If you love excitement and don’t want to travel far, there is an incredible assortment of exciting river trips right in your backyard, North America. Heart-pounding whitewater challenges or calm waters relax; possibly both experiences can be savored in the same trip down the river. Rafting trips vary from Class I (easy and possibly a canoe adventure) to Class VI (might include rapids that are not really runnable.) Excitement and action loom in the Class IV and V range. Here are some top 5 picks:
1. Tuolumne River
Right outside California’s Yosemite National Park, one can raft the river while viewing splendid waterfalls and canyons. Considered a “Wild and Scenic” river, rapids challenge on this Class IV trip. Boulders can add difficulty, and this river is for experienced paddlers. For relaxation, San Francisco is a few hours away.
2. Colorado River near Grand Canyon National Park
The area in the vicinity of Flagstaff, Arizona, is just one of the choices for those wanting to see the Grand Canyon. Whitewater trips range from mild to excitedly wild and can be combined with hiking.
3. Kennebec River
Steep rocked walls and magnificent pines come into view on this river, entirely within the state of Maine. Waterfalls and waves provide excitement as rapids add to the challenge.
4. Royal Gorge
As the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas, the Arkansas River near Canon City, Colorado, offers Royal Gorge rafting excitement to those who love the challenge of whitewater. Family fun in Class II waters can also be found, and riverside views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains are spectacular. The Royal Gorge Railway is part of this region and can be combined with a family float down the river.
5. Salmon River
Located in Idaho, this “Wild and Scenic” river offers Class III and scenery that the whole family will enjoy. One can ride down the “River of No Return”, a name given by early prospectors, in a variety of vessels that include kayaks, dories and rafts.
Whether you are seeking a mild float on a “Wild and Scenic” river with your family or a white-knuckle adventure of engaging rapids, North America offers a array of wonderful trips on its rivers. Inspiring scenery and memorable moments await those who venture to the river for an incredible outdoor experience. Explore these river trips and begin the adventure.