Whether you’re new to white water rafting or you’ve been practicing this adventurous sport for years, there are so many amazing locations to explore across the United States. Here are five of the best places to go white water rafting.
1. The Colorado River Through the Grand Canyon
What better place to start than in one of America’s most iconic landscapes? The Huffington Post names this 226-mile stretch as one of the country’s best white water rafting trips. With Class 1 to V rapids, this trip is equally suitable for beginners and seasoned rafters. Start at Flagstaff and head out for just a day or two or a two-week luxury adventure.
2. Salmon River, Idaho
Fodor’s gives this trip a high rank for its sheer natural beauty, featuring more than 300 miles of deep forests, imposing canyon cliffs, and grasslands. Experience six natural hot springs and keep your eyes open for an incredible array of wildlife, including black bears, mountain lions, moose, and bighorn sheep. Diverse options abound in this river, with sections including Middle Fork (Class III-IV), Main Salmon (Class III), and Lower Salmon (Class III).
3. Alsek and Tatshenshini Rivers, Alaska/Canada
These rapids will take you through a breathtaking landscape of glaciers, mountains, icebergs, and tundra unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. This is another ideal trip for wildlife lovers, with appearances from moose, grizzly bears, and spawning salmon. If you travel at the right time of year, you can even take a side trek to enjoy wild blueberries right off the bush.
4. Nenana River, Alaska
This glacial river runs from Mount McKinley to Denali National Park, providing thrill-seekers with miles of Class IV rapids and views of the golden eagles and wild sheep who make their homes in the Alaska Range Mountains. Options range from half-day and day trips to longer treks.
5. Chattooga River, South Carolina/Georgia
This river is convenient to both Asheville and Atlanta, providing visitors the opportunity to enjoy not only the beauty of one of the Southeast’s premier free-flowing streams, but also the eclectic entertainment, cuisine, and culture available in these cities. Miles of biking trails, hiking routes, and fishing streams round out your excursion.
When planning your white water rafting journey, partnering with a reputable tour group is your best bet if you’re new to the area. They will help you make the most of the time you’ll spend on the river and organize side trips that are convenient to your route.