River rafting is an exciting activity for families: get a great view of the scenery from a river ride, enjoy the calm stretches, thrill to the excitement of white water. Pick the right Class of river rafting, and even young kids can enjoy the ride. Families can even opt out entirely from any "white water" -- most river rafting companies offer an alternative calm river float.
See a brief intro with tips White Water River Rafting Trips for Families; then check out some samples, below, of where your family might enjoy a river rafting trip.
Pirate-themed white water rafting trip. Photo courtesy for Blazing Adventures.
Most of us think of Colorado as a legendary place for Rocky Mountain skiing in winter, but this state is a fantastic destination in summer: families flock to the Roaring Fork Valley and other destinations for river and mountain experiences. Above: the pirate theming on this rafting ride adds extra fun.
Photo courtesy of Austin-Lehman Adventures.
A great way to experience rafting, as part of a multi-sport trip: "Family Adventures" are small-group escorted tours offered by adventure-vacation companies, who provide getaways with all details handled, in the Great Outdoors. Multisport trips might include biking, horseriding, river rafting, kayaking... Photo above: Austin Lehman Adventures has river rafting on the itinerary on its Yosemite trip; Canadian Rockies trips and Panama adventures have white water, too.
Photo © Teresa Plowright.
The mother of all river rafting trips: these rafters are embarking from Lee's Ferry on a multi-day whitewater raft trip down the Grand Canyon. A number of companies offer Grand Canyon rafting tours, using various types of water-craft. Typically, kids must be at least 12 years old.
Photo © by George E. Sayour, About.com's Paddling Guide.
In the words of our About.com Guide for Paddling: "West Virginia Whitewater Rafting offers some of the best and most consistent whitewater adventures in the whole country." The Cheat River and the New River Gorge are two popular areas. Families will probably prefer a summer trip, when the weather is warmer and the rapids have settled down from the more tumultuous spring.
Photo courtesy of Holiday Expeditions.
Neat idea: combine a stay at a century-old working cattle ranch in eastern Utah with a white water rafting trip.
Photo courtesy of O.A.R.S.
O.A.R.S. specializes in family white water rafting vacations for kids four years old and up, in California, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming... Its Salmon River trip in Idaho, for example, has Class III rapids in the second deepest gorge in North America; setting is the millions of acres in Idaho's Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, where kids might spot otters, big horn sheep, moose or black bear.