The Most Accessible Rafting Rivers
Rafting the French Broad River, North Carolina
QUICK ESCAPE: North Carolina's French Broad River, near Asheville, promises whitewater thrills without the long drive.  (courtesy, North Carolina Division of Tourism)

As a general rule of thumb, the better, literally wilder river trips are located as far as possible from centers of civilization, tucked up in the foothills of remote mountain ranges or deep within the folds of untracked forestlands. However, that's not to say that whitewater action is best left to those with a compass, four by four, or bush plane. The continent offers some amazing rivers that provide a welcome respite to city-dwelling folk everywhere—from New York to San Fran to Seattle—without requiring a full weekend away or days of your precious vacation time. And as the well-organized rafting industry has discovered, there's clearly a market for easy-access trips that cater to all levels of rafters.

American River, California
Arkansas River, Colorado
Clackamas River, Oregon
Clark Fork River (Alberton Gorge), Montana
Clear Creek River, Colorado
French Broad River, North Carolina
Green River Gorge, Washington
Hudson River, New York
James River, Virginia
Lower and Middle Youghiogheny River, Pennsylvania
McKenzie River, Oregon
North Umqua River, Oregon
Skykomish River, Washington
Stanislaus River, California
Verde River, Arizona

Published: 10 Jun 2011 | Last Updated: 11 Oct 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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