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River rafting and white water rafting are great recreational activities that you can practice with friends and family or by yourself. Across the States, you can find many rivers and creeks suitable for rafting and paddling. Modern white-water rafting dates back to the 19th century when some brave individuals began exploring the rivers in Colorado. Read on for the ten most popular places where you can experience true American river rafting.
1. South Fork American River, California
The first river on this list is a good option for beginners and intermediate paddlers. From a trip to South Fork American River, you can expect excellent Class III rapids and cold water with low to moderate flip/swim potential. The proximity of this rafting location to Sacramento makes it perfect for a weekend getaway.
2. Middle Fork American River, California
The beautiful Middle Fork American River runs through a picturesque 2000-foot deep, rugged canyon. This rafting destination is one of the best white water rivers thanks to its numerous Class III and technical Class IV rapids. The river is a good choice for experienced rafters as well as for adventurous beginners. People from the area of San Francisco and Sacramento can easily get to Middle Fork through Interstate 80.
3. Yellowstone River, Montana
Yellowstone River is the rafting destination for you if you want to experience the thrill of rolling wave rapids. The river is suitable for families as the minimum age for rafting there is 6. Because the river runs through the Yellowstone National park, you can expect spectacular views.
4. Rio Grande River, New Mexico
The Rio Grande gorge is another great option for families with children. A full-day rafting trip through the Gorge includes floating through some of the most scenic parts of the canyon. The tour combines relaxation and excitement, provided by the Class III rapids of the “Racecourse.” This rafting destination is suitable for people who live near Albuquerque, Taos, and Santa Fe.
5. Arkansas River, Colorado
The Royal Gorge of the Arkansas River is the perfect rafting destination for adrenaline seekers. It is steep and technical as it plunges 65 feet per mile while being surrounded by dramatic canyon scenery. The Royal Gorge is perfect for experienced rafters looking for Class III white-water rapids.
6. Toccoa River, Georgia
A trip through the Toccoa River is great for families with children that are too young for white-water rapids. This rafting destination is perfect for those who want to relax and enjoy the view of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
7. Nantahala River, North Carolina
A fully guided trip through the Nantahala River can be a great introduction for anyone who wants to take up white-water rafting. The combination of delightful mountain scenery and playful rapids will make your trip unforgettable. The river is located just outside Bryson City.
8. Snake River, Wyoming
Wyoming is home to the famous Jackson Hole of the Snake River. Paddling there can be relaxed or adventurous, depending on your preferences. A slow and steady float will allow you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Grand Teton Mountains. If you are up for a challenge, you can try out paddling in the intense rapids of the river.
9. Salmon River, Idaho
Congress protects the Salmon River in Idaho as one of America’s first Wild and Scenic Rivers. The river drops more than 7,000 feet from its headwaters and offers spectacular views of the diverse Idaho landscape. It has three sections – the Main Salmon, Lower Salmon, and Middle Fork. The waters provide the right mix of lazy floats and fun rapids. A hike or a few days of camping in the area will be a lovely addition to your rafting trip.
10. Ocoee River, Tennessee
The Ocoee River is one of the most famous american river rafting destinations. It offers more than 20 Class III and IV rapids for the adventurous at heart. The river runs through a scenic gorge that allows for wildlife spotting. It is really easy to visit the Ocoee River thanks to its close proximity to big cities like Atlanta, Nashville, Cleveland, Murphy, etc.
Wrap up on american river rafting
The US is filled with exciting rivers that run through scenic mountainous regions. These rivers offer a wide range of activities – from relaxed floats to fun rapids. No matter where you live, you can always find a river close by or in a neighboring state. In the end, there is no better way to explore nature than to go rafting.