trips and witnessed people falling out, or rafts flipping and the guides were there quickly, calmly getting them to shore or into rafts. They gave calm clear directions while people were in the water. Afterward they were very quick to check on the peoples welfare, calm them and encourage them. After we got back I approached the rafting company manager, to tell him what had happened out there and how poorly ( in my opinion ) the guides had to responded to a very dangerous situation and their lack of compassion. He was blah, blah, blah, everyone is OK, you signed the waiver, blah, blah blah!. Things got pretty heated at that point and we left. I went to there company website and no place to leave comments , Imagine that!. I went to there facebook page and basically told the story above and guess what , would not take my post. Other peoples post are there, they just must screen them.

Date of experience: August 2013
22  Thank Jeff R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnesota W, Owner at Superior Whitewater Rafting, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2015

I am sorry to hear this. We are the New Owners and hope you come out and see how the business has changed! Please check out the new website and join us next season!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2013

If you have whitewater rafted in the mountains you will find this river very tame. But for the average guy or girl it will be a lot of fun. The staff is great, they do a good job of getting you excited about the "danger" of the river, and are excellent guides for your trip. We had a large group and it really was a lot of fun. For a two and a half hour trip down the the river it was worth the $45. Excellent group or family fun. Our group is planning in coming back next year with a n even bigger group!

Date of experience: August 2013
4  Thank mrblumis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2013

I was camping at Jay Cooke last weekend with the kids (14 and 17) and my buddy and his daughter (14). We called on Friday morning to see if there was a trip that day - they had space for us at 2pm, and they asked that we show up a half hour early.

There is some paperwork to do upon arrival, and two very thorough briefings that cover all the basics before you get on the river. A few things to keep in mind - you will get wet, you will not be able to take anything with you in the raft, and hats, sunglasses, and shoes must be fully secured (there are "river" shoes with shoelaces available if you need them, and you can borrow glasses straps. I tied my hat on with a length of ribbon). And whatever you wear will be on the entire time, so you won't be bringing an extra jacket or taking one off midway.

We got onto the river into a short stretch of calm water and the three kayak guides taught us the basics of paddling and maneuvering. There are six actual rapids, and a couple small fast water ripples that you go through. The entire group forms up at the shoreline before each rapids to get a briefing from the guides, and then each raft makes a run. About midway there is a nice pullover where everybody can get out and stretch your legs, and have a bathroom break. There is a short hike to see some old growth forest for anybody interested. Then its back on the water for the bigger series of three more rapids.

The final two rapids offer the best chance for some unintended swimming, and sure enough, a number of paddlers got tossed into the river, including both of the 14 yr olds from our boat. But the repetition of all the safety info came back, and all the "swimmers" were safely reunited with their boats.

Then their is a short paddle across the Thomson Reservoir to the boat landing, and a short bus ride back to the parking lot. One of the three kayak guides is taking pictures of the trip, and after checking the paddles and life jackets back in they do a little slide show. And yes, that's all designed to get you to buy some pictures, which normally I do not do, but I couldn't resist - some were quite amusing!

For a couple middle-aged dads and their teenage daughters, none with river experience, this was the perfect set-up - the guides were a lot of fun and did a great job of getting us through, and the river provided just enough adventure to be fun without being too scary. Having said that, this is a natural river through fast water and rapids, and they take safety very seriously. Which is a good thing - after my daughter was back in the boat she said the one thing going through her mind was "feet up" which they drill into you throughout the entire trip.

The cost was $40/per, plus we spread a little tip money around, and we bought some pictures (they just burn it to a disc) but the entire trip, including the intros, the river, and the slide-show was maybe 4hrs, so we concluded it was a good value. And they steered us to the Rendezvous Bar and Grill in Scanlon for some good burgers!

Date of experience: June 2013
9  Thank rcpeterson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC