Top Ten All-Time Classic Whitewater Rafting Trips

Klamath, California

Difficulty: IV to V

Season: All year

Trip Length: One to three days

The Klamath runs free for 187 miles from below Iron Gate Dam in lush northern California near the Oregon border. It's not very far from the Rogue River, but it offers a much wilder ride. More than 1,000 rapids rampage along those almost 200 miles. Most boaters bite off a piece of that. Ishi Pishi Falls is a portage-or-die barrier. Most trips either end above the falls or begin below them.

Eric Grathwol, a guide who works for OARS, a travel outfitter that runs trips down the river, says, "The upper stretch is very challenging Class IV, recommended for very aggressive first timers or people with prior rafting experience. We're talking heart-stopping rapids. The Lower is mostly Class II and III. It has nice scenery and lots of wildlife. One of our guides led 12 trips one summer, and saw black bear on all of them except one."

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 5 Dec 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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