10 Best Places for Whitewater Rafting in the United States

While it is good to sometimes just sit back and enjoy the great outdoors in a slow and calm environment, you have to get out there and take life by the horns to truly appreciate it. There are a lot of places in our backyard to go experience the turbulent and thrilling activities of whitewater river rafting. It has started trending more lately, as more people are drawn to the challenge and excitement of being one with nature, overcoming obstacles with your closest companions. Here are our picks for the 10 most thrilling and rewarding places to go whitewater rafting in America!

1: Salmon River, Idaho

Salmon River, Idaho
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Brent

This river provides the best variety for whitewater rafters new and old. You can take the Middle Fork for both fast-paced action around the alpine rapids and a thrilling conclusion that sends you through the amazing desert canyons. This adventure takes at least five days for experienced rafters. There are shorter, less advanced rapids available among the Salmon River, as well.

Address: Salmon River, Idaho

2: Colorado River, Grand Canyon

Colorado River, Grand Canyon
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Wesley Fryer

If you’re looking for a challenge, there is plenty to be found along the 226 mile Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. The experience is like no other, the canyons rich with history as they are surprises. You should reserve a full vacation experience of both on-land and off adventures, as there are tons of little caves and secrets to explore.

Address: Colorado River Discovery, 130 6th Avenue, Page, AZ 86040

3: Gauley River, West Virginia

Gauley River, West Virginia
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Michael Blow

This whitewater rapid location is a time-exclusive event that only happens for six weekends in September and October. This is because the nearby Summersville lake is leveed and must be regulated to prevent overflowing, and when this happens the Gauley River is treated with a flush of fresh water that cascades down canyons and between lush fall foliage. Rafters return to this amazing experience every year to get a taste of the best sights and sounds of the great outdoors.

Address: Gauley River, WV
Website: www.gauley.com

4: Tuolumne River, California

Tuolumne River, California
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Zachary Collier

Yosemite National Park gives birth to this beautiful river, where it falls down into Cherry Creek, a whitewater river rafter’s dream. This section of river is no walk in the park, it will drain you physically and emotionally if you aren’t an experienced rafter. For those who may not be up to snuff on their rafting abilities, the Main Tuolumne section that runs for 18 miles of great natural landscapes.

Address: Sierra Mac River Trips, 27890 CA-120, Groveland, CA 95321

5: Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park, Montana
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Ron B

Another popular pick for whitewater rafters, there is a great selection of adventures to fit various timetables, from 6-10hrs to three day trips. Glacier National Park can also accommodate beginners who have never rafted before, so you can start out on floating tour boats that don’t expose you to the elements just yet. Then, maybe after, you can start trying the real thing out.

Address: West Glacier, MT 59936

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