Some people love to go river rafting once, just to have the experience. For example, they might go to the Grand Canyon on a group tour, then never do it again. Others are just like mountain climbers who want to experience the best and want to climb the Mount Everest’s and the K2’s of the world. If you are ready to tackle the biggest and baddest whitewater challenges of them all consider these top 10 challenging whitewater rapids.
#10. Trishuli River Nepal, Himalayas
Nestled between China and India, Nepal has 8 of the world’s biggest mountains, and as every whitewater enthusiast knows, big mountains mean plenty of whitewater. Most of them are rather inaccessible, requiring several days to reach but the Trishuli River, a few hours from Katmandu is an exception to the rule. While officially classed as a Class III whitewater rafting trip, when you approach the rapids in Trishuli, you’ll feel like you are shot out of a cannon into the Himalayas.
#9. Upper Navua Gorge, Viti Levu, Fiji
Forget about the Grand Canyon. Go to Viti Levu in Fiji. Viti Levu rises 4,000 feet above the see, and the water in the River Fiji which travels through the Upper Navua River Gorge is narrow and brings you face to face with sheer cliffs 150 foot high.
#8. Tully River, Australia
Perhaps the water is too swift for crocodiles, but boulders the size of city buses are common on this whitewater rafting trip. And forget putting another shrimp on the barbie. After navigating the tight and intricate concerns of this rafting trip you’ll be excused if you spent the next 20 minutes behind a rock catching your breath. The Tully River in Queensland is one wild ride.
#7. Salmon River, California
A 20 mile tributary in Western California near the Klamath River, expect mostly Class 5 water on a good part of the trip, quite enough to separate the men from the boys and the women from the girls. Definitely for the most athletic rafters.
#6. Rio Futaleufu River Valley, Puerto Montt, Chile
Deep in the heart of Patagonia, there is this Rio Futaleufu River Valley, Class 5 whitewater trip. Think the Grand Canyon only considerably steeper.
#5. The Zambezi River Zambia and Zimbabwe, Africa
There may have been no crocs in Tully River but expect to see crocs and hippos on this treacherous journey of 25 miles which starts near Victoria Falls will definitely scare you in ways you may never have experienced before.
#4. Scuol and Giarsun Gorge, The Inn River, Switzerland
Switzerland also has mountains, and if you want to experience class 4 waters while rocketing through the alps, this is the place. Truly beautiful, yet truly scary.
#3. New and Gauley Rivers, West Virginia, Eastern U.S.
When the water is high, these class 4 and 5 runs are some of the most treacherous in the United States. A definite must-see.
#2. Quijos River, Ecuador, South America
The host of the world 2005 World Rafting Championships, this run through the mountains near Quito at 7,000 feet is a sheer delight for rafters seeking big adventure.
#1. Snake River, Jackson Hole Wyoming
It’s only 8 miles long but it can feel like a lifetime. The Snake River trips from Jackson Hole, twist and turn far more than any carnival ride you’ve ever been on. Not for the meek, and be sure and wear a helmet.