Colorado River Rafting is where to go whitewater raftingKnowing where to go whitewater rafting in the US is half the battle, but you first have to consider some things about yourself, and what kind of trip you’re looking for. Take an in-depth look within and start making the plan long ahead of time; this will ensure you have the best trip possible.


As with most outdoor adventures, the climate, terrain, and several other factors are crucial for a successful trip. Different places in the world offer selective benefits that can affect your outdoor vacation. Thankfully, tons of other travel enthusiasts have set the path for you, and have picked out their favorite places to go river rafting in the United States.  


Best States for White Water Rafting

Here’s our list of top states that have the best rafting in the US. We’ve compiled notes from a couple of prominent travel sites like TripAdvisor and TripSaavy, and we’ve listened to what they had to say.


While there were some variations in states, whitewater rafting in Utah, Colorado, Idaho, and Arizona were the top spots listed. Known for their abundance and variance in rapids and treasured outdoor vacation destinations, whitewater rafting in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Idaho should be on everyone’s bucket list. 


Rippling Brook Lodore where to go white water raftingWhere to Go Whitewater Rafting in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Idaho

If you’re wondering where exactly to go whitewater rafting in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Idaho, we’ve got the details you need. Between the wild Yampa River and the steady Green River, to the winding gorges of the Colorado River and the stunning, lush scenery found on the San Juan River, you will have plenty of options to choose from. To help narrow it down a bit, here’s where you should go:



Whitewater rafting in Utah is tough to beat. Utah will expose you to world-renowned rivers with skill levels for all ages and abilities. Rafters will experience unforgettable rapids and thrilling trips for themselves, their families, and friends. Besides trips on the Yampa and San Juan Rivers, Desolation Canyon rafting trips will take you through stunning, remote parts of Utah with beauty, as well as history.  



Whitewater rafting trips in Colorado are some of the best adventures around. Rafters can get lost in the remote, gorgeous river ecosystems all flowing from the Rocky Mountains. Explore the Dinosaur National Monument, float through vast canyons, and truly experience the Colorado River by going on rafting trips in Westwater and Lodore Canyons, home of the Dinosaur National Monument.



Outdoor vacationers who choose to go rafting in Arizona are also in for a treat. Known as some of the wildest whitewater rafting in North America, Arizona rafting trips give guests a chance to experience over 150 rapids within the Grand Canyon. There are several rafting tours available in the upper and lower Grand Canyon areas. 



Whitewater rafting in Idaho is unlike rafting in other places. Full of adrenaline-pumping Class III and IV rapids, there’s also tons of lush forests and wilderness to encounter on your trips. Guests will get a close look at Idaho’s deep, rocky canyons that run along sun-drenched white-sand beaches where they can stop, take a break, and relax. Escape into a natural oasis when visiting Idaho, some of the best trips here happen in the Main Salmon and Middle Fork Rivers.


Oar Rafts on the green river is where to go white water raftingWhere is Whitewater Rafting the Most Popular?

Of course, white water rafting is an activity loved by people all over the world. Tripsavvy  has a list of top 10 places in the world to go white water rafting, and the US only holds 2 out of those 10. Here are the two most popular rafting destinations in the US:


  1. Colorado River | UT, CO, AZ – With over 277 miles of river that extend through Utah, Colorado, and Arizona, the Colorado River is a must-experience staple of white water rafting with several paths and destinations to explore.


  1. Middle Fork, Salmon River | ID – Rafting the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho offers one of the most stunning, premier wilderness trips in the US. Explore over 100 miles of nature in one of the largest, roadless wilderness areas in a Canyon deeper than even the Grand Canyon.


How to Plan Your Whitewater Rafting Adventure

There are many things to consider when choosing a trip., causing people to get intimidated with the follow-through. Wouldn’t it be helpful to find someone who knew all the best trails, wild rapids yet serene floats, hiking, yoga, and everything in between? While Holiday River Expeditions provides curated travel planning services to travelers in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Idaho areas, we understand that the dedicated planner in you may want to consider other options too. In fact, Tripadvisor has a very robust list of all-things outdoor, nature, and travel-related to help get you started.


Middle Fork Kayaker is another place to go white water raftingSome Other Things to Consider

Important details can sometimes get jumbled up when planning a vacation and all subsequent activities that go with it. Holiday River Expeditions can help with that! We’ve compiled a few essential factors to consider when location matters. Before you plan your white water rafting trip, consider:


  1. When’s the best time of year for rafting?  There are opportunities for exciting white rafting trips all year round. But when is truly the best time to go whitewater rafting? In the end, the best time for rafting depends on you and your needs and availabilities. Still, for a more wild adventure with high water in the US, May through Mid July can prime rafting times. For more calm trips or journeys with the kiddos, July through September offers lower level tides. 


  1. What type of whitewater rafting trip do you really want? In case you’re still not sure about what you want in a white water rafting trip, we’ve put together a few critical points for you to ask yourself. Consider:


  • How much time do you want to take off from work or be away from home?
  • Are children involved?
  • Is this a group trip, or are you riding solo?
  • Are you looking for an oasis retreat, a journey to find yourself, a wild rafting ride, or just a pure outdoor guided adventure?


Once you jot down the answers to these key questions, you can get a jump on planning your trip. 


What Are You Waiting for?

There are multiple, fun whitewater rafting trips intended for your future. Start looking into what the more established companies are charging and how they’re developing their white water rafting trips, and build your own adventure from there! It just takes a bit of research. If you need a benchmark, check out some of the rates and dates that Holiday River Expeditions has available. From there, you can choose to move forward with us based on your preferences or pursue other options.


Contact us for help with planning a rafting trip, or book a rafting trip now if you’re ready!