The United States really is incredible. From the mountains to the prairies…wait that’s America the Beautiful. But it really is beautiful! And one of the often forgotten categories of gems is the amazing rivers to see. Whether you’re going for a day to see the glory or spending a week on any of these eight river trips, consider one of these rivers trips the next time you travel.
Eight Beautiful River Trips
It’s 1,450 miles of river that are a big-time favorite for nature photographers because it’s absolutely stunning. Any of a number of river trips on the Colorado River offer an opportunity to see the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains and even Mexico’s Gulf of California. A rafting trip wouldn’t be easy per se, but it would be amazing.
It’s not quite as long as the Colorado River, but the 119-mile American River is a great spot in California for whitewater rafting. The three main forks (South, Middle and North) show off some unique traits that can cater to different levels of expertise among rafters. It’s just a short car ride from Sacramento with the Short Fork beginner friendly and the North and Middle Forks for a bit more experienced rafters. Either way, it’s a heck of a way to see some beauty in California.
This river is formed on the slopes of Mount Wai’ale’ale on Kaua’I and flows 16 miles north into a crescent shaped Hanalei Bay that ultimate discharges into the Pacific Ocean. It’s in Hawaii. You know it’s one of the most amazing river trips you can experience. It’s lined with palm trees and hibiscus shrubs and has temperate water all year long, so visitors can paddle through really at any time.
The gently-flowing Virgin River flows through Zion National Park and helps to outline some of southern Utah’s most dramatic natural features. This river forms one of Zion’s most popular hikes, the Narrows, which is a backcountry hike through 1,000-foot tall canyon walls. Other hikes include the Virgin River’s North Fork and a two-day, 16-mile span that ends at the Temple of Sinawava.
The 145-mile Merced River is absolutely perfect for river rafting. It courses through the western edges of Yosemite National Park, originating at Mount Lyell and ending in Lake McClure Reservoir. Getting out on that river allows a great way to visit Yosemit Falls and El Capitan.
The Hudson River divides New York and New Jersey all the way until it reaches the Atlantic Ocean. Names for English explorer Henry Hudson, you can kayak on the waterway or travel it in a number of ways. One is a beautiful 1.3 mile stroll across the Walkway Over the Hudson that was constructed on an old railroad track that goes from Highland to Poughkeepsie.
The 1,078 mile Snake River travels through Jackson Hole and beneath the Grand Tetons, so it definitely shows off some of the most beautiful features of the country. It continues into Idaho, Oregon and Washington and then ultimately joins the Columbia River before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. You can row a drift boat on the river from Jackson Hole to the waters of Grand Teton National Park. There is also a ton of wildlife along the way including elk, bison and mule.
This river takes form in the Rocky Mountains of southeast British Columbia and works its way through Washington and Oregon. The beautiful blue of this water is best observed from the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. The landscape is full of waterfalls and wildflower fields and the conditions are actually perfect here for kiteboarding and windsurfing. Truly gorgeous.
Whether you make a day of it on your next Global Discovery Vacations journey or book with our incredible travel agency to go directly to one of these locations, a river trip provides an opportunity many overlook when planning their adventures, so don’t overlook them anymore!
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