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White Water Rafting, anyone?


Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,580

We had 5-6 more pretty good sized rapids after Big Drop 3, and very strong current(much faster than stillwater canyon) all the way to hite. The bottom of dark canyon is a sad, sad place now. That god damn lake has done awful things to the side canyons. The crux of the trip was the mud wallowing to get past the silt devastation to do some exploring. We were psyched to camp at Dark, but it was just too nasty so we passed it by after walking up it a mile or so.

Ladd Raine · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 5,480

Gauley River, West Virginia. Labor day til end middle of october.

Rich Sims · · Centennial · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 0

Steve
I have come full circle as I have decided to sell most of my kayaking gear. Last few seasons I found my self looking up at the rock more and more.
I am keeping my 16� NRS raft and would jump at some climbing-rafting. Any beta on Ruby- Horsetheif climbing
Rich Sims richard@simsbuilt.com

Danny Inman · · Arvada · Joined Jan 2005 · Points: 860

I was a raft guide for several years as well as a kayaker for 17 years. I would have agree with Ladd that the Gauley is one of the best rafting trips to get on. I would also highly recommend the upper Yough and the Russell Fork (which is very close to the Red River Gorge). Out west, I would say the Gore Canyon.

Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,580






Desolation Canyon, Utah
Matt F · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 0

I went with my family a while ago on a Grand Canyon rafting trip down the Colorado river and had a great time we went with Crate. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to see the Grand Canyon up close and personal. It was nice because we just brought our clothes and they took care of the rest, and the food was excellent. I remember some really good rapids when I went.. I think it was in the spring? I want to go again soon, but I have 3 little kids now so it makes it a bit harder to find time lol. That being said maybe as they get a little older I will give it a shot again.

Robert Hall · · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 16,471

I white-water paddled (C-1 and Open Canoe) for nearly 20 years and did the Middle Fork of the Salmon in ID 3 times, each time when we got to the take out (confluence with the Main Salmon) I felt I could have thrown my paddle onto the ground and walked away from my canoe and never paddle again because I just "knew" I'd never be on a more beautiful river! (Including the Grand Canyon, but that's also on any paddler's "must do" list.)

If you go, and want a commercial trip, go with "Canyons" , Les Bechtel (?spelling?) literally "wrote the book" on whitewater rescue and they are super safe. (with great food)

Here in the East -  try the Hudson Gorge ( in southern Adirondacks, so bring your rope and gear for climbing later) A piece of trivia for the Hudson: In the mid-to-late 1960's (long before rafting became a "sport" in the East) an Appalachian Mountain Club group took then-Senator-from-NY Robert Kennedy down the Hudson Gorge in the bow of a C-2 (2 person covered canoe) to show him that wilderness.  Later, "Bobby" was one of the swing votes on the Wild and Scenic River Act.

The "New River" (Yup, I hear there's climbing nearby too) is a popular trip, as well as the Gaully and the Cheat.  However, these (while exciting) don't have the beauty of the Middle Fork of the Salmon or the Hudson Gorge.   Trivia for the "New"...it is, I believe, the second oldest river in the world (behind the Nile??) ; its course pre-dates the rise of the Appalachian Mtns, like 250 (?) Million years ago. In that general area (W Va) is the Tygart and its tributary the Middle Fork (river). Don't know if there's commercial rafting on them, but any outfit that guides the Cheat would know.

Zachary Collier · · Hood River, OR · Joined Jan 2019 · Points: 0

The best known challenging trips on earth are:

- Futaleufu River
- Zambezi River
- Grand Canyon
- Middle Fork of the Salmon
- Selway River
- Tuolumne River
- Gauley River
- Karnali River

A few honorable mentions are Sun Kosi River, Paro Chhu, Merced River, Arkansas River, Rogue River and the Franklin River.

Darrell Cornick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 5

It is hard to plan a long ways out because of fluctuating  river levels but if we are mentioning awesome white water rivers, the Illinois river in Oregon is 30 miles of world class hard but not too scary rapids. Lots of cool 8-12 ft drops, great scenery and low crowds.

