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Best Places To Kayak in the U.S.

   March 19th, 2019   Posted In: Articles   Tags:

The Top Five Best Places to Kayak in the U.S.

best places to kayak

Snake River. Image courtesy of OARS.com.

From gliding through peaceful waters at your own pace to recklessly luging through white-water rapids, kayaking is one of the most versatile outdoor activities around. Prior to choosing where to kayak, you should always start with researching the necessary safety equipment. For instance, some interesting places to go kayaking are glacier-fed rivers and streams, but water temps can be cold. So, it’s recommended to invest in a quality wetsuit to provide you with adequate protection in those water temps. Another notable benefit that wetsuits provide you with is slight buoyancy if you’re out of the boat. Note that they are not completely buoyant though. Then, once you’re comfortable with all of your equipment, you can focus on where to go kayaking.

Here’s a list of some of the most popular kayaking hot spots across America:

Colorado River

This is commonly referred to as the kayaking capital of the United States. People that have experienced the rivers and streams of Colorado claim