5 Amazing Whitewater Rafting Companies
For the adventurous among us, whitewater rafting provides an ideal dose of recreational excitement. With tours across locales as varied as the Colorado River in Utah to the tides in Nova Scotia, there are several companies dedicated to providing unique experiences on the water. Here, in no particular order, are groups offering lively boating excursions for every taste.
Starting off the list at #1 is ROW Adventures, founded by husband and wife team Peter Grubb and Betsy Bowen. The company offers a collection of destinations that span the continents, including whitewater rafting in Idaho, yachting in Croatia, sea kayaking at the Galapagos Islands, or trekking in Peru. Also available are customized private trips for families, corporate groups, and couples.
As part of its commitment to maintaining a sustainable business, ROW Adventures supports several state and regional river conservation groups including the Clark Fork Coalition and Save Our Wild Salmon. Travel + Leisure has recognized the group as the "World's Best Tour Operator," and Outside Magazine named its Owyhee River Kayaking expedition as "2009 Trip of the Year: North America." The New York Times, Frommer's, and Vogue are among the media outlets to feature the company.
Coming in at #2 is Tongariro River Rafting, based in Turaangi, New Zealand. In addition to traditional whitewater excursions, the company also offers overnight and family trips. Its Blue Duck Experience is a hands-on eco-adventure that is focused on protecting the rare and endangered Whio population from predators.
The group's fly-fishing expedition allows for half- or full-day trips with professional guides, catching fresh-run trout on the Tongariro, Tauranga-Taupo, or Rangitikei Rivers. Tongariro River Rafting also provides mountain bike tours with trails that ride through ancient beech forests and past volcanoes. TripAdvisor ranks the company as one of the top-rated rafting experiences on the North Island.
In the #3 spot is Wilderness Voyageurs, the first whitewater rafting outfitter on the East Coast. The family-run company also offers kayaking, stand-up paddling, fly-fishing, rock climbing, and Boy Scout High Adventure programs. Its season pass features guided and unguided trips, as well as the opportunity to test demo boats.
The company's popular Women's Mountain Bike Clinic introduces the fundamentals of body positioning, weighting, pressure control, balance, moving the bike, and using the brakes. In addition, it covers concepts such as cornering as well as lifts and drops. Wilderness Voyageurs has been featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washingtonian magazine, and USA TODAY.
Entering the list at #4 is Tidal Bore Rafting Resort, which offers seasonal rafting tours in Nova Scotia. Its Fundy Tides & Fireside Adventure package is a culinary journey centered around the Shubenacadie River, including a gourmet seafood lunch on a private sandbar and a traditional lobster boil for dinner. An evening fireside rum and wine tasting is also part of the package.
The Resort is a popular destination for weddings, offering couples a variety of options for food, decor, and lodging. Accommodations for special occasions such as family reunions and corporate events are also available. The Times has named it one of "10 Reasons to Visit Nova Scotia," while HuffPost included the company on its list of "9 Epic Canadian Adventures To Have In Your Lifetime."
Finishing up the list at #5 is Sheri Griffith River Expeditions in Moab, Utah. This company offers rafting trips on the Colorado River, as well as through Cataract Canyon and the Gates of Lodore. Its Women Only Retreats are led by professional female guides and feature hiking, swimming, and sunbathing.
Among its other specialty trips is the Luxury Rafting Experience, which combines comfort with nature. Guests dine on cuisine prepared by a professional chef, enjoy tailored wine parings, and sleep in large tents made up with high-quality bedding and fresh linens. National Geographic has recognized Sheri Griffith River Expeditions as one of the "Best Outfitters on Earth." It is also the recipient of Utah's Best of State Award.