Should I make reservations?
Reservations are highly recommended if you plan on coming, particularly on busy weekends in July and August.
What information do I need to make a reservation?
When making a reservation, we will need to know what watercraft is to be rented, which trip your group would like to take, as well as any camping information. We do need to have a headcount. However, it is recommended that you only make reservations for those who are committed to coming. It is always easier to add to a reservation than to cancel. At the time of reservation, we require a deposit of half of the rentals and camping. The other half is due upon arrival along with the security deposit.
What is the difference between a reservation deposit and a security deposit?
A reservation deposit is required to finalize your reservation. It is half of your rental and camping balance. The remainder of your total is due upon arrival.
A security deposit is applied by group. Depending on the size of your group, it will be $20, $40, $80, or $100. We ask that it is cash as it is refunded upon checkout as long as all equipment is returned in good repair and campsites are left how they are found upon arrival.
What if I am unsure of the exact number of people who will be in my group?
It is always better to reserve only for those you know for sure are coming. While there are times when we do sell out of certain items (banana cabanas and camping at our main location in Omer in particular), it is usually much easier to add on to your reservation.
Are you sold out on holiday (i.e. Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day) weekends?
Holiday weekends are a wonderful time to come. We are usually not very busy on Memorial Day and Labor Day in particular. While 4th of July is busy, it is usually more spread out during that entire week, especially if the 4th itself falls during the week. The more, the merrier. We will be here all holiday weekends anyway.
FYI – Crystal Creek Campground officially opens Memorial Weekend and closes Labor Day Weekend. Reservations are recommended at either location prior to Memorial Weekend or after Labor Day Weekend. Our normal closing date for the year is October 1st.
Can we take drinks on the river?
Yes, you can have drinks including alcoholic drinks. However, there is absolutely no glass containers or styrofoam coolers allowed on the river.
Are there any age limits?
There are no age limits on the Rifle River. Infants have safely traveled the river with proper life jackets and supervision. All children 6 and under are required to wear a life jacket by Michigan law. For children over the age of 6, life jackets are recommended if child is not a strong swimmer or uncomfortable in the water. We provide life jackets free of charge to all those who wish them.
Who should wear life jackets?
All children under aged 6 or under are required by Michigan law to wear a life jacket.
All kayakers are required by Michigan law to wear a life jacket as well.
We recommend life jackets for anyone who is unable to swim and/or feels uncomfortable in the water. As high water can be a hazard to even the best swimmers, there are times when we may recommend that everyone wear a life jacket for their own safety. We will always provide life jackets upon request; however, customers do need to ask in the office prior to departure.
Which campground is better?
Customers and employees all have their preferences. Each campground has its own advantages/disadvantages. If you need help deciding, you can find more information on our campgrounds here.
What are the campground quiet hours?
They are 11 PM to 8 AM. We simply ask that music is turned down and conversations kept at a reasonable level. Enjoy a beautiful Michigan evening!
Can we still rent tubes/canoes/etc. after the scheduled departure times?
It depends on several factors and subject to management approval:
- What trip are you looking to take?
- How many people are in your group?
- What time is it?
We tend to rent our State Rd. tubing trip (1.5 hrs.) until 4 PM on Saturdays.
What is the longest trip you have?
We offer a 4-day canoeing/kayaking trip. That is almost the entire Rifle River! Yes, we have had people complete it.
Do all trips end at Russell’s main location in Omer?
Yes, all trips end at our main location in Omer, except for our 1.5 hr. tubing trip.
Where do we camp on multi-day canoe trips?
You will need to make your own reservations along the river. Your options are private campgrounds along the river, or designated state land. You are welcome to stay at our two locations the third and fourth nights of your trip.