The Best Rafting Rivers for Wildlife

Gorp.com
Rafting the Skagit River, Washington
BEAT THAT: Rivers like Washington's Skagit offer one of the largest bald eagle concentrations in the lower 48.  (Digital Vision/Getty)

While there's no guarantee that you'll spot any critters peeking out across the riverbanks on your river-rafting outing, one thing's for certain: the longer you're out on the river, the better your chances of spending time with all the friends of the forest. River runs in popular rafting locales like North Carolina or Pennsylvania are simply less likely to gift you a viewing, because savvy critters know when the whooping-and-a-hollering paddling hordes are around. Conversely, the wildlife-rich plains and valleys of Alaska are like a veritable Noah's Ark of prowling, photogenic beasties. Hit Washington's Skagit to float past one of the largest concentrations of bald eagles in the lower 48, although keep in mind that prime viewing season is also in the frigid winter months.

Alsek River, Alaska
Chitina and Copper Rivers, Alaska
Green River (Desolation Canyon), Utah
Gunnison River, Colorado
Hulahula River, Alaska
Klamath River, Oregon/California
Main Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho
Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho
Penobscot River, Maine
San Miguel River, Colorado
Skagit River, Washington
Smith River, Montana
Talkeetna River, Alaska
Tatshenshini River, Alaska
Yampa River, Colorado

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

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