Top U.S. Whitewater Rafting Destination for 2014

Top U.S. Whitewater Rafting Destination for 2014

It’s all about the supernatural Southwest in 2014. Here’s why you should head south for your next whitewater rafting vacation (hint: it’s so much more than the rivers)…

Tied together by the mighty Colorado River and its tributaries, the “Four Corner” states of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico form one of the most breathtaking and fascinating regions in the entire U.S.

Yes, the Grand Canyon is here—a mind boggling geologic wonder that’s more than a mile deep in places (that’s worth the trip right there). But we wouldn’t want you to miss out on all of the other gems that this incredible part of the country has to offer. After all, the Southwest is where dinosaurs once roamed, ancient Indian tribes thrived and where you’ll find some of the best natural sights in the world, like the colorful sandstone arches, hoodoos, and slot canyons that this region is known for.

arches national park

Head to the border between Colorado and Utah and you’ll not only find Dinosaur National Monument, which has more than a thousand dinosaur fossils on view in its famed quarry, but also the spectacular canyons of the Green and Yampa Rivers, which are prime for family whitewater rafting adventures. A little further south and Utah’s high concentration of national parks—like Bryce, Arches and Zion (just to name a few)—offer unparalleled access to beautiful red rock playgrounds made up of unique sandstone formations and impressive geology. Arizona, of course, is home to the Grand Canyon, the biggest natural beauty of them all.

southwest ruins

But in the northeastern part of the state and into New Mexico lay the remnants of ancient civilizations hidden in remote canyons that are preserved and open for all to explore and ponder.

So, how will you do the Southwest? Will you hop on a dory and take on the mighty Colorado River or hike into a crack in the earth at Antelope Canyon? Maybe you’ll spend your vacation trying to unlock the mysteries of the Ancestral Puebloans at Mesa Verde National Park or backpacking into the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park?

One thing is for sure, the perfect vacation awaits whether you’re looking for high adventure or just some of the best sightseeing on the planet.  And if it’s whitewater rafting you’re after, here’s where you can go…


Whitewater Rafting in the Southwest

Cataract Canyon Whitewater Rafting, UT

Yampa River Rafting, CO

Green River Rafting through the Gates of Lodore, UT/CO

Green River Rafting: Split Mountain, UT

San Juan River Rafting, UT

Grand Canyon Rafting, AZ


This article, along with our full guide to the Southwest and beyond, appears in OARS’ 2014 Adventures catalog. Order your FREE copy here.


Related Articles:

Southwest Vacation: 5 Kid-friendly Ideas

The Southwest’s Best Ancient Sites 

Hit the Road: Utah’s Red Rock Country

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