The Best Rafting Rivers for Intermediates

Gorp.com
Rafting the White water rapid
ON THE EDGE: Getting ready for the big drop  (Photodisc/Getty)
Whitewater Classifications Explained:
Class I: Flat, moving water, including some small rapids with low waves.
Class II: Anything that can swamp a canoe.
Class III: Rapids start to become technical and have penalties for mistakes. A swim will be rough.
Class IV: Rapids become bigger, more technical, and the penalty for error bumps up a notch.
Class V: Rapids are intense, and the penalty for error can be classified as a potentially dangerous swim.
Class VI: Not runnable due to the severity of one or many objective hazards.
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So you want to put yourself through your paces but don't feel ready for the full rinse-cycle treatment? These intermediate rivers up the action ante without stirring you to pen your last will and testament before putting in. Many outfitters run multiple trips on the same river for different skill levels and offer longer outings down the burlier sections. Adequate fitness levels are required to get you through continuous banks of Class III-IV water. Non-swimmers should probably take a pass, since going overboard is a real possibility, not to mention that even the best flotation device cannot quell panic in the midst of a fast-moving rapid.

American River, California
Arkansas River, Colorado
Cache la Poudre River, Colorado
Colorado River (Westwater Canyon), Utah
Flathead River, Montana
Hudson River, New York
Kennebec River, Maine
Klamath River, Oregon/California
Lower and Middle Youghiogheny River, Pennsylvania
Main Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho
Moose River, New York
New River, West Virginia
Ocoee River, Tennessee
Payette River, Idaho
Sauk River, Washington
Skykomish River, Washington
Stanislaus River, California

Published: 10 Jun 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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