I have never been to WV while the Gauley was running but the New River is world class climbing and white water in the same town.

If you really love rivers,learn to kayak. Its a more personel connection to river whatever that means. And then you can paddle Opal Creek which is the most stunning class 4 on the planet. I may be biased though. It’s my after work run.

Andrew Rational · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2018 · Points: 10

The Snake through Hells Canyon for big water. Take your time, though. Many people do it in one or two nights. I like to take 4 or 5 and enjoy it. Don’t do a “jet back” either. That is a good way to erase a good trip.

For the last decade or so, I’ve also been trying to get consecutive Middle Fork and Main Salmon trips. I would then continue on the Lower Salmon and actually take out at Heller Bar on the Snake. Something like 300 Miles/30 days. Getting the trips, and having good water levels is tricky, though.

Jaren Watson · · Idaho · Joined May 2010 · Points: 2,506

Rafting and kayaking were amazing sports until around 1995. Now they’re  like going to the DMV.

Andy W · · Ft Collins · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 41
Jaren Watson wrote: Rafting and kayaking were amazing sports until around 1995. Now they’re  like  to the DMV.

Despite the mp norm, this is the ONLY worthless contribution to this thread (and now mine is the second). Seems boaters don't uphold a similar ygd, get out of my sport, I have nothing better to do than troll mentally.

I have dreamt of kayaking for years, but can't seem to manage the initial leap while maintaining climbing, biking, skiing. Thanks for the stoke and trip recs everyone else has provided!
Jaren Watson · · Idaho · Joined May 2010 · Points: 2,506
Andy W wrote:

Despite the mp norm, this is the ONLY worthless contribution to this thread (and now mine is the second). Seems boaters don't uphold a similar ygd, get out of my sport, I have nothing better to do than troll mentally.

I have dreamt of kayaking for years, but can't seem to manage the initial leap while maintaining climbing, biking, skiing. Thanks for the stoke and trip recs everyone else has provided!

Then you wouldn’t know, would you?

I’m just bitter about it because it was pretty amazing to kayak and be the only people on the river. That experience can still be found for a motivated and adventurous boater, but anywhere popular really is a shit show.
Climbers, in my experience, are vastly more accommodating to others than kayakers. Kayakers tend to be ridiculously territorial, even more than the Woodson brahs, if you can imagine such a thing.
Andy W · · Ft Collins · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 41
Jaren Watson wrote:

Then you wouldn’t know, would you?

I didn't say I knew. Based on this thread which is 30 nice comments to your 1, vs the normal mp beginner climbing thread that is typically the opposite ratio, plus comments in this thread explaining the boater comradery, it's a reasonable observation to make as someone interested in the sport. Next time just start with the useful info explaining why your bitter and try to minimize the whiney back in my day complaining. 

Jaren Watson · · Idaho · Joined May 2010 · Points: 2,506
Andy W wrote:

I didn't say I knew. Based on this thread which is 30 nice comments to your 1, vs the normal mp beginner climbing thread that is typically the opposite ratio, plus comments in this thread explaining the boater comradery, it's a reasonable observation to make as someone interested in the sport. Next time just start with the useful info explaining why your bitter and try to minimize the whiney back in my day complaining. 

Good advice. I try to be positive most of the time. I can see why my comment was an unwarranted buzz kill. For what it’s worth, some of the most sublime experiences of my life have occurred on the river.

My bitterness is probably exacerbated by my present case of shingles, a malady I wrongly assumed only afflicted the elderly. Turns out, those old bastards are right to complain about it.
Andy W · · Ft Collins · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 41

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and some reasons behind them. I think that sublime moment can sometimes outweigh all the hurdles. Conversely I am very adverse to crowds in my outdoor recreation. It's a good point to be considere since it's not feasible to hike in a kayak. Maybe pack rafting is the answer? 

Please similarly call me out anytime. I wish you a speedy return to good health! 

Darrell Cornick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 5

The boating community in Oregon is super freindly. More so than the climbing community which is already really good.  I solo world class creeks even on the weekends. If Some folks are there already it feels like its assumed we will all boat together. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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