Official Whitewater Visitors Resource
Q. Where is Whitewater Express located?
A. Whitewater Express is located right off the Chattahoochee. The store is located at 1000 Bay Ave. Uptown Columbus, GA 31901. Take 2nd Ave. to 10th Street–10th Street runs directly into Bay Ave. All Columbus rafting trips meet at this location.
Q. When are you open?
A. We are open 7-days-a-week, 9-6. Call anytime during business hours to book a raft trip, or you can leave a message. The best way to book a trip is online at http://www.whitewaterexpress.com. Reservations are highly recommended!
Q. When are the rafting times?
A. M-F, Trips run every 2 hours starting at 9:00 am and ending at 5:00 pm. During the summer we open up trips every hour on the hour from 9:00am. Earlier hours are generally during low-water, where is later hours have high-water, best for our Class I-IV+ rapid trips, including Cut Bait.
Q. What is the “Classic Trip?”
A. The classic trip is during low-water. This is when the water is moving slower and the rapids are smaller. This is the perfect option for families. Class I-III rapids. During this trip you get to experience a “Lazy River.”
Q. What times are the Classic Trips?
A. 7 days a week (9:00, 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00), During the summer we more trips on Weekends. Sat & Sun (9:00, 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00)
Q. What is the High-Water trip?
A. The high water trip is when the water rises, the flow becomes quicker and the rapids get larger. You get two trips down with this run. Once down the GA side and once down the AL side. Class II-IV+ rapids.
Q. What time is the high water trip?
A. High water trips are everyday at 5:00.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. The Classic is $32.50 a person and the HighWater is $48.50 a person.
Q. Is gear provided?
A. Yes. We provide top-of-the-line safety equipment, including flotation device, raft and paddle (and wet gear as necessary). All you need to show up with is some clothes and shoes you can get wet.
Q. Do we need experience?
A. You do not need experience to raft, but you must be comfortable in and around water.
Q. How many people to a raft?
A. For your safety and to ensure proper weight restrictions are met, we require that six people fill a raft, not including the guide.
Q. Is there a guide in every boat?
A. ALL of our trips are fully-guided. This means that you will have a guide in your boat whether you choose to do the Classic or the Challenge trip.
Q. Is there a military discount?
A. Yes. We love our Fort Benning soldiers and support our troops in offering a 10% off military discount on all trips. Military personnel must show official military ID to qualify (in-store only).
Q. Is the Chattachoochee River water safe?
A. 100%. The water in the Chattahoochee is tested on a regular basis by city authorities and always meets or exceeds standards for recreational use. This is the same water that flows into Lake Harding and Lake Oliver so get ready to get wet and have some fun!
Q. Is rafting the Chattahoochee River safe?
A. The river is low-risk. With over 35 years of experience, Whitewater Express’ risk management procedures are unsurpassed. We train our guides extensively and follow the most today industry standards. However, it is important that you and your group know this: Whitewater rafting, like all adventure activities, involves inherent risks. It is important that guests know their comfort level and take proper responsibility for their own safety. If Whitewater Express staff feel that any individual is not in the proper condition to raft, we reserve the right to not allow that individual to raft for his or her own safety.
Q. What should I wear on the river?
A. We suggest you avoid wearing anything that you do not want to get wet. Shoes are the most important. Shoes that fasten securely to your feet are required at all times. No flip-flops. You want to make sure you are wearing shoes that cannot slip off in the raft. At any time of year, avoid heavy cotton fabrics. Jeans and sweatshirts are highly absorbent (think of a cotton towel) and will not dry fast. For summertime trips or warm days, shorts and a t-shirt with a bathing suit will be sufficient – shorts or non-cotton are best. We suggest wool or synthetic layers on cool days. Wool socks, gloves and hats can also increase your comfort level on cool days. It's a general rule that in cooler weather, you should avoid cotton, as it is slow to dry and it keeps your skin cold when it gets wet.
Q. Which Trip should I choose?
A. The classic trip is during low-water. This is when the water is moving slower and the rapids are smaller. This is the perfect option for families. Class I-III rapids. During this trip you get to experience a “Lazy River.” The high water trip is when the water rises, the flow becomes quicker and the rapids get larger. You get two trips down with this run. Once down the GA side and once down the AL side. Class I-IV+ rapids.
Q. Can anyone float the Habitat Pool?
A. Yes! As long as you have the proper flotation device and safety equipment, the Habitat Pool is there for your enjoyment, and is especially great for families.
Q. Do I need to make a reservation?
A. Walk-ins are welcome, but to guarantee space on the trip of your choice, we recommend reservations, especially on holidays and summer weekends. A lot goes into the planning of a river trip, including scheduling of guides, photographers and bus drivers. Call 706-321-4720 to reserve your trip, or book online at www.whitewaterexpress.com.
Q. Are trips cancelled when it rains?
A. Whitewater rafting is a very wet activity and we run trips rain or shine. In fact, we think this is the very best outdoor activity for a rainy day!
Q. Will I fall out?
A. Going for a short swim is always a possibility on a whitewater trip. You'll be wearing a Type V USCG-approved personal flotation device and we'll brief everyone on what to expect and how to behave in the event that someone does fall out. Keep in mind that the likelihood of getting dunked increases as the river classification increases; a High Water trip is generally a much wetter experience than a Low Water trip.
Q. Is there a minimum age to raft or upper age limit?
A. 7-years-old for the Classic and 12-years-old for the Challenge. While there is no upper age-limit, we expect everyone to reasonably evaluate his or her fitness level before taking a whitewater rafting trip.
Q. How do I get pictures of my rafting trip?
A. Because memories of your trip are important to us, we have photographers on-standby for each rafting trip (weather permitting). On all of our river trips, you can see your photos right after you raft!
Q. What do listed prices include?
A. Because safety is our first priority, prices include all of the top-quality equipment you'll need for your trip: raft, paddle, personal flotation device, your rafting experience, and the company of our experienced guides
Q. How do I book a trip?
A. Visit http://www.whitewaterexpress.com call 706-321-4720 during the business hours of 9-6 and get ready to raft the longest urban whitewater course in the world.
Q: Are fish in the Chattahoochee safe to eat?
A: Some fish caught in the Chattahoochee may not be safe to eat, at least with any frequency. Experts say the issue with some fish in the Chattahoochee River is how often you should eat them. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources suggests you follow restrictions on consumption. What you need to know is that on the river north of I-85, the only restriction is on striped bass, which are meant to be consumed no more than once a week. On the river south of I-85, there is a restriction of no more than once a month consumption on largemouth bass. Any bullhead fish caught should not be consumed more than once a week. Roger Martin, the Executive Director of the Chattahoochee RiverWarden, says the fish are fine to eat, as long as you are aware of these restrictions. Traces of chemicals like mercury are found in fish in certain areas. Mercury is a naturally occurring poisonous metal that is released into the environment from industrial sources. When mercury accumulates in waterways, fish ingest it and it builds up in their tissues.
Visit http://www.gaepd.org/Documents/fish_guide.html for a full report of fishing guidelines.
For videos, photos, and more, check out the Columbus GA Whitewater page.