Best Kayaking Ideas

Rafting Trips and Tips

Best Trips for This Summer

Don't miss the excitement on one of America's most renowned river trips, Idaho's Salmon River. The Main Fork of the Salmon is commonly called the "River of No Return." With some of the best white water and most austere scenery there is anywhere, this trip should be run whether in a kayak, or a raft, just don't miss it. The class III and IV rapids will test your abilities and create an unforgettable experience. Trips can be found for both camping and lodging. For the creature comforts of a hot shower and a cabin, choose the lodge trip. The Middle Fork of the Salmon is a bit more remote and lodges are harder to find, so be content with camping on this leg of the Salmon. Also it is a bit more technical in spots as the river channel can be narrower with a few more rocks to navigate. The mountain peaks reach nine thousand feet and the surrounding basin drains fourteen thousand square miles into one of the deepest gorges in North America!

Speaking of deep gorges, run the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon for a life changing experience. There are no lodges, so be prepared to camp on soft sand beaches. Spring flash floods formed the canyon over many millions of years and today these floods still do the work of flushing out the winter debris. But now, the floods are carefully timed and executed by opening up the dam. The common term for this trip is "Big Water". It is less technical, fewer rocks to navigate, but the waves and curls are huge compared to many other rivers. Trips are booked well ahead of time so getting booked now will require persistence and some luck.

Does the idea of "big water" leave you high and dry? Take a look at Oregon's North Umpqua River. If avoiding long stretches of flat water appeals to you, this is the right place to go. On this float, there are more rapids per mile than most rivers, and an ample scattering of boulders makes this trip a perfect paddle for the experienced river rat and a fun challenge for the adventurous newbie. Tucked within the Cascade Mountain Range in southern Oregon, this float is an ideal place to perfect the kayaking craft.

A Fast Ride In White Water For The Summer on the East Coast

Beating the heat in New York is a seasonal preoccupation. How about floating down a fast river with cool fizzling white water splashing all around? Running a river in a raft, canoe or kayak may be just the get away to look for this summer. The whole family can enjoy a river adventure and the opportunities are close by.

A short 90 minute drive from New York City will land you between the Pocono and Catskill Mountains on the Upper Delaware River. The seasoned river rat can jump into his/her own kayak and tackle the rapids, whereas, newbie's and children may want to choose the relative safety of a 6 person raft. Even in a raft the choice is between paddling as a group or just simply riding and letting the guide do the work in an oar boat.

The thought of spending a day rafting 17 rapids through the breath-taking Lehigh River Gorge may be enough to drag you away from the office during the hot summer. All it takes is a scenic cruise to the western Pocono's in northwestern Pennsylvania. This is a perfect place for beginners and families as well as intermediate rafters with 13 miles of class III rapids.

How about a bit of Appalachian fun this summer? Drive down to West Virginia where 2,000 miles of rivers and streams are fed by the lush Appalachian Mountains. Families can run the Upper New River from early spring to late fall and experience the friendly class I and II water while the seasoned runners can jump onto the Lower New River for class III and IV water. The big fun is on the Gauley River where rapids like Lost Paddle and Iron Ring drop 15 to 35 feet in less than a mile and are rated class V+.

If the timing is just right, the Atlantic salmon might be running on the Deerfield River in Massachusetts when you run that river through a rugged, spectacular landscape. Families can find the tamer class II water while more adventure is waiting the experienced rafter. The Concord River is just 30 minutes north of Boston and the trip ends right in the center of the city of Lowell.

A popular website for river trips is,

Safety Tips For River Trips

Learn the rating for difficulty.

  • Class I — Easy-Waves small, passages clear; no serious obstacles, perfect for all ages and abilities.
  • Class II — Medium-Rapids of low difficulty with passages clear. Suitable for everyone, no experience necessary.
  • Class III — Moderate-Waves numerous, high, irregular; rocks, eddies; rapids with passages clear though narrow, requiring experience in maneuvering.
  • Class IV — Difficult-Long rapids; waves powerful, irregular; dangerous rocks; boiling eddies; powerful and precise maneuvering required.

Learn What To Do If You Fall Out

You can fall into the river through no fault of your own, but do the following when it happens.

  • If you are paddling, drop the paddle. You or the guide can pick it up down stream.
  • When you hit the water, point your feet downstream to fend off any obstacles like rocks or branches.
  • Bend your knees and position yourself like you're in an easy chair watching TV, feet first pointing downstream.
  • Find an eddy to stop in and wait to be picked up. Eddies form where the water flows upstream or just around in a swirl, out of the current. It can be a safe place to stop.