So, you’re interested in booking a whitewater rafting trip for your next vacation. Whether you’re planning an adventure for you and your closest buddies or a trip for the whole family, the United States is absolutely jam-packed with great choices.
But what are the best whitewater rafting spots in the southeast? What about out west? Well, if you’re asking yourself these kinds of questions, wonder no longer, because we’re here to help!
We’ve compiled a list of the 7 best whitewater rafting trips in the United States, as well a brief rundown of what you can expect on each trip. We’ll also let you know how long the trip will take, and if it’s family-friendly or not.
Now then, let’s get started!
1. Tuolumne River
Located near Yosemite National Park in central California, the Tuolumne River is an incredible 13-mile, one-day whitewater adventure. To go along with the whitewater rafting itself, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and do some hiking around the area, too.
Check out beautiful trails, swim in designated swimming areas, and of course, experience the ride of a lifetime… it truly doesn’t get any better than that!
2. Yampa River
The Colorado River is a massive river that is absolutely loaded with incredible whitewater rafting trips. Our favorite, however, is the Yampa River trip, located in northwestern Colorado.
This 72-mile, 5-day trip offers a ton of fun for everyone in your party. You’ll be able to experience incredible white water rafting with remarkable views and wonderful campsites.
One of the biggest draws of the Yampa River trip is that it’s located in Dinosaur National Park, which is an incredible national monument filled with over 800 dinosaur fossils. So if you have a dinosaur lover in your family or friend group, this is the perfect trip for you!
3. Gauley River
If you’re searching for a day trip that packs a bit of a punch, the Gauley River is exactly what you’re looking for. Combined with the scenery that only beautiful West Virginia can provide, the Gauley is one of the most intense rides on this list.
While only 13-miles long, the River itself drops over 330 feet during the trip, making it an unforgettable thrill ride. In fact, the ride is so intense that it’s only recommended for experienced rafters and no one under 15 years of age is permitted.
4. Rogue River
If you’re looking for a wide variety of trips to choose from, you can’t beat the flexibility that Oregon’s Rogue River has to offer. From half-day trips that the entire family will enjoy, to multiple day expeditions for the most experienced rafters, Rogue River truly has something for everyone.
Nugget Falls, in particular, is an exciting half-day adventure that is nonstop throughout the entire ride. Anyone over the age of 8 is permitted to ride, and, as it won’t take up more than a day of your trip, it isn’t too strenuous for young ones.
5. Chattooga River
Running through both South Carolina and Georgia, the Chattooga River is without a doubt one of the best whitewater rafting locations in the southeast. So if you’re in the surrounding area, or planning on making a trip, be sure to check out the Chattooga River.
Like the Rogue River, you can find just about any adventure that you’re looking for on the Chattooga. The best option, however, is Section 4, which brings with it a ton of excitement.
Section 4 is a day trip that is thrilling all the way through. Anyone over the age of 12 can experience the ride, but be prepared, it’s one of the bumpiest rides on this list.
6. The Racecourse
Located on the Rio Grande River in New Mexico, The Racecourse is another family-friendly day trip that everyone can enjoy. So don’t let the name “The Racecourse” fool you, it’s a great trip for families or beginners.
The Racecourse is a five-mile journey complete with the best views of the Rio Grande, and New Mexico, and some fun splash zones here and there along the way. The age limit changes depending on the water level so be sure to talk with someone before booking your trip.
If you’re planning to take a trip to New Mexico, or live in the area, check out these rafting trips located in the area.
7. Kennebec River
Any trip located on the Kennebec River is sure to be an absolute blast for the entire family. Located in Maine, this trip is without a doubt one of the best spots in the entire northeast side of the United States, loaded with trips to enjoy.
The most popular trip is over 12 miles long, with 6 to 8-foot waves in some spots, and can be completed in just one day. Just be sure to check with whomever you book the trip in regards to age limits at the time, as again, these change based on the water levels.
The 7 Best Whitewater Rafting Trips
Well, there you have it! Those are the 7 best whitewater rafting trips in the United States! So whether you’re going on a trip with some friends from college, or taking the entire family for a ride, there are plenty of options to choose from.
In fact, if you plan correctly, you can hit a few different trips during your vacation. Or take advantage of the many multi-day trips available, the possibilities are truly endless.
Just be sure to listen to your instructors and make sure you have the right whitewater rafting safety essentials with you at all times. And most importantly, have fun!
Looking for more vacation tips and tricks? Check out our blog!