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Best River Rafting Destinations - Where to Find the Best Whitewater Raft Trips

Want to go river rafting on the Colorado, Snake, Gauley rivers or even abroad?


River rafting is a lot of fun. Whitewater river rafting offers thrills, chills, and even an occasional spill. You'll find great river rafting rides in water from Alaska and Colorado to Peru and Fiji. While the wildest rides on many rivers are in the springtime, you can find float trips throughout the summer and early fall, and trips through stronger rapids on rivers that have dam-release water. The generally accepted international grading system puts whitewater river rafting in classes I through VI, with I being the most gentle water and VI promising the most extreme rapids.

1. River Rafting with ROW Adventures

River Rafting with Row Adventures
Row Adventures
Row Adventures offers more than 30 different trips on 13 rivers, including the Salmon and the Snake rivers in Idaho, the Missouri and Clark Fork in Montana, and the Grande Ronde in Oregon/Washington. The company also offers a trip that includes rafting, mountain biking and hiking, while overnighting at the River Dance Lodge in Idaho.

2. Finding River Rafting Trip Through Rafting America

Rafting America is a gateway Web site to 20 companies that offer river rafting trips in the United States and Canada. These companies offer half-day to multi-day trips for beginner to experts, on rivers stretching from the Snake River in Utah and the Arkansas river in Colorado, to the Gauley and New rivers in West Virginia. On the Web site's map you can click on the state where you want to go river rafting and company's names may pop up.

3. Orion River Expeditions

Orion River Expeditions offers single- and multi-day trips on the Skykomish, the Wenatchee, the Deschutes and other rivers in the Pacific Northwest.

4. Raft With River Expeditions in West Virginia

River Expeditions runs whiterwater rafting trips on rivers in West Virginia. You can take single-day raft trips, or overnights where you can choose from camping out or staying in a hotel.

5. River Rafting With Nantahala Outdoor Center

One of the largest whitewater rafting companies, Natahala runs river rafting trips on nine rivers in Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina, including the Nantahala, Ocoee, Chattooga, Pigeon and French Broad rivers.

6. River Rafting With Don Hatch River Expeditions

Don Hatch River Expeditions focuses on rivers in the southwestern United States. Rafters can float on the Yampa River that slashes through the canyons within Dinosaur National Park, on the Green River through the Gates of Lodore or the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon.

7. River Rafting with Oars

Oars offers more than 20 new and classic river rafting trips, in locales from Alaska to Fiji. The company also offers multi-sport trips, such as rafting the Apurimac River, the source of the Amazon and taking a lodge to lodge trek to Machu Picchu.

8. River Rafting the Lehigh Gorge with Pocono Whitewater

Pocono Whitewater offers three Lehigh Gorge river rafting trips. The company also offers combination packages, such as Battles & Paddles, which includes a rafting trip and an evening of paintball at Skirmish "Castle Night" event. Another choice is mountain biking the Lehigh Gorge and rafting the Lehigh River.

9. Wilderness Aware Offers Whitewater River Rafting in Colorado and Arizona

This company, twice named "Colorado Company of the Year," offers raft trips on the Platte, the Delores and the Colorado rivers in Colorado, and the Salt river in Arizona.

10. Some Multi-sport Trips With Austin-Lehman Adventures Include River Rafting

Austin-Lehhman Adventures offers a variety of adventure trips and many include river rafting.

11. River Rafting the Grand Canyon With Arizona River Runners

Arizona River Runners offers multi-day river rafting trips on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. The company offers a selection of 3- to 8-day motorized adventures and 6- to 13-day oar-powered trips, which can include hiking in or out of the Grand Canyon.

12. REI Members May Get a Discount on River Rafting Trips

REI Adventures, which offers day- and multi-day trips around the world, partners with O.A.R. for rafting trips.O.A.R. was the first commercial rafting service to guide an oar-powered trip in the Grand Canyon in 1969. REI members who book a trip via this route, receive a 5% discount in the form of an REI gift card. Some destinations excluded.

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