O.A.R.S. Seven Whitewater Wonders of the World
"Riding the back of the flooding river as it flows down into a bend, and turns, the currents racing and crashing among the trees along the outside shore, and flows on, one senses the volume and the power all together…It can never be remembered as wild as it is, and so each new experience of it bears some shock of surprise.”—Wendell Berry
Since our initial voyage through the Grand Canyon more than 40 years ago, we have guided over 450,000 adventurous travelers on some of the most spectacular liquid pathways on earth, introducing them to the freedom, adventure and camaraderie that arise from a whitewater experience. Inherent in our mission, we strive to enrich people’s lives by providing outstanding river trips and other outdoor adventure experiences.
Our goal, since 1969, has been to help people of all ages enjoy “the best experience of their lives.” We personally encourage and actively support awareness, deeper appreciation, and preservation of our rivers and natural ecosystems. Our trips are great adventures that emphasize heightened attentiveness to human impact on the environment.
In an attempt to share some of our favorite experiences with you, we’ve created what we consider The Seven Whitewater Wonders of the World. Many of you may have already traversed many of these rivers, as they are undeniably some of the best we have to offer, but it is these seven pathways that we deem the "must runs" of the O.A.R.S. repertoire.
The Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, Arizona
4-19 days April though October - Class 1-10 on the Grand Canyon Scale.
Not just one of our own whitewater wonders, but truly one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Grand Canyon's scenic extremes are matched only by the size and ferocity of its 60 rapids. This is where it all started.
The Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho
6 days May through September - Class III-IV.
The Middle Fork of the Salmon River blazes through Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains, running 100 rapids in 100 miles. Widely recognized as the whitewater rafting capital of North America, the Salmon River is the artery of life for Idaho's world-class rafting scene and the longest free-flowing (undammed) river west of the Mississippi.
The Chilko-Chilcotin-Fraser River, British Columbia
7 days June through September - Class IV.
Truly three unique world-class rivers in one, this adventure runs through Lava, Big John and Farwell canyons and includes some of the continent's largest rapids, including the longest commercially run stretch of continuous Class IV whitewater in North America. Day three of this excursion into the Canadian wilderness is nothing short of the best one-day rafting trip on the planet—the rest of the trip is pretty nice too.
The Tatshenshini River, Alaska
11 days August through September, Class II-III.
The Tatshenshini River lies at the heart of the Tatshenshini-Alsek Wilderness Park, encompassing over 27 million acres and five U.S. and Canadian parks and preserves. Bound by two towering mountain ranges—the Alsek and St. Elias—the Tatshenshini is a river forgotten by time.
The Tuolumne River, California
1-3 days March - September, Class IV.
Right down the road from the O.A.R.S. office in Angels Camp, the Tuolumne, which originates in the internationally renowned wilds of Yosemite National Park. The "T" is the premier whitewater rafting trip in California. The truest of all California wilderness trips, it takes you down 18 miles of roaring whitewater through a spectacular wilderness canyon.
The Futaleufú, Chile
10 days December through April, Class IV (Optional Class V).
The Futaleufú is one of earth's premier whitewater resources. O.A.R.S. takes you to a legendary stretch of the river, one of almost indescribable beauty. Flowing through Chilean Patagonia, far beneath the spires and snow-packed crowns of the Andes, the Fú's steely turquoise waters pass through granite walls, lush vistas and river camps seemingly snatched from sci-fi imagination. A dream trip for the ultra-adventurous family, couple or solo globe trotter.
The Upper Navua River, Fiji
1 day year round, Class II-IV.
The South Pacific paradise of Fiji is home to one of the planet’s most incredible rivers, and with over 75 waterfalls cascading from the cliffs above the Navua River, this one-day trip is was recently recognized as one of the top rafting trips in the world by MSNBC. So spectacular is the Upper Navua River Corridor, that the area has also been set aside as a Ramsar wetlands site of international importance.
O.A.R.S. Frequent Floater Program
Whether you're a first-time traveler or an O.A.R.S. veteran, start keeping track of your trips, and reap the benefits of our Frequent Floaters Discounts available to guests who have traveled with us five times or more. Discounts range from 5% or more depending on the river and the number of times you've traveled with us.
And for you true O.A.R.S. loyalists, raft all of our Seven Whitewater Wonders of the World, and we'll send you a certificate to commemorate your accomplishment, along with a FREE O.A.R.S. logo Fleece.