Whitewater Rafting Photo Gallery

 
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Whitewater rafting began thanks to a few crazy people with Army surplus rafts. Today, the sport is no longer a fringe activity, but rather a pursuit of odyssey-like challenge; all over the globe individuals and outfitters are constantly daring new rivers and braving more grueling rapids.  
Credit: Corbis 
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Although not as dramatic as the Grand Canyon, Hells Canyon lives up to its name in depth. As the deepest gorge in North America at 8,000 feet, the canyon's walls cast ominous shadows across the rafters that dare the class III and IV rapids of its Snake River architect.  
Credit: Index Stock 
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With the world's highest waterfall, one of the longest rivers in South America, and a jigsaw coast on the aqua Caribbean waters, Venezuela offers whitewater-seekers plenty of thrills. From the Akanan River, through rainforest swarming with monkeys and parrots, to the Churún River, paddlers follow easy-to-navigate rapids to the cascading 3,212-foot Angel Falls.  
Credit: PhotoDisc 
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Whitewater veterans rejoice as the roaring Fork River plows through Colorado's Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness and careens down a mountain canyon. After Maroon Bells, the river splits, but with rapids named ‘Slaughterhouse Falls' and ‘Entrance Exam,' either choice will most assuredly challenge.  
Credit: PhotoDisc 
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One of the few whitewater runs on the eastern slopes of the Andes, Argentina's Mendoza River offers challenging rapids without the life-threatening drops. The river whirls by the highest, most dramatic peak in the western hemisphere, 22,841-foot Cerro Aconcagua.  
Credit: Corel 
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The Futaleufu River glows a deep, penetrating blue from the glacial sediment in Los Alerces National Park. From its headwaters in the park, this cathedral of rivers traverses down the spine of Patagonia with just the right amount of rapids to keep the paddler excited, and just the right amount of shoreline hot springs to provide some relaxation.  
Credit: Corel 
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For paddlers willing to bear chilly arctic winds, Norway's archipelago doesn't disappoint. Hidden from the hordes of tourists, the country's uncrowded rivers offer tamer rapids when passing through the open scenic valleys, followed by more turbulent whitewater in the canyons.  
Credit: Corel 
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Arizona boasts some of the fiercest terrain on this continent, and the 226 miles of whitewater that wind within the Grand Canyon hardly dispel this claim. The churning blue waters of the Colorado River create a sharp contrast to the mélange of jagged ochre peaks and spires.  
Credit: PhotoDisc 
 
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