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Park City Rafting, Barefoot tubing provide recreation on Weber River

Article Date: 
23 May, 2014 (All day)

Just ask the 3,000 to 4,000 people who raft or tube down the Weber River in Morgan County each year.  Rafting the Weber River in Morgan County is a fun way to see the valley and a relaxing afternoon in the sun.  It’s a great activity for families or organizations, and one of the 50 things to do in Morgan County.
Kyle Hooker started his rafting company 18 years ago.  Then it was a low key operation but has grown into a thriving business.  He was the first company to provide the rafting trip down the Weber.
The rafting season begins in June and goes throughout August.  Hooker is proud of the fact that, “The thousands of summer rafters on the Weber River bring in business revenues for many of the local businesses.”  
There are four trips scheduled a day, trips leave every two hours starting at 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday.  Raft trips can accommodate large or small groups, up to 40 or 50 at a time.
 “The trip takes about an hour to an hour and a half.  People check in at a small building down from Taggart’s restaurant and are taken by van to Henefer.  Rafters run the river with a licensed guide and arrive back at Taggart to pick up their cars,” said Hooker.  Take exit 108 off of 84 to get to the starting point.  There is an orientation and then customers are loaded in vans to the drop off points.
Because the water in the Weber River is controlled by Echo Reservoir, this is never a dry river bed. However, depending on the amount of precipitation the reservoir collects, some years the river may be higher than others.  
In order to accommodate individual needs, Hooker started Barefoot Tubing.  Barefoot Tubing provides equipment for single riders to tube down the Weber.  The tubing check-in is at the Morgan County Fairgrounds where a picnic area is set up including a tree swing.
Life jackets are required (and provided) for both the rafting and tubing events.  For rafting, children must be 3 years old or older and for the tubing, they must be 12 or older.  
Individuals may choose one of two tubing routes: one from Henefer to Taggart and one from Taggart to Morgan.  Upon checking in at either location, customers can leave keys and belongings in the building, so nothing is lost in the river.  
The Weber River is a class 2 river and relatively calm, but it is still a fun outing on a hot day. Guides can regal you with stories and point out areas of interest such as Devils Slide.  For all day trips which start at 10 a.m., the raft trip ends with Class 3 rapids for a little extra thrill.
Hooker is a true outdoorsman.  On his off time, between running a snow mobile business in Park City and his rafting business, he guides trips in Grand Canyon.  He is married, has six children and the entire family is involved in the business.  His wife takes calls and his children help with customer service or sometimes are positioned along the river to guide customers to the exit points. The company also put up signs to help rafters and tubers navigate to the pick-up points.
He offers special trips such as full-day rafting with lunch from Deb’s.  Prices are online for all venues at www.parkcityrafting.com or www.barefoottubing.com. Check out the pictures and video for some motivation.  Reservations should be made in advance by calling 435-655-3800 or patrons can book online. Mention you are local and receive a $5 discount.