Whitewater rafting has been an increasingly popular sport since the first expedition of it was recorded in the mid 1800s by a US Army lieutenant. Although the first raft was likely crude and the expedition may have happened by accident, today’s rafting has evolved into one of the most beloved extreme sports of our time. Rafting is very popular in the waters of the American Southwest. However, there are locales all over the world where rafters partake in some of the most challenging waters on Earth. In this article, we’re going to show you some of the best places in the world to go rafting.
Magpie River in Canada
Source – jstephenconn
The Magpie River in Canada is a whitewater enthusiast’s favorite because of its Magpie Falls. The falls span a height of nearly 80 feet, making the river prime ground for rafting and adventure.
Alsek and Tatshenshini Rivers, Alaska and Canada
Source – rangergord
The area along these two rivers in this frozen tundra reason are popular with outdoor enthusiasts for many reasons – the least of which is not rafting. Moose, bears and other deeps woods wildlife often look on as hardcore rafters maneuver the obstacle course of glaciers and icebergs that dot these two remote rivers.
Yangtze River, China
Source – 48722974@N07
This lazy river meanders alongside ancient green mountains and the rolling hills of farmland. Upon first glance, it might appear to be one of the most docile rivers on Earth. However, the Yangtze River in China is home to some of the best kept whitewater rapids secrets in the world.
Source – jetpunk
There are hundreds of miles of whitewater rapids in Costa Rica, which is why it’s a popular destination with rafting enthusiasts. The lush tropical rainforests, jungles and mountains provide a scenic backdrop for your excursions. Costa Rica’s rapids range from a Class II designation for intermediate rafters all the way up to a Class V expert level.
Futaleufú River, Chile
Source – nwrafting
The glacier-fed lakes that are tributaries to this river provide some of the best whitewater rafting in South America. Not as wildly popular as other whitewater rafting areas quite yet, but the Futaleufú River in Chile is definitely a destination to watch and to visit for any whitewater enthusiast.
Source – wfryer
The US state of Colorado is known to have some of the best whitewater rafting locales in the world. Each year, thousands of rafting enthusiasts from all over descend upon Colorado to partake in the awesome river adventures there. Snow capped mountains provide a picturesque backdrop for the excursions, which cater to every skill level from beginner to expert.
Sun Kosi River, Nepal
Source – oudeschool
The Sun Kosi River in Nepal is known as The River of Gold. It should be known as The River of Nepali Adventure because it flows through some of the country’s world-renowned regions – like Mount Everest and Kathmandu. The Nepali scenery and people are like none other in the world, both of which are added bonuses to this rafting mecca.
Coruh River, Turkey
Source – jries
Seasoned rafters have a real sense of adventure and a need for that adrenaline rush. What better place to satisfy both of them than along the fastest running river in the world? The Coruh River in Turkey flows throw wide expanses and narrow passages, taking rafters on a wild adventure at the speed of rushing water. You never know what will be around the next bend – is it another rapid, a calm section or a rocky spanse barely shoulder wide? Brave the rapids along the Coruh River to find out!
Source – 31893776@N02
Rafting… in Africa? Absolutely! In fact, Zimbabwe boasts some of the most popular and most challenging rapids in the world. The base of Victoria Falls – which features a breathtaking 350 foot drop is the starting point for what some would call the wildest ride of a rafting enthusiast’s life. These are Class V rapids – meaning they are for experts and seasoned rafters. And rightly so – the area is known to produce 20ft waves and is the breeding grounds for a large population of crocodiles that roam the waters of the rapids.
Rio Upano, Ecuador
Source – jaime00
Rio Upano, Ecuador is another favorite South American hotspot for rafting enthusiasts. The river is known as the River of Sacred Waterfalls because several falls empty into it, making the waters below quite tumultuous – which makes for a prime rafting environment.
Gauley River – West Virginia, US
Source – quitelucid
There are very few waterways in the world that have been mandated by federal governments to cater to rafting enthusiasts, but the Gauley River in the US state of WV is one of them. Congress passed a motion in the early 1990s that for three weeks during the late summer and early fall, a certain amount of water had to be released from the nearby Summersville Dam in order to accommodate rafters and kayakers. The result of that is a 28 mile stretch of twists, turns, undercut ledges and more adventure than even the most seasoned rafters could shake a stick at.
Before you go:
- If you’re a novice rafter or even an advanced rafter that’s visiting a new rafting area, always employ a guide to chart your course and accompany you on your excursion.
- Always wear a life jacket.
- Know the river’s classification and know your limits. Attempting to raft a river too advanced for your experience could result in injury or death.
- Know the rafting rules and regulations of the area you’re in and adhere to them.
- Never go rafting alone.