USA White water Rafting Trips, especially in the west, are typically overnight camping trips where you can immerse yourself in the wilderness and in view of awesome scenery.
As with most wilderness activities, USA white water rafting has to concern itself with the conflicting issues between nature use and nature conservation. With this in mind, many rivers have regulations governing the use and operating times of rafting.
The best USA white water rafting rivers that fall into the Classes III - V having long periods of rapids, and great scenery.
Cherry Creek-Upper Tuolumne, California
Class IV-V Mid May - June (season runs to August)
This is a National Wild and Scenic River near the Yosemite border in Stanislaus National Forest and is one of the most difficult rafting trips in the United States. You will raft through a canyon and over rapids where the river drops more than 100 vertical feet per mile, down to the bottom at Cherry Creek. The 18-mile run between Meral's Pool to Ward's Ferry is a fascinating over night camping spot in isolation with a backdrop of wilderness and the rumbling Class IV white water.
Check out All Outlaws California White Water Rafting
Stay at a Groveland, CA hotel
Groveland, CA Hotels Reviews/bookings
Gauley River, West Virginia
Class III - V
It's a world class river with 26 miles, more than 100 rapids, and a vertical drop of 668 feet. The river is also noted for it's undercut ledges created by the swift movement of the river. For the best experience, get there in the fall Labor Day to Columbus day weekend when the Gauley dam releases the water at Summersville Lake during weekend intervals providing the most exciting and challenging white water rafting east of the Mississippi. During this period the river flows up to 2800 c.f.s.
Check out gauley.com
Stay at a hotel near Lansing, West Virginia
Lansing, WV hotels Reviews/bookings
Middle Fork of the Salmon, Idaho
Class III-IV May - September
Here you can experience the most remote white water rafting in the United States outside of Alaska. The Middle Fork of the Salmon River is the premier wilderness rafting trip in the US. It's gin clear water flows 100 miles of Wild and Scenic free-flowing river, through the largest roadless wilderness area in the US and in a canyon that is deeper than the Grand Canyon. It has half a dozen natural hot springs throughout the canyon, blue ribbon trout fishing, and more than 100+ rapids grade I-III (IV in June). The Middle Fork of the Salmon is an unspoiled, remote and pristine wilderness much as it was 100 years ago.
Check out Middle Fork River Expeditions
Stay at one of the Stanley, Idaho Hotels
Stanley, Idaho Hotel reviews/bookings
California Salmon, California
Class IV- V - April-June.
This relatively unknown rafting trip combines beautiful, lush coastal scenery, an intimate, marble-smooth, granite inner gorge, a seemingly endless number of waterfalls cascading in from above, emerald-green waters, tons of wildlife, a comfortable pop-up base camp, and unequaled class IV-V pool-drop whitewater. This is truly a world-class, high-adventure whitewater run. The trip combines the Salmon with the Class V Scott River and/or the spectacularly beautiful Clear Creak to become one of the ultimate class V adventures in the country.
Check out Momentum River Expeditions
Stay at a Hotel near Somes Bar, California
Somes Bar, CA Hotels reviews/booking
Cataract Canyon, Utah
Class IV-V April - October (April - June peak season)
Explore Cataract Canyon in the heart of Canyonlands National Park, deep within a 2000 ft. deep crevice and over 30-million-year-old rock formations!! Cataract Canyon rafting, near Moab, Utah, is the premier Utah rafting whitewater experience. This section of the Colorado River treats you to fun, rolling class III and IV rapids all season long. When the Rocky Mountain's snow melts, May-early July, filling the canyon, the rapids elevate to some of America's most exciting and challenging class IV and class V rapids! Whatever season you choose, your 120-mile Cataract Canyon rafting trip begins with relaxation as you get acquainted with the peace, serenity, and solitude of this canyon.
Stay at a hotel in Moab, Utah
Moab, Utah Hotel reviews/bookings
The Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Arizona
The rapids in the Grand Canyon are rated on a 1-10 scale. A 1 is roughly equivalent to a Class I rating while a 10 is roughly equivalent a Class V. Lava Falls or Crystal can be rated 10 at certain water levels or a Class V. There are 47 other rapids on the Colorado River rated 5 or higher. April - October (Best time to go is April, September & October)
A white water rafting trip in the Grand Canyon is a lifetime experience, not only because of the exciting white water rapids, but because of the awesome scenery accessible only by river.
Check out Western River Expeditions
Stay at a hotel in Marble Canyon, AZ
Marble Canyon, AZ Hotels reviews/booking