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White water rafting trips are available all across the United States. These trips range in difficulty from beginner to advanced and feature everything from calm rivers to turbulent and difficult rapids. Rivers can make for fun family rafting trips or whitewater river rafting challenges for adventurous vacationers. Sections of rivers range from class I to class V rapids, with class V rapids being the most challenging and dangerous, only appropriate for advanced rafters. Some specific rivers and rafting trips are detailed below, and sections appropriate for family rafting are mentioned.
River Rafting Trips on the West Coast
The West Coast has several whitewater river rafting options to choose from, offered by various companies. One of the most exciting and majestic is the Grand Canyon rafting trip, which allows rafters to experience the beauty of the Grand Canyon from the unique perspective of Colorado River rafting.
According to Western River Expeditions (“Grand Canyon Rafting Vacations”), Colorado River rafting trips allow explorers to experience parts of the national park that are inaccessible otherwise. Trips include camping and allow rafters to fully experience the Grand Canyon. Various companies offer trips to the Grand Canyon.
According to All Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting (“The Best of California River Rafting”), there are a variety of rivers that feature whitewater river rafting in California, and many companies offer trips and special rafting trip packages. These rafting tours allow people to experience the beauty of the “wild West” in an exciting venue.
American River river rafting is appropriate for beginner to intermediate rafters, as the river’s rapids range from class I to class IV+. This river is better for family rafting than it is for advanced rafting, though parts of American River river rafting will likely be intense yet fun. The Tuolumne River is more appropriate for intermediate or advanced rafters, as it features class IVs and Vs. And Kaweh river rafting trips near southern California is only for more experienced rafters.
Midwest Rafting Trips
In Wisconsin, there are several rivers that are utilized for rafting adventures. Koshir’s Rapid Rafts (“Whitewater Rafting Trips”), among other companies, offers various rafting trips. One is on the Peshtigo River, which features rapids that range from class III to IV (IV in the springtime), so it is appropriate for more intermediate rafters. The runs and difficulty vary with the season, as whitewater river rafting does depend on the water level, which will vary with the amount of snowmelt. Wisconsin also features the Menominee River, which features class IVs and is thus for experienced rafters only.
The Middle Fork of the Vermilion River in Illinois is conducive to family rafting trips and makes for an excellent rafting trip. This scenic river offers rafters plenty to look at, and calm pools offer plenty of fish for the dedicated fisherman, according to “US Midwest – Best Rafting, Paddling & Kayaking,” as seen at iExplore.com.
Rafting Ocoee, New River Rafting, and Rafting other East Coast Rivers
The Eastern United States offers a longer rafting season than the West, according to the About.com article “Whitewater Rafting in the Eastern United States.” This is because there are more rivers that are fit for rafting tours, and dams control the amount of water released into the rivers.
New River rafting features trips down the upper and lower part of the river. According to River Expeditions, Upper New River rafting is great for family rafting, as this portion of the river includes plenty of tranquil areas great for swimming or taking pictures. Lower New River rafting, on the other hand, is much more intense and features rapids ranging from mild class IIs to wild class Vs. For a crazy two days of rafting, large groups can take on both sections of the river.
According to Ocoee Rafting (2007: “The Ocoee River in Tennessee”), Rafting Ocoee River in Tennessee features class IIIs and IVs, so it is appropriate for intermediate rafters. Rafting Ocoee is only a day-long endeavor, unlike Grand Canyon river rafting trips, so it is appropriate for adventurers who want to get out and have a day of fun. Guided trips through the middle and upper river are offered, with a trip down both sections taking less than four hours. One thing to keep in mind is that Tennessee law requires that rafters be at least 12 years old.
Closer to the coast, New York offers plenty of rafting options. The Hudson River Rafting Company, among others, offers trips down the Hudson, Sacandaga, Black, and Moose Rivers, which all feature white water rapids perfect for rafting trips. There are many sections of the rivers and trip packages to choose from in New York, giving adventurers plenty of opportunity for exploring the wilderness and having fun. These rivers are appropriate for everyone from beginners to experts, as rapids range from class I to class V.
New England offers plenty of river rafting options. Rafting America (2006: “River Rafting Trips & Rafting Travel”) offers trips in Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, which all feature rivers that are appropriate for white water rafting trips. The rivers include Deerfield, Millers, West, Housatonic, and Lehigh. Rapids range from class II to IV, so these rivers are appropriate for many rafters.