Top 10 Whitewater Rafting Destinations in the US

By: Ryan Hutchings

The United States is chalk full of raft-able rivers and waterways. With so many rivers and rafting options, which destinations provide the best combination of whitewater fun and backcountry scenery?

The United States has the largest concentration of commercial river runners than any other country in the world. River rafting continues to become a popular adventure among all generations, from Baby Boomers down the generation Y. A majority of the people who are on river rafting trips have rafted before, which means that once experienced, a return to the river is sure to come. With so many destinations to choose from, which rivers offer the best rafting trips in the country?

The list below outlines places across the US recognized as some of the best overall rafting destinations. These trips are most suitable for everyone, with no prior experience necessary. The trips also offer a great combination of scenic beauty and excitement:

1. Grand Canyon, AZ
2. Salmon River, ID
3. Arkansas River, CO
4. Colorado River, UT
4. American River, CA
5. Rogue River, OR
6. Glacier National Park, MT
7. New River, WV
8. Chattooga River, GA/SC
9. Snake River, ID/WY
10. Deerfield River, MA

Most of these destinations and rivers offer a wide variety of trip options, ranging from short half-day river trips to longer multi-day excursions. Packages and trips durations vary depending on the location and outfitter of choice.

The best way to plan a good rafting vacation is to do your research early. There are many websites that offer comprehensive information on river rafting and good rafting vacations. Go online and look for a whitewater rafting directory or website that covers multiple areas, gives some great general information, and recommends quality outfitters in your area.

A good place to start research for a rafting vacation would be Rafting America (www.raftingamerica.com). The website offers a comprehensive geographical map with rafting locations in most states, as well as answers to common river rafting questions, river class ratings and contact information.

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