Some rivers are well suited for a calm rafting trip or even a leisurely day of tubing, while other river rafting locales offer exciting whitewater rapids. If you're the kind of person who finds slow-moving water boring and wants to experience the thrill of whitewater, then you should check out one of the rivers listed below.
Middle Fork, Salmon River, Idaho
This river is located in Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. This is one of the most remote areas in the United States. The location is federally protected and the only way to get a permit to raft the river is through a lottery system. However, if you are looking for exciting rapids and a view of untouched nature, then this is something you should consider.
This river was used in the classic whitewater scenes for the film Deliverance. It starts out in the Blue Ridge Mountains and winds down through South Carolina and into Georgia. Much of the land around it is protected and will give you the experience of what it was like a hundreds years ago. There is very little commercial development on the shores. While this river has some powerful, exciting rapids, there are also nice spots where the water slows and there are still pools for swimming.
This is one of the biggest rivers in the country. It runs though Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, and ends up down in Mexico. One of the most popular sections to raft is in Moab, Utah. The particular whitewater stretch is called Cataract Canyon. This stretch is 14 miles long and includes rapids up to class 5. It is one of the most exciting river runs in the country. It is great trip for people who are looking for a long, multi-day adventure. The reason it is usually more than a day trip is that you don't launch right in at Cataract Canyon. Your group will launch upstream and spend a few days going down the river. You get to have fun on the river and see some awesome nature scenery before you hit the rapids. Some tours offer a motorized rafting option that can speed this first stretch along if you prefer a shorter trip.
Like other rivers that are in federally protected space, a permit is required. For this reason many people like to hook up with a tour company that will get all of the paperwork in order for them. That way all you have to do is show up, gear up, and get on the river.