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River Put-in and Take-Out Etiquette


River Put-in and Take-Out Etiquette

Whether you’re rowing a raft or paddling a canoe, kayak or paddle board, it pays to be courteous at river put-ins and take-outs. Having a basic understanding of ramp etiquette keeps everybody smiling.


Many river put-ins and take-outs are busy during weekends and holidays. Mornings from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. and afternoons from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. are prime time. If you can arrive before or after these times, you’ll find more room on the ramps.


When you arrive, “survey the scene”. Decide where the best access will be or who has dropped their boat and is ready to pull-up and park. Keep your gear and your group behind or adjacent to your boat. Have young children stay safely out of the way until you’re ready to launch. If you need to inflate your boats and the ramp is busy, inflate on the sides of the ramp and carry to the ramp when you’re ready to finish rigging. If you’re rigged but still waiting on other participants or a shuttle person, float your boat away from the main ramp area and tie it up. Kayaks and paddle boards can carefully launch in between bigger boats or on the sides. If you’re able to, lend a hand to others who might need help unloading.


We’ve all been there. We arrive at the river take-out only to find the ramp full. Can you land just above or below the ramp? Is someone close to pulling out or moving a raft up to deflate? (It’s usually not a good idea to start deflating in the middle of a ramp. Instead carry up to the side or a de-rigging area.) You can offer to help when another party is loading up. Always ask first, “Can we give you a hand? How can we help?” As you take the ramp and begin unloading, place your gear to the side of the ramp or in front of your boats. Get your boats and gear safely in/on your vehicle or trailer and pull up the ramp to finish strapping down. Let’s look at a couple examples…

Private rafting party staying out of the way of other boaters

Two thumbs up for this well organized, private rafting party using the side of the Take-Out ramp to derig, deflate and roll their rafts.

Commercial rafting party making putting-in/taking-out challenging for ohthers

Here’s a rafting group at the Put-In ramp. They’re not planning on anyone else using the ramp until they depart. It helps to leave room for others.


Plan ahead, be courteous and enjoy the river! Have questions? Feel free to call us at (435) 259-6007 or submit a Contact form. Agree with this post? Spread the word using the social buttons at the top of the page. 


For more information regarding Moab area river put-ins & take-outs, please refer to the following:

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