Whitewater Wishlist: The Top Ten Whitewater Rafting Trips
The Middle Fork of the Salmon, Idaho
From the Boundary Creek put-in to its confluence with the Main Salmon a hundred miles away, the Middle Fork of the Salmon River offers some of the United State's most remote whitewater outside of Alaska. The river threads its way through the 2.7-million-acre Frank Church River of No Return Wildernessthe largest roadless tract of land in the continental United Statesculminating with the infamous Impassable Canyon, named by Lewis and Clark when they passed through the area in the early 1800s. The same Class III-IV rapids they deemed impassable, however, now draw river runners in droves. The best thing about the Middle Fork, of course, isn't its solitude or raft-soaking rapids. It's the nine riverside hot springs scattered throughout the trip that calm youand make you look like a well-ripened pruneafter a full day of paddling.
The Colorado, Grand Canyon, Arizona
When John Wesley Powell first ran the Grand Canyon in 1869, few realized the rapids that caused him such consternation would make it one of the world's top whitewater runs a scant century later. Rapids such as Crystal and Lava Falls are topped only by the canyon's beauty as the Colorado River carves its way through time. To do the whole 280 miles takes anywhere from 10 to 23 days, depending on whether or not you have motor support. And if you go with an outfitter, you're guaranteed gourmet fare that is a far cry from the salted pork and flour rations of Powell's rafting days.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication