Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to the questions we’re most frequently asked. If you have a question that’s not listed, give us a ring at 800-472-3846.

What is the minimum age for rafting?

We can take children as young as 4 years old on our family float section, the Middle Yough. The minimum age on the Lower Yough, our beginner to intermediate section, is 12 years old. For the Cheat River the minimum age is 14 years old, and on the Upper Yough the minimum age is 16 years old.

How many people can fit in one raft?

At normal water levels our rafts can fit three to six people comfortably. If it is high water, we switch to eight- to ten-man rafts. For the Upper Yough, the format calls for a maximum of three people and a guide in each raft. We also have smaller boats, like our one or two person inflatable kayaks that we call duckies. Click here to see the different watercraft we offer.

Will there be a guide in my raft?

There will be a guide in your raft if you book a Fully Guided or Premium Guided tour on either the Middle or Lower Yough. On the Guide Escorted tours of the Middle or Lower Yough, there will be guides along with the tour in safety kayaks or separate rafts giving instructions on where to go and what to do, but you will have the thrill of guiding your own raft. Guides are also in all rafts on our Cheat Canyon or Upper Yough tours.

What should I wear on the river?

Spring & Fall: Bathing suits or swim trunks, any wool or fleece items (ie. sweaters, hats, gloves, or socks),Under Armor, and polypropylene are all advisable on cold days. You don't want to wear anything cotton on the river. Cotton items soak up the water and don't retain your body heat. They will just make you cold. We rent wetsuits and spray jackets at all of our check-in centers. You want to wear shoes that will stay securely attached to your feet, river sandals or old tennis shoes will work fine. If you wear eyeglasses, some kind of eyeglass retention is highly advisable. We have eyeglass straps available for sale at all of our check-in centers. Summer: Bathing suits or swim trunks are all you need on warm days. You don't want to wear anything cotton on the river. Cotton items soak up the water and don't retain your body heat. They will just make you cold. We rent wetsuits and jackets at all of our check-in centers if it happens to be a chilly day. You want to wear shoes that will stay securely attached to your feet, river sandals or old tennis shoes will work fine. If you wear eyeglasses, some kind of eyeglass retention is highly advisable. We have eyeglass straps available for sale at all of our check-in centers.

I’ve never been rafting. What should I expect?

Whitewater rafting is a physically demanding activity. Participation is required. You do not have to be an athlete, but good physical condition is expected. If you have any medical condition that you feel will hinder your ability to participate, consult your physician. Everyone will be wearing a US Coast Guard approved life preserver (limited to a maximum girth of 54 inches). You do not have to have strong swimming skills. However, all participants should be comfortable in and around water, especially on our more advanced tours. Going for a swim is always a possibility on a whitewater rafting tour. Your guides will brief you on what to expect and how to behave in the event that you fall out of your raft. Keep in mind, the likelihood of falling out of your raft increases as the river class increases.

What is included in the price of the tour?

All our tours include all the equipment you will need for the day: rafts, lifejackets, helmets, paddles. We provide all transportation to and/or from the river and a deli-style lunch on the river.

What times do your tours leave and how long does it take?

MIDDLE YOUGH - You can reserve a tour for 9:00, 11:00, or 1:00 check-in time. Tours last anywhere from 4 - 6 hours. Keep in mind we do not have all three times everyday, so it is best to call our office at 1-800-4 RAFTIN to check availability. LOWER YOUGH - You can reserve a tour for 8:30, 10:30, or 12:30, 2:30 check-in time. Tours last anywhere from 4 - 6 hours. Keep in mind we do not have all times everyday, so it is best to call our office at 1-800-4 RAFTIN to check availability. UPPER YOUGH - You can reserve a tour for 12:00 check-in time in June, July, or August, or 11:00 check-in time in April, May, September or October. Tours last anywhere from 6 - 8 hours. The Upper Yough does not run every day, so it is best to call our office at 1-800-4 RAFTIN to check availability. CHEAT CANYON - You can reserve a tour for 10:00 check-in time. Tours last anywhere from 4 - 6 hours. The Cheat Canyon only runs through the end of June, so it is best to call our office at 1-800-4 RAFTIN to check availability.

Can I request my guide?

ABSOLUTELY! Our guides love it when they get requested. They love the opportunity to see old friends again. If you remember your guide's name, make sure you mention it when you make your reservation and we will do our best to put him/her on your tour. Check out our RIVER GUIDES online to refresh your memory!

Is whitewater rafting safe?

Whitewater rafting is an outdoor adventure sport and does contain a certain level of risk and danger. Keep in mind that the level of risk and danger increases as the class of the river increases. We do our best to provide all of our guests with safe and enjoyable rafting tours. Unfortunately, accidents and fatalities can occur on the river. If you have an existing medical condition, it is best to consult your physician before taking part in any outdoor adventure sport. All of our guides are trained in first aid and CPR and have been certified as raft guides by the Ohiopyle State Park. All rafting tours pack first aid kits, rescue ropes and equipment, and radios to communicate with our base.

What are the Upper Yough release dates?

APRIL: The last three Fridays (4/15, 4/22, 4/29). MAY: The first two Mondays (5/2, 5/9), all Fridays (5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/27), and two Saturdays (5/7, 5/28). JUNE: All Mondays, all Fridays, and the last two Saturdays (6/18, 6/25). JULY: All Mondays, all Fridays, and all Saturdays. AUGUST: All Mondays, all Fridays, and all Saturdays. SEPTEMBER: All Mondays, all Fridays, and the first two Saturdays (9/3, 9/10). OCTOBER: The first two Mondays (10/3, 10/10), first two Fridays (10/7, 10/14), and first Saturday (10/1).

Where can I stay nearby?

The Ohiopyle Guest Houses offer three charming houses set up as a Bed and Breakfast style of lodging. They are located in the heart of Ohiopyle. View information online about our Guest Houses. You can reserve a room or reserve the whole house by calling 1-800-4 RAFTIN. Call soon to reserve, the Guest Houses sell out quickly! NEW FOR 2015: Yough Lake Campground offers a variety of camping options from rustic Walk-in Tent Sites to Cabins.

How do I make reservations?

Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-4 RAFTIN or you can BOOK ONLINE! We can package your rafting tour with lodging or other outdoor activities. One call books it all! OFFICE HOURS: Our Office is open year round! Our office is currently open from 8am until 5pm, Monday-Friday! Give us a call anytime to make reservations or to get more information.

When is the best time to make a reservation?

As soon as you decide how many people you have and the date you want to go rafting, give us a call. Due to state regulations, all of our tours are subject to minimum and maximum numbers of guests. To ensure you get the date you want, make your reservations as soon as possible. Keep in mind that weekends tend to book up faster than weekdays!

Do you offer specials?

ABSOLUTELY! Check out our SPECIALS page for the deals we are currently offering. You can also CONTACT US for more information and periodically get emails about the specials we offer.

What is your Cancellation/Refund/Reschedule Policy?

A full refund or reschedule will be issued only if we are notified 14 days prior to your tour date. Once we are 14 days prior to your reservation, there are no refunds or reschedules for late cancellations, no-shows, late arrivals or inclement weather. Laurel Highlands River Tours reserves the right to cancel or reschedule any trip to an alternate section of the river or to a different river if conditions warrant. If we must cancel a trip, a FULL refund will be issued.