Whitewater Rafting

What is whitewater rafting?

Whitewater rafting is an outdoor activity where you float down a river in an inflatable raft avoiding obstacles (rocks). It is typically done with a guide for fun, but can also be done competitively. Great for family fun or adrenaline seekers. View our outfitters or buy gear to get on the river.

Where is the best whitewater rafting in the US?

The best whitewater rafting in the US is generally considered to be in the Western US. However, it depends on the style of whitewater rafting you want (family fun vs adrenaline seeking). Plenty of options for everyone in California to Colorado to West Virginia and everywhere in between.

Two yellow tubes whitewater rafting in nature
Do you want to become a whitewater rafting guide? See our guide certification page for state specific information and tips from real guides.
Rafting Gear

Ensure you have the correct gear to safely whitewater raft and increase enjoyment. Rafts, life jackets, shoes, paddles, etc. we have it!

Whitewater rafting outfitters

Searching for the perfect outfitter? We have a list of all certified USA outfitters and our top recommendations based on what style you’re looking for!

Is whitewater rafting dangerous?

Rafting is an outdoor activity on the water, which can at times be unpredictable. Drowning is the main danger, but more common injuries are related to hitting rocks when you are in the raft. With an experienced outfitter and guide, they will minimize danger and maximize fun!

How expensive is whitewater rafting?

In comparison to other guided outdoor activities, whitewater rafting is affordable. Depending on the outfitter, a typical day trip can range between $50-80 and a multi-day trip can be $100+/day depending on equipment. If you have your own gear and are experienced, you can go without an outfitter for free!

When was whitewater rafting invented?

Whitewater rafting can be traced back to 1811 on the Snake River in Idaho. The first rubber raft was for the Snake River in 1840. However, it wasn’t commercially available until the late 1950’s and became more popularized in the 1970s largely due to it being included in the 1972 Olympics.

What should I wear whitewater rafting?

If you are going with an outfitter, it is recommended to wear a bathing suit, water shoes, and sunscreen. The outfitter should have all other necessary gear (life jackets, helmets, paddles, etc.). You will want a towel and change of clothes for after your trip.

Whitewater rafting terminology
Learning the river lingo is smart for a beginner or advanced rafter. We have compiled the rafting terminology to keep you in the conversation.
Rapids class

Understanding the differences between rapids class is important for safety & to ensure you have the most fun out on the river!

Whitewater rafting competitions

Love rafting so much that you want to compete against others? See popular USA competitions and get involved with the community!

Why is it called whitewater rafting?

In short, whitewater is formed when the river’s gradient increases and bubbly/aerated water appears on top of the river. Rafting because you are in an inflatable raft. Together, it is rafting down a river with whitewater.

What are the different classes of whitewater rafting?

Whitewater rafting has 6 main classes based on their difficulty. Class 1 rapids means the easiest and class 6 rapids means the hardest. A river can have multiple classifications depending on the specific stretch of the river.

When should you go whitewater rafting?

Timing can be an important factor for whitewater rafting as if the river has more or less water (rainy season, snow melting, etc.) it can affect the rapid’s class making it easier or harder. It depends on the river and area to know the right season to go.

How to choose an outfitter?

Know what style of whitewater rafting you want (family fun vs adrenaline) and where you will be when first deciding on an outfitter. Typical outfitters have options for everyone, but consult with them if you have any questions or view our outfitter page.

How Can Rafting Spot Help You?

We are avid whitewater rafting enthusiest with connections in the industry from the gear suppliers to certified outfitters throughout the United States.

We are constantly updating our information, interviewing industry professionals, and making new partnerships to bring you, our community, the best information.