Whitewater rafting is a popular past time and while it might be synonymous with thrill seeking and high risk, X-games type behavior, the truth is that there are many different levels of whitewater rafting.
While this isn’t the type of sport that is going to appeal to everyone, nature lovers and thrill seekers can both find a spot they love within this broad and often life changing outdoor recreational activity.
Introduction to Whitewater Rafting
So to answer the question of “How safe is whitewater rafting?” it’s important to understand that this depends heavily on a variety of factors, perhaps none more so than experience and the level of the waterway that is being tackled. There is a grading system that helps determine what level of experience is required for a slice of river.
Basically, the larger the number, the more challenging the whitewater route is. Generally speaking the rating system goes from I to VI, although some people are more familiar with the I to V system as some systems don’t recognize the extremely challenging Class VI.
Rafting Danger Classes
Photo Credit: www.RaftMasters.com
Class I means the water moves, but it’s a relatively slow current without challenge. Think of a nice, slow, and relaxing move gently down the river whether rafting or kayaking.
Class II is mildly challenging with waves up to three feet at most, and some minor movement around easy to see rocks and obstructions. This and Class I are good entry level courses for new whitewater rafters to try.
Class III rapids are where the excitement really starts to pile up. Waves can be up to four feet in height, and this is where you start to see narrow passages you need to guide the raft through, and maybe even some water that gets over the sides and into the boat. In other words, this is where you start going from beginner to experienced whitewater rafter. Your first Class III waves should always be done with a guide.
Class IV are for experienced guides and rafters only, with long sections of narrow open areas, fast water, and difficult & turbulent rapids.
Class V rapids are ones that have everything seen in I-IV with some serious spinning waves and tricky navigation. These are serious rapids and are dangerous to inexperienced rafters.
Class VI is another step up. Generally speaking these are heavy rapids that aren’t popularly guided – in other words only for professionals who are looking for uncharted adventures.
As a side note, if you’re going to take on a whitewater rafting trip in the Grand Canyon, they use a special rating system that goes from Class I through Class X. In this situation it’s important to talk to local whitewater guides who will have a better idea of how the special Grand Canyon rating system compares to your specific experiences and ability.
How safe is whitewater rafting? That all depends on your experience level and staying within the river courses that equal your specific skills and experience. As long as you’re careful to stay within your limits and to go with experienced guides, you will be safe in most circumstances.
As with any water based sport, you need to respect the water and wear the appropriate safety gear like helmets and life jackets.
Rafting tours through the canyons is something people should look into. However, before you go on a rafting tour, there are a few things you will want to know, such as why you should go, what to expect and how much it costs. To find out these things, as well as other information, then continue to read the rest of this article.
Why Should You Go
There are many reasons why you should go on a rafting tour through the canyons, with one of them being that it is exciting. If you love excitement and adventure, then you will love going through the canyons on a raft. Best of all, rafting is an experience that you will not soon forget, so if you want fun and excitement, then you should go on a rafting tour and explore the canyon in a unique way.
You should also go on a rafting tour in the canyons because you will be able to enjoy your surroundings. You will be treated to breathtaking views of the canyons, as well as other scenery. If you love being outdoors and you want to explore the gorgeous scenery that canyons offer, then book a rafting tour.
What To Expect
A lot of people don’t know what to expect when they decide to go on a rafting tour. With that said, you can expect to have a lot of fun, but you can also expect that safety is a priority and you will be going with an experienced tour guide that knows what they are doing. You can also expect to be sat in a high quality raft that is durable and reliable, and you can expect to be given a life jacket, and you can expect to be treated to some gorgeous views of the canyons.
How Much Does It Cost
By now you may be wondering how much does it cost to go rafting in the canyons, and the answer to that question is it depends on a few factors. The price you will pay depends on the company you decide to use, as well as how long you will want to go for. There are other things that may factor into the price, but generally speaking, rafting tours are quite affordable, and they are worth spending money on.
Choosing The Right Company
You shouldn’t just choose any rafting tour company, so make sure you take the time to look for the best one. The ideal company will have qualified tour guides that know exactly what they are doing, and they should be clear about how much it will cost you to go rafting with them. Also, make sure you find out what a company’s tour consists of, as you will want to have a good idea of what you will be getting yourself into. If you do these things, then you shouldn’t have a hard time finding a good company.
As you can see, rafting tours through the canyons are something you should consider. You will love going rafting. Book a tour today and find out for yourself what makes it so fun.
When it comes to enjoying the great outdoors, there’s nothing quite like a quality whitewater rafting trip to really get the blood pumping. The challenge of these trips can vary quite a bit. From lazy trips through some of the most scenic forests in the United States to wild rapids that can challenge even the most experienced of river rats, once you understand the number system of how challenging a trip is, you’ll be able to find trips worth your time!
Trip 1: Whitewater Rafting the Colorado River
This is a beginning point and ending point for many a rafters. The key here is to figure out what you want to see, and what your level of experience is. Are you looking to see some of that Rocky Mountain scenery or are you interested in floating past the towering sides of the Grand Canyon?
Experienced guides are a must as the Colorado can be a very schizophrenic river course. Some sections are easy enough your grandparents could float along easily without a care in the world. Other sections are restricted to only extremely experienced rafters with some of the best guides in the world. You don’t want to find yourself in the wrong section of this one!
Trip 2: Experienced Rafters Tackle the Salmon River
The Salmon River goes through the largest area of undisturbed wilderness in the Lower 48 states, and is a mid to high level challenge that often takes 5-6 days for a full guided expedition. This is one of those rafting trips that isn’t for the pure beginner, but it offers a lot of fun for experienced rafters looking for great scenery and a few good challenges along the way.
Trip 3: The Middle Youghiogheny: East Coast Rafting for Whitewater Rafting Beginners
The Middle Youghiogheny runs between Pennsylvania and Maryland and offers a nice beginning pace for rafters through beautiful Appalachian country. The waves are generally only level 1 or 2 in the middle section, making these easy areas to navigate that virtually anyone can enjoy. This won’t provide much of a challenge for an experienced rafter but it is a great introduction that can really help get you into the spirit of things on a lazy weekend.
Trip 4: Nenana River: Way Out of the Way
This river is a bit out of the way for most people: but it’s one of the most memorable US rafting trips you can take as this river is in Alaska, floating by Denali National Park. The rapids here are moderate to challenging depending on the section, and take you through the heart of Alaska’s unbroken wilderness – all in the shadow of the largest mountain peak in North America.
There are many great whitewater rafting trips that really jump out with fun and memories. Whether you are a beginner just getting your first taste of the addiction of white water rating, or a deft pro looking for a new challenge, there are many different trips worth taking. Whether you love the challenge or the scenery, one of these trips will provide the river time your inner adventurer has been craving!