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River Rafting: An Overview

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White-water rafting can be one of the most exhilarating experiences of a lifetime. River rafters see breathtaking scenery, get great exercise, and experience terrific adventure. There are great places to go river rafting all over the world, but many of the best rivers for white-water rafting are here in the United States.

It's a good idea to contact a licensed river rafting agency to plan a rafting trip. These agencies, found near most major rivers, provide trained guides and planned routes for rafting rides. Many agencies also provide training for novice river rafters. These services are especially good for people rafting for the first time.

River rafting has been a sport for decades. The person generally credited with inventing river rafting is Bill Dvorak. In 1969, Dvorak was the first person issued a river recreation outfitters license when he formed Dvorak Expeditions in Salida, Colorado. Dvorak created many of the safety guidelines and license requirements for equipment used in white-water rafting. He came up with the idea of having guides lead rafting tours.

There are many great places to go white-water rafting in the United States. One of the most popular is the American River, which starts in the Sierra Nevada and splits into the North Fork, Middle Fork, and South Fork before converging near Sacramento, CA. The American River provides a wide variety of river rafting experiences, from easy rapids for beginners to difficult stretches navigated by expert rafters.

White-water rapids are rated based on their level of difficulty. Water speed, currents, the amount of rocks, and other factors influence the river's rating. The easiest rivers to navigate are Class I; Class VI rivers are considered impossible to run. As equipment has become more advanced, many rivers previously defined as Class IV became Class V, and extremely skilled rafters have begun navigating them safely.

River rafting is a fun and challenging sport. A river rafting vacation is perfect for people who love challenges and being in the great outdoors.

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