White water rafting is a great, highly physical sport that is becoming extremely popular in the US in recent years. White water rafting is a unique, invigorating and wonderful experience for all five senses. If you love communing with nature while exploring the rapid-flowing rivers in the US, white water rafting is just the sport for you. Experience the exhilaration of careening over a small waterfall and then landing, hopefully right-side-up in a still stream. Paddling the rivers, you will see an abundance of wildlife, both aquatic and land-roving animals. You’ll see sights you could only image while rafting the white-water rivers. Carry a waterproof camera during your excursion and you will be able to wallpaper your bulletin board with breathtaking photos from the trip upon your return home.

When considering a white water rafting trip, think about exploring a few of the best spots in America. The top five spots for white water rafting in the United States are:

Colorado River

Most white water rafters would agree that the best spot in America for rafting the rapids is down the Colorado River, near the Grand Canyon. The majestic beauty of the Grand Canyon is a sight to behold from the low vantage point of a raft on the river. If you have some trepidation about navigating the Colorado River near the Grand Canyon alone, many tours will provide you with a guide and other observers with whom you can make the trip.

Beware! Some of the falls on the Colorado River are Class IV and V rapids. Rafting down the Colorado, through the Grand Canyon, may be 5 to 7 day trips to cover the entire 280 mile span. Experience the Grand Canyon from an entirely different perspective by rafting down the Colorado River.

Salmon River’s Middle Fork

The Salmon River, flowing through Idaho, is a memorable white water rafting trip for families and novices. This rafting trip is a bit more mild than the Mighty Colorado, great for families and those new to the sport. The Salmon River has its challenging spots to stretch your abilities, yet it is mild enough to take in plenty of the natural beauty along the way. When hosting a rafting trip for those not very experienced at the sport, the Middle Fork at Salmon River is a great introduction for your guests and enough fast-moving fun to keep you engaged, as well.

Snake River in Wyoming

The Snake River flows through both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, providing rafters with some of the most amazing, natural scenery throughout their ride. The rapids are not as dramatic as the rapids of the Colorado River, usually rated at Class III and IV so the trip is great for those who wish to cruise and photograph the glorious back country and wildlife of the preserves and parks. The Salmon River is the longest un-dammed river in the United States, a piece of trivia you might share with your guests on the trip.

The Gauley River

The Gauley River is great for a one-day white water excursion for those who are experienced and comfortable with an active ride. Located in West Virginia, this river is host to some of the wildest rapid rides east of the Mississippi River. The annual Gauley River Festival is held at this river each September where rafters gather from every state to ride the rapids.

Alaska’s Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers

White water rafting aficionados will tell you that the most exciting and dramatic rafting may be experienced on Alaska’s Tatshenshini and Alsek rivers. The beautiful Alaskan scenery, the remote natural beauty and unique wildlife are all part of the Alaskan white water rafting excursion.

The size of the rapids where the two rivers meet is simply breathtaking and the views of are absolutely amazing. This trip must be experienced to be fully appreciated.

Whether you are planning a one-day white water rafting trip or an 12 day excursion, white water rafting is sure to provide thrills and excite your senses with the rides down the rapids the commune with the nature’s best in the beauty that surrounds you on your trip.

Pete Wise is a rafting fanatic and works with Wilderness Aware Rafting doing Content Creation. Wilderness Aware is the leader in Colorado White Water Rafting and employs the most exhaustively-trained guides in the country. Check out their Royal Gorge Rafting trips as well. If you liked the article, follow Pete on Twitter: