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White Water Rafting in California

White Water Rafting in CaliforniaThere are many rafting trips available in California. Some suitable for children from 4 years, seniors and those with special needs. There is also some of the wildest White Water Rafting in California or in the nation, so there are really thrills and challenges available for everyone.

If this is a first time rafting trip, or if you have a larger group, err on the side of caution to ensure everyone has fun. Choosing the most suitable White Water Rafting in California trip or American River Rafting trip for your group can be a challenge, however if you focus on everyone having a good time and some excitement, everyone will be more than satisfied. While more serious rafters may be disappointed, they should focus on the comradeship of a larger group and the enjoyment from watching the excitement of new rafters

White Water Rafting in California – Classes of Rapids

Class one and two trips are for beginners, children and seniors. Class one set of whitewater rapids are relatively easy to navigate, although you still need to be wearing a life jacket and you need to follow the instructions of the guides.

These can be very nice relaxing whitewater trips, were you can enjoy the scenery and the wildlife that may exist along the river. If you are planning to take on higher class rapids, make sure you read the requirements and the safety issues before you sign up just to make sure you receive what you expect in terms of whitewater thrills.

Class 3, class 4 and class 5 rapids are progressively more difficult and thrilling. You may need to pass a number of tests before going on some of these whitewater trips just to make sure that you can handle any of the potential upsets that could occur. Particularly in class 5 whitewater rapids trips, participants could be thrown out of the raft or the raft could even tip over. If this happens you need to be able to swim out of the rapids and get to shore were someone can pick you up.

If you are not up to the task of swimming out of the whitewater rapids, then this level of rafting trip may not be for you. You can still great thrills if you go on lower class rafting trips down whitewater rapids. Remember too that rapids classification are also dependent on the amount of water that is cascading down the river. Spring runoff will usually bring higher cascades than summer or late fall unless there are heavy rains in the headlands of these whitewater rapids.

White Water Rafting in California classifications

Whitewater rafting in California is classified from one to five to help customers understand the type of whitewater rafting experience they can expect.

Class one is usually the easiest and is acceptable for children, seniors and people with special needs. Class 2 is also easy and aimed at the beginner, first time whitewater rafters, groups. Also for bachelor parties and is ok for non swimmers. Class 3 is intermediate or adventurous and is generally aimed at people with previous experience, adventure Scout groups. This class usually requires good swimming ability. Class 4 requires class 3 requirements along with strong swimming ability. Class 5 is the most advanced and difficult of the whitewater rafting trips. They may require swim tests and you must have very strong swimming ability.

Nearly everyone can participate in a rafting trip at some level, but anyone with any medical condition, very overweight or in poor physical shape should always consult with their physician. Those with a heart condition or back problems should be particularly cautious. Each participant must fit into a life jacket with all buckles fastened. It is also important to let the guides know in advance about any conditions that may affect anyone from being fully able to participate to ensure your safety.

There are risks involved in any outdoor activity and accidents can happen. All participants will be required to sign an Assumption of Risk or Liability Release form prior to the trip.

Major White Water Rafting in California

There are five rivers that are must do California Rafting whitewater trips. We have listed them as follows:

1. The South Fork of the American: This is the most popular whitewater rafting trip in California because it has lots of Class III+ rapids, a long rafting season, and is relatively safe. Spring, Summer and Fall.

2. The North Fork of the American: Steep Class IV rapids in a tight gorge with crystal clear water. This is the premier class IV trip on the American River. This makes a great whitewater rafting trip in California for those of you that want a technical challenge. Spring and early Summer.

3. The Tuolumne: This river is the cream of the crop with famous Class IV rapids and “Wild and Scenic” scenery. Located near Yosemite National Park, most of the river takes advantage of the great hikes and spectacular scenery by spending a night or two in the canyon. Spring and Summer.

4. The Cal Salmon: This California whitewater rafting trip is for those of you that are hooked. Near the California-Oregon border, this river is well worth the drive for the numerous Class IV rapids and three famous Class V rapids. You’ll set up a base camp as you explore different sections of this river. Spring only.

5. Forks of the Kern: This three day trip has over 40 Class IV rapids and 3 big Class V’s. Granite boulders, breathtaking vistas, and huge waterfalls make this a spectacular rafting trip. You’ll have to hike two miles into the put-in and warm-up on some other class IV rivers first, though. Spring only.

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