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“The Trip that Never Was”

Rainforest Paddlers
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Attraction details
Owner description: We Offer Raft, Kayak And Mountain Bike Adventures In The Hoh Rainforest Region Of The Olympic Peninsula In Washington State.
Reviewed 18 July 2008

We had a trip planned with Rainforest Paddlers on the Quillayute River. From the start this company seemed disorganized and unprofessional. I called to asked the availability for a certain date and the girl said she didn't know how to do that and asked me to call back in an hour. I called back and once again asked for the availability and was once again told to call back. I then questioned why she couldn't tell me if a date was avaialble and she then said she was able to do that.???
A trip was booked. There was no confirmation number, emails or follow up calls. We arrive at the meeting point for our trip and noone was there. We waited and waited. We then ventured up to the launch site and found noone. I stopped into a local store to look up their phone number and he said he saw the owner and his truck hauled away by a wrecker a while ago. He then called Rainforest Paddlers and spoke with a woman who knew nothing of the break down. She called back and stated what we already knew (that the person broke down)and said our trip was cancelled....sorry. There were no phone calls or attempts to reach us prior to this. There was no attempt made to keep us as a future customer. May be good for others but I will not recommend this company to anyone who visits.

4  Thank Raggs30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hohvalleygirl, CEO at Rainforest Paddlers, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2009

It is truly a shame that the trip you booked for La Push kayaking wasn´t able to take place. For this we are sorry. It is a beautiful trip, with plentiful wildlife and great scenery.
I just want to clarify a couple points of the story. And please think of how you feel when your car breaks down, and you will know how we felt that day ...your assigned guide was a marine reservist and purple heart recipient, you can believe he worked hard to work things out.
1. On the 45 min drive from our headquarters to La Push the car carrying your guide and kayaks broke down. It overheated and stopped.
2. The guide tried to organize a substitute car, unfortunately that takes time and leaves plans up in the air until all options are tested. We have never had a break down before, and hope to never experience it again.
2. La Push and Forks are areas with very spotty if any cell service, so conversations between guides and offices are garbled and sometimes impossible--thus communication in the field is difficult.
3. Please remember you were offered another trip for the following day, but refused it due to your schedule.
Hopefully this will help put things in perspective.
Thank you for your understanding,
Rainforest Paddlers, Inc.

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26 - 28 of 28 reviews

Reviewed 3 June 2008

We did a lot of fun things on this vacation, but our rafting trip on the Hoh river with Rainforest Paddlers had to be the highlight.

I had rafted once before; dh had not and worried about being cold. He needn't have feared! Our guide set us up with waterproof jackets and pants, neoprene booties and gloves (and, of course, personal flotation devices). He recommended that we not wear cotton underneath, but fleece or something that would dry more easily. We wore fleece sweatshirts, but only jeans underneath our pants. Mine got a little wet, but not badly.

There were just the two of us in the 9-person raft with our guide, while another three visitors decided to kayak. They used inflatable kayaks, not the more rigid plastic ones that you usually see, and just sat in them, rather than being all zipped inside, so they didn't need to learn to roll or to release. They were provided with helmets in addition to neoprene coveralls and the same blue jackets and neoprene booties.

The put-in was a very short ride, and, after a bit of instruction, we were on the water. Our guide was fantastic -- he was handed two very inequal paddlers, but quickly figured out what the boat did when he asked us to paddle, and then gave very clear direction to us as to when to paddle and how many strokes. The Hoh was quite high during our trip. It only offers class two rapids, but I'm sure we absolutely got the most out of it that the river had to offer and it was fantastic!

One of the kayakers lost her boat on the initial rapids, and our guide directed us calmly and efficiently as we worked to "capture" both her and the kayak. Once she was once again afloat, we tackled the remainder of the five-mile stretch. The final rapids were a tiny bit tricky, so our guide had us beach to listen to his direction on how to take them. Everyone made it through uneventfully, though!

Take-out was right after that -- I couldn't believe 3 hours had gone by so fast! -- and the ride back to the outfitters shed was again very brief.

I cannot recommend this trip highly enough. We saw eagles soaring and river otters at play, and had a fabulous time.

Like all the guides, ours was someone who had grown up locally and been on this river all his life. He described how the river changes from season to season and year to year. He said that a fast trip like ours on high water would differ dramatically from an August trip, when the river has gone down and more rocks shown up to make things interesting!

Things to know -- The owners, Anna and Christian, operate a small store and restaurant, the Hard Rain Cafe, 5763 Upper Hoh Road, and that is where reservations are taken for Rainforest Paddlers. However, the outfitters shed where you meet for the trip and where all the gear is stored is very discreetly (i.e. kind of hidden) next to Peak 6, an awesome little store featuring outdoor gear and some souvenier items at 4883 Upper Hoh Road that is owned and operated by Anna's parents. I would HIGHLY recommend checking out the website for Rainforest Paddlers for their great FAQ and then calling for reservations, as trip times can be a little flexible (don't count on the 9, 10 and 2 that some websites describe!) This is a small, family-oriented and operated business -- you'll probably talk directly to the owners to make reservations, and will almost certainly meet the family if you grab one of the terrific salmon burgers at the Hard Rain before your trip, or stop in to shop for a funny t-shirt at Peak 6 after.

Never rafted before? DON'T WORRY! It is a great trip; the only danger is that you're going to want MORE!

4  Thank MysteryPoodle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2016
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Thank Susanne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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