by Julie Trevelyan


River rafting trips bring out enormous smiles, guaranteed. Some of the reasons seem obvious: you’re on vacation, being on a river raft is exciting, you’re with family or friends. But some of the reasons aren’t ones you might even know about until your river adventure is underway. Get ready—smiles right ahead.


1. Best views from the baño.

In Holiday lingo, the baño is where you take care of that all-important personal bathroom business. Trust us, our baños really do have superb views.


2. Someone else cooks and cleans up.

Now, who wouldn’t smile because of that?


3. Your kids are not playing with electronic devices that short-circuit their brains and hasten their eyesight toward needing corrective lenses.

Instead, they’re playing river games…shooting the rapids with huge grins on their faces…singing around the campfire at night…being lulled to sleep by the rippling sounds of the river and the soft silver moonlight bathing everything in its natural glow.


Starry Night Sky

Starry Night Sky



4. Your brain is on river time.

Time is close to meaningless and endless when you’re on a river raft trip. Everything slows down, relaxes, and settles into a calmer, more soothing pace. That’s where the easy smiles of “I am so lucky to be out on this river right now” come from.


5. The stars are unbelievably many and startlingly clear.

Most people who live in urban areas never truly see the night sky the way it’s meant to be. When you see your first starry night on a river trip, it can be stunning how bright the stars are—and how many you can see! Being able to pick out constellations as pointed out by your guides, or just to sit and stare upward at the sprawling canopy of celestial bodies, can bring a smile of awe and appreciation as you realize just how full of wonder our skies are.



Julie TrevelyanWritten by Julie Trevelyan.

Julie is a freelance writer and wilderness guide in southern Utah. She especially enjoys books, coffee, yoga, wild country, horses, and dark chocolate.

See more of her work at