Best White Water Rafting Tour (2019)


The rivers of North America offer some of the world’s best white water rafting opportunities, with thrills for experienced rafters and newbies alike. From white-knuckle rapids to more relaxed family floats, rafting is a great way to add a dash of adventure to a trip.

  • Western River Expeditions

    Western River Expeditions

    Western River Expeditions has more than 50 years of experience guiding trips along the rivers and canyons of the American West. Today, the company offers itineraries in Arizona (Grand Canyon), Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Costa Rica.
    Photo courtesy of Western River Expeditions

  • U.S. Rafting

    U.S. Rafting

    U.S. Rafting operates along three Maine Rivers. The Kennebec River – the most rafted in Maine – offers Class III and IV thrills, while the Dead River features 16 miles of continuous white water. For a big water adventure, take on the rapids of the Penobscot River, nicknamed the Beast of the Northeast.
    Photo courtesy of U.S. Rafting

  • Wildman Adventure Resort

    Wildman Adventure Resort

    For white water adventure in the Midwest, it doesn’t get much better than Wildman Adventure Resort. This Wisconsin company has two locations along the Peshtigo and Menominee Rivers, with rapids ranging from Class II to Class IV.
    Photo courtesy of Wildman Adventure Resort

  • Barker Ewing Whitewater

    Barker Ewing Whitewater

    Visitors to Jackson Hole can conquer the waters of the Snake River with Barker Ewing Whitewater. The popular 8-mile adventure features Class III rapids for rafters of all ages and experience levels. Trips often include meals served at one of two private riverside camp sites along the Snake River.
    Photo courtesy of Darcy Bacha / Barker Ewing

  • Zoar Outdoor

    Zoar Outdoor

    Zoar Outdoor pioneered white water rafting on the Deerfield River in Massachusetts. Today, rafters enjoy trips throughout New England, from the West River in Vermont to the Millers and Concord Rivers in Massachusetts to the Great Falls section of the Connecticut River in Connecticut.
    Photo courtesy of Zoar Outdoor

  • OARS


    Founded in 1969, family owned OARS has become a worldwide leader in white water rafting, with trips in eight U.S. states and nearly a dozen international destinations.
    Photo courtesy of James Kaiser / OARS

  • Arkansas River Tours

    Arkansas River Tours

    Arkansas River Tours outfits white water rafting trips from Colorado Springs and Cañon City, Colorado. Rafters can choose between Class III rapids in Bighorn Sheep Canyon or more extreme waters in the Royal Gorge.
    Photo courtesy of John Fielder / Arkansas River Tours

  • Downstream Adventures

    Downstream Adventures

    Downstream Adventures takes travelers on rafting trips through the heart of the Colorado Rockies via Clear Creek. Beginners navigate the 15 rapids of Middle Clear Creek, while more experienced rafters can take on the Lower or Upper Canyon (or the full river).
    Photo courtesy of Downstream Adventures

  • Three Rivers Whitewater

    Three Rivers Whitewater

    True to its name, Three Rivers offers rafting trips on the Kennebec, Dead and Penobscot Rivers, with rapids ranging from family friendly Class III to intense Class V filled with chutes, drops and holes. Thrill seekers can combine a day of rafting with a skydive from 11,000 feet above the ground.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / apelletr

  • Far Flung Adventures

    Far Flung Adventures

    Far Flung Adventures has been in the river rafting business for more than four decades, with itineraries on dozens of rivers around the globe. Spend a day navigating the rapids of the Taos Box in New Mexico, or spend several days on the Zambezi River exploring the wilderness of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / disorderly


The top 10 winners in the category Best White Water Rafting Tour are as follows:

  1. Western River Expeditions
  2. U.S. Rafting
  3. Wildman Adventure Resort
  4. Barker Ewing Whitewater
  5. Zoar Outdoor
  6. OARS
  7. Arkansas River Tours
  8. Downstream Adventures
  9. Three Rivers Whitewater
  10. Far Flung Adventures

A panel of experts (listed below) partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning rafting companies!

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AlertThe Experts

Jeremy Clement

Jeremy Clement

Jeremy Clement

Lisa Niver

Lisa Niver

Lisa Niver

LiLing Pang

LiLing Pang

LiLing Pang

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

10Best Editors