Seven Whitewater Wonders of the World

A group of people whitewater rafting in Fiji.

7 Whitewater Wonders of the World

There are countless “Best Whitewater Rafting” trip lists out there, and certainly everyone has a different opinion of which trips qualify as “the best,” but it’s safe to say our Seven Whitewater Wonders of the World routinely show up on many of those lists. These seven adventures are undeniably some of the top river trips on the planet. And, if you’re looking for a list of rivers to check off your “to-do” list, you don’t want to miss these epic whitewater adventures.

Whitewater rafting the Grand Canyon.

1. Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, Arizona

Not just one of our own whitewater wonders, but truly one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The Grand Canyon’s scenic extremes are matched only by the size and ferocity of the 60 rapids found on this legendary stretch of the Colorado River.

Whitewater rafting the middle fork of the Salmon River.

2. Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River rushes through Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains with more than 100 rapids in 100 miles. Widely recognized as the premier alpine river experience in North America, the Middle Fork is renowned as much for its scenery, hiking, fishing, and hot springs as it is for world-class whitewater.

Whitewater rafting the Chilko-Chilcotin-Fraser River in British Columbia.

3. Chilko-Chilcotin-Fraser River, British Columbia

Truly three unique world-class rivers in one, a Chilko-Chilcotin-Fraser River adventure in British Columbia 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 most exhilarating day of rafting on the planet.

A paddle raft full of people and a person in an inflatable kayak on the Zambezi River with massive canyon walls and waterfalls stopping to admire the impressive view.

4. Zambezi River, ZIMBABWE

Africa’s Zambezi River, known as one of the best whitewater runs in the world, is synonymous with big water and high-adventure rafting. Set in a deep, narrow gorge at the base of spectacular Victoria Falls (another one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World), the river offers adrenaline-inducing Class V rapids, spectacular views, and great beaches.

Whitewater rafting the Tuolumne river.

5. Tuolumne River, California

Originating in the internationally renowned wilds of Yosemite National Park, the Tuolumne River is the premier whitewater rafting trip in California. The truest of all California wilderness trips, it takes you down 18 miles of roaring Class IV whitewater through a spectacular wilderness canyon.

Whitewater rafting the Futaleufú River in Chile.

6. Futaleufú River, Chile

Flowing through Chilean Patagonia, far beneath the spires and snow-packed crowns of the Andes, the Futaleufu’s Class IV-V rapids is a whitewater paddler’s dream trip. Each year, from December through March, the river draws river guides and whitewater enthusiasts from around the world to raft the rowdy turquoise waters of the mighty Fu.

A group rafting down the Upper Navua Gorge.

7. Upper Navua River, Fiji

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 Fiji rafting trip has been recognized as one of the top rafting trips in the world for its scenic beauty and easy Class II-III rapids.

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Calm glassy river.

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