When are you open?
We are open 7 days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day. We are typically open Friday-Sunday from the 2nd weekend of April through Memorial Day, and from Labor Day to the end of September. Custom trips on any day for parties of 6 or more (self-guided) or parties of 4 or more (guided) can be scheduled with advanced notice.
Do I need a reservation?
Absolutely. Click here to book online or call 434-218-2052. While we often book out certain trips on weekends, same-day reservations are generally available for those with flexible schedules. We usually cannot serve walk-up customers.
What’s the cancellation policy?
Customers signed up for regular self-guided trips will receive a full refund with 48 hours notice of cancellation. No-shows will be charged the full price. Reservations for guided trips or any unique, custom trip not on our regular schedule must be cancelled or changed at least 72 hours in advance to receive a refund. PLEASE NOTE: We run trips rain or shine if the weather and river conditions do not pose unacceptable risk. If RRC cancels a trip due to dangerous weather or other unforeseen circumstances, customers will receive a full refund. Please contact us by phone to cancel or inquire about a cancellation. No-shows will be charged the full price.
When and where should I arrive for the trip?
Please arrive 20 minutes before your trip begins. Unless otherwise noted in your trip confirmation email, all our trips meet at our shop location. We start trips right on time, so being late can mean missing your trip, with no refund.
Is it safe for my child?
Many of our customers bring their children out on the river. Any activity associated with water carries with it intrinsic dangers, so we can never really say it is safe. You know yourself and your child better than we do, so only you can choose what is safe for them to do. The Minimum age for all downriver trips is 6 years old, but parents/guardians/youth leaders should consider their own experience level as well as their child’s when choosing a trip.
Are there any rapids?
Yes, there are numerous Class I and Class II rapids on the Rivanna. Paddlers on our longer trips will need to be able to steer and maneuver their kayaks to successfully navigate the rapids. The Rivanna Sampler trip has one Class I rapid and is okay for total beginners.
Can I bring my dog?
In consideration of other customers on the shuttle bus who may not be comfortable with dogs, we do not allow dogs on the trips. If you are committed to a river trip with your furry friend, you can rent equipment from RRC and do your own shuttle with your vehicle.
Can I wear flip flops?
You can, but just about anything is better. We strongly suggest that you wear river sandals (such as Tevas, Chacos or Keens), water shoes, or old tennis/running shoes work well if you do not have river shoes.
What things should I bring?
For all paddling trips, we ask that you bring one cell phone for safety reasons. You can bring your own dry bag or rent one from RRC for $5. You will most likely need a dry bag, so please obtain one in advance, or plan to get one from us the day of your trip. Aside from your cell phone, we urge you to leave valuables and electronics locked in your car. We can hold your keys at our office while you are on the river. Please plan for the elements by bringing the following items with you for your trip.
– Non-cotton clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat with a brim,
– Plenty of water and snacks
– Optional items: Insect repellant, camera, a small cooler (fits on the back of our kayaks), swim goggles or a snorkel mask
– Bring any medications that could be needed during the trip (or for the rest of the day/night in an emergency situation). This is particularly critical for Epi-Pens, Inhalers, Nitroglycerin, etc. that can save your life. Aside from your cell phone, we urge you to leave valuables and electronics locked in your car.
– For spring and fall trips, a warm layer such as a synthetic fleece jacket or sweatshirt
How deep is the river?
Ninety percent of the river is ankle to elbow deep, but there are a few spots over 10 feet deep. This changes with river level fluctuations. The Rivanna’s level usually has lows and highs that vary up to 15 feet in the typical year. This being said, we only run trips in a range of about 1.5 feet, towards the low end of that spectrum.
Am I going to get stuck on rocks?
Well, that depends on your ability to read the river. Some people hit lots of rocks even at high water levels, but some people can paddle the river in a drought without getting stuck. At typical mid to late summer water levels, most of our customers will hit a few rocks. This will sometimes necessitate getting out of the boat to pull it off the rocks. This makes it especially necessary to consider your physical ability to get out of the kayak onto uneven, slippery surfaces.
Will other people on the river enjoy the music on my portable speaker?
Most likely they will not. It’s a small river with lots of nice natural sounds and occasional silence. Noise travels far, and will inevitably affect the experience of other paddlers, fishermen, hikers, etc. We ask that our customers leave the natural river soundscape undisturbed, and leave the speakers in the car. Thanks!