Top 10 Most Beautiful Rivers in the US

Since the dawn of civilization, settlements, towns, and cities have sprung up around rivers due to their importance. The United States has thousands of great rivers that criss-cross the country with many of them attracting visitors to swim, fish, and float down every day. The US does have number of rivers and waterways in danger due to pollution. However, there are still plenty of beautiful rivers in the US to visit on your next vacation or weekend break.

Let’s explore the most beautiful rivers in the US.

1: Kenai River

Kenai River
The Kenai River runs through Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. The picturesque river meanders 82 miles through rocky outcroppings and lush pine tree covered forests. Kenai is a perfect fishing location and it gives visitors a great spot to see Alaska’s local wildlife. The river is the most popular sport fishing locale in Alaska. Fisherman salivate at the mouth to cast into the waters for the salmon that call the Kenai River home.

2: Columbia River

Columbia River
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest and extends 1,243 miles. It runs from Canada’s British Columbia down to Washington and into Oregon. The river is bordered by pine tree forests that give it a mystic feel. The river’s deep blue color adds to the allure of the beautiful river. Overlooked by cliffs, the Columbia River is the fourth largest in the US and empties into the Pacific Ocean.

The Rio Grande may not be the first river you think of when considering the most beautiful rivers in the US. It isn’t surrounded by snow-capped mountains nor does it have pine forests around it. Visitors to the Rio Grande will find that it looks very similar in stretches to the way it did when settlers first entered the area. The river begins in Colorado and runs into the Gulf of Mexico. It stretches around 1,800 miles with the most beautiful part of it situated in Big Bend National Park’s Santa Elena Canyon.

4: Hudson River

Hudson River
Located in eastern New York, the Hudson river extends 315 miles and runs from the Adirondack Mountains and into New York Bay. According to historians, the Hudson River has been America’s most important river since its discovery in the 1600s. The river can be found in Manhattan where it is the backdrop to many vacationers' trips. However, it is outside of New York City that the rivers true beauty lies.

5: Colorado River

Colorado River
The Colorado River attracts visitors every year thanks to its rapids. The waters of the river have carved the canyon’s walls providing beautiful backdrops to photographs for decades. Rafting trips and hiking excursions are popular choices for travelers. Outdoor lovers can also camp near the river and enjoy the scenery. Colorado is one of the most popular vacation spots in the US today and the river attracts plenty of people to its shores each day.

6: Chattanooga River

Chattanooga River

Located in eastern Tennessee, the Chattanooga River flows along the borders of four states. It winds along the borders of Tennessee, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. It provides visitors with unique kayaking, rafting, and fishing adventurers. There are also campgrounds located nearby along with hiking trails that offer outdoors lovers the chance to explore America’s southeast.

The Chattanooga River was the river location of the film Deliverance and its scenery can be found in the seminal movie. Take one long float trip down the river and you will feel like you are in the 1972 classic.

7: Snake River

Snake River
The Snake River extends through three American states: Idaho, Wyoming, and Washington. Visitors will find a variety of natural landscapes that the river runs through including valleys, mountains, and plains. Locals claim the best views can be found in Hells Canyon, which is large gorge situated near the borders of Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. The Snake River empties into the Columbia River as it finishes its 1,000-mile journey that begins in Wyoming.

8: Animas River

Animas River
Running 126-miles, the Animas River meanders through southern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Animas River is a favorite location for rafters who want to explore its extreme rapids. The river is also a popular destination for game-fishing. One of the reasons travelers head to the Animas River is the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The train takes riders through the picturesque region providing beautiful views of the Animas River.

9: Tennessee River

Tennessee River
The Tennessee River has iconic views from the cliffs that overlook it. The river flows 652 miles and joins the Ohio River as its largest tributary. Due to numerous dams being built along the Tennessee River, several lakes have been formed. The Tennessee River is part of the Great Loop which allows boat travelers to continuously explore the US without leaving the waterways.

10: Allegheny River

Allegheny River
Travelers to Pennsylvania and Western New York have long known the wonders of the Allegheny River. The river doesn’t offer whitewater rapids like the rivers in the American mountain west; but it does give boaters the chance to casually float down the river for a relaxing day out. Boats can enjoy scenic views of the Allegheny National Forest and the lush woods that are situated near the river. The Allegheny River meanders past small Pennsylvania towns giving visitors the chance to explore America’s northeast.

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