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Best Whitewater Rafting Trips In The United States

Feb 29, 2008
Within the United States there are fifty stretches of river that are considered the crème de la crème for those who enjoy whitewater rafting. Regardless of your expertise, you will find whitewater rafting trips that cater to your abilities. Beginners can start with easy trips that introduce them to this popular sport, while experts can really test their skills on some of the country's most difficult stretches of river.

New England Whitewater Rafting

In New England, Vermont's West River offers class III and class IV rapids near Stratton Mountain that are tricky in the spring when the snow melts off the mountain and provides amazing scenery when the fall foliage hits peak in late September and early October. In Maine, the Penobscot River outside of the Katahdin/Baxter State Park area has many stretches that are challenging to experts. Some quieter stretches are available for beginners and intermediates. In Greenfield, Massachusetts, the Deerfield River is perfect for class II rapids.

Gauley River Rafting

West Virginia's Gauley River and Upper Gauley River are extremely popular whitewater rafting spots. The 2,000-mile stretch of river winds through the Appalachian Mountains creating rapids ranging from class I to class V. On top of this incredible length of river, the Summersville Dam creates upwards of 3,000 cubic feet of water per second creating strong rapids that challenge even the most experienced whitewater rafter.

Western US Whitewater Rafting

The thirty-five mile stretch of class IV rapids along the Rogue River in Oregon provides rafters with incredible views of bear, bald eagles, turtles, osprey, and otters in their natural habitats. Oregon's Owyhee River connects Nevada, Idaho, and Oregon. The class II rapids are perfect for families looking for a whitewater rafting adventure. The gentler Grande Ronde River is the best option for beginners who want to learn the sport of whitewater rafting in a less dangerous environment. Down the coast in California, the Tuolumne River, just outside of Yosemite National Park, provides class IV rapids for those seeking a challenge.

The Gunnison River in Colorado is the best choice for whitewater rafters who want to spend mellower moments fishing. Gunnison River winds through the Black Canyon and is a perfect river for trout and salmon fishing. Heading north into Montana, whitewater rafters will find many miles of whitewater rapids in Glacier National Park. The 220-mile stretch of Flathead River travels through the Glacier National Park, Great Bear Wilderness Area, and Bob Marshall Wilderness Area.

Tennessee River Rafting

Finally, Tennessee's Upper Ocoee River's "Olympic Run" is a class IV and class V stretch of river that travels through Tennessee heading towards Atlanta, Georgia. The Pigeon River in Tennessee is another popular choice, with many stretches of rapids that are suitable to beginners. The Pigeon River lines the borders of Tennessee and North Carolina, so you really visit two states at one time.

If you are planning a crazy whitewater rafting experience, find a cheap hotel nearby through HotelClub who have access to numerous accommodation options ranging from affordable 2 star hotels to the luxury and pampering 5 star hotels.
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