Top 10 Best Rivers For Kayaking In United States

Not everybody likes to kayak in the calm water. Some people are more adventurous than others. Some people are born to fight in the wild, explore the beauty of nature, go for adventures.

Numerous kayakers love to paddle on rivers. Kayaking on the river is way more fun and adventurous than paddling on lakes. The United States is big, and there are many rivers that are ready for kayaking. For sightseeing and enjoying the mother beauty, you can go kayaking in these rivers.

Life is short, but you need to have maximum fun in this short span of life. When you grew up old, you will look back, and you will say that you have lived a hell of a life. Let’s grab the best kayak or canoe and explore the beauty of nature.

Kayaking in the river can be challenging, enjoyable, and fun. Every river has its own rules which you need to abide by. Each river ranges a difficulty from Class I to Class VI rapids. You need to figure out whether you are looking for a regular sightseeing journey or an adventurer and get prepared for it. Class I means that your grandma can kayak while class VI represents the roughest one.

Important Note: 

  1. Always wear PFD (best inflatable jackets)
  2. Know what you are doing
  3. Get the best kayak, canoe for the adventure
  4. If you are taking trips, then fuel up your wallet
  5. Leave your wallets and car keys at the check post

Top 10 Best Rivers For Kayaking In the United States


a kayaker kayaking on Chattooga river
Chattooga River

#1. Chattooga River, South Carolina/Georgia

Class ranges: III to IV in different sections

This river is one of the best places for kayaking in the USA. Its free-flowing stream will make you feel the beauty of nature. With various sections on different classes, it will surely be an epic adventure in your life. While kayaking or canoeing, you can see the beauty of wild nature. It is one of the most popular national wild and scenic rivers. From kayaking to whitewater rafting, it surely is one of the best places for adventure.

scenic view of kyaking in Tuolumne River
Tuolumne River

#2. Tuolumne River

Class ranges: IV-V+

Tuolumne River is situated just outside of Yosemite National park. This place is very popular for rafting. Note that the Clavey river is a very tough place for kayaking. As a result, even though this is open to the public, very few kayakers are seen each year.

People who love whitewater adventure will be pleased with this river. Its wild and scenic sights are incredibly awesome. Every year thousands of people around the world come to see the beauty of this place. I have this on my wishlist. Don’t forget to get a whitewater kayak for tough rapids.

rafting spot on arizona
Colorado River, Arizona

#3. Colorado River, Arizona

Class range: Class I-IV

The Colorado river goes through the Grand Canyon. From river rafting to lake kayaking in lake Powell, it has so many things to offer you. If you are into hiking and mountain biking then you should be super excited about this trip. You will be able to watch many things on the journey. Many agencies offer luxury trips also. This trip can be a week long and maybe more if you want to see the local spots.

kayaking spot in united states
Salmon River (Idaho)

#4. Salmon River, Idaho

Sections: Middle Fork (Class III-IV), Main Salmon (Class III), Lower Salmon (Class III)

Salmon River is a very popular spot for whitewater kayaking, rafting & canoeing. This river is known as The River of No Return. While kayaking you will be able to see amazing views of nature. The area includes the deepest canyons in the continental United States.

Close cities: Stanley, Clayton, Salmon, Riggins & white bird.

Youghiogheny River
Youghiogheny River. PC: mdmpix.com

#5. Youghiogheny River

Class: II-V

Youghiogheny river is a quiet short river for kayaking. It is 134 miles long in West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Youghiogheny river is a fantastic place for kayaking, canoeing, and rafting. From newbie kayakers to professional kayakers, this river offers excellent scenes and views to the kayakers. If you are totally newbie, then you should kayak on the slower side of the river beside Connellsville.

kayaking spot in florida
The Everglades, Florida

#6. The Everglades, Florida

The Everglades is a natural region in the southern portion of Florida. Every year thousands of people come to this place for kayaking, canoeing, and sightseeing. From landscapes to beautiful rivers this place is a heaven for outdoor lovers. No matter whether you love a peaceful or thrilling adventure, it has got everything for you.

You can choose several river spots or via the guides to find the perfect place for you. In a nutshell, this will be one of the best paddle journeys you will remember till your last day. Beautiful birds and sea creatures will entertain you on your paddling journey.

#7. Gauley River

rafting in Gauley River
rafting in Gauley River

Class range: IV-V

Gauley River is situated in West Virginia. This popular whitewater kayaking river is 105 miles long, and it merges with several rivers on its way through. Many paddlers come to this river for whitewater paddling, and it offers a great scenic view the besides paddling experience. It’s basically popular for rafting purposes though recreational boaters love to take any chance to hop in this river.



An avid kayaker, trying to find the meaning of life by paddling and exploring!

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