California Travel Expert - June 2010


California River Rafting

TOP SPOT: Splurge Worthy

STORY BY: Veronica Hill

Summary: Craving excitement and adventure? Head to the whitewater rapids for a California river rafting trip.

For the ultimate outdoor adventure travel, nothing beats a California river rafting trip. River rafting in California is best between April and September, when the snowpack begins to melt into roaring whitewater rapids. Second only to Idaho in total river rafting miles, California boasts almost 10 different rivers, catering to every level of experience.

When choosing a California river rafting adventure, pay close attention to its class. For example, a Class I river rafting adventure is mostly a float, with only slight maneuvering required. Class II rafting requires only basic paddling skills with some portions of heavy rapids. Class III whitewater rapids might include small drops and waves, with some maneuvers and paddling. Class IV rapids have rocks, big drops and medium-sized waves with sharp maneuvering skills required. Finally, Class V whitewater trips are the most challenging, with high-intensity rapids, large waves, hazards and drops. Class VI rapids are only for the most experienced rafters and are rarely offered on rafting trips.

Following is a guide to some of the best river rafting in California.

River Rafting Northern California