Whitewater Rafting

It’s autumn, and that means pumpkins, apples, hayrides, haunted houses, football, sweaters, and corn mazes. Close your eyes, breathe in the fresh, crisp air, and PADDLE! PADDLE! PADDLE! October is the perfect time to go whitewater rafting. Grab your life jacket, oar, and waterproof camera as we ride the waves of some of the best rivers in the country.

Background. Rafting season lasts from mid-April through mid-October. Depending on your skill or adrenaline level, there are six classes of rapids. Class I – Moving water with small waves. Class II – Easy rapids, waves up to three feet, and discoverable wide channels. Class III – Waves up to four feet with narrow passages and water coming over the sides of the raft. Class IV – Narrow passages with turbulent rapids that involve precise maneuvering. Class V – All of the above PLUS twisting and turning through complex, gushing rapids. Class VI – Experts only. These rapids are considered un-runnable.

East Coast. Deerfield River, MA. Ride 17 miles of undammed Class II-IV rapids. Primarily categorized as a Class II, the Zoar Gap upgrades the whitewater to a Class III, and through the Monroe Bridge Dryway, you’ll paddle through Class IV rapids. Don’t forget to look up or you’ll miss the breathtaking fall foliage of the Berkshires as you ride through the Dryway.

Head to West Virginia to battle the Beast of the East – the Gauley River. Rapids are classed from IV-V and rightly so. Take on enormous waves, heart-stopping drops, and sharp turns as you avoid large rocks in the Upper Gauley Rapids. The Lower Gauley Rapids are just as fierce. Confront a series of three giant waves and as you begin to catch your breath, watch out for a colossal-sized hole dubbed Pure Screaming Hell. Sounds heavenly.

West Coast. White Salmon River, OR. This crystal-clear river is fed from aquifers and the Mt. Adams’ glaciers. One of the most scenic and preserved rivers, raft down the Class III-IV rapids through an igneous rock canyon and emerge into a remote forest accessible to only those who call it home.

Where do history buffs, archeologists, paleontologists, and adventure seekers all go for a good time? U-tahhh! The Green River spans hundreds of miles through areas rich in Native American history, dinosaur fossils, and petroglyphs. Drift passed the McPherson Ranch where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hid out. Located in between the Desolation and Gray Canyons (Deso/Gray), this area was well known to prospectors, farmers and ranchers, and outlaws. There are over 60 Class I-III rapids in the Deso/Gray region alone. We recommend rafting with a guide to help point out flora and fauna, Indian ruins, and all those historical relics.

If you have any suggestions or tips you would like to add, don’t hesitate to send me a quick email. Happy Travels!

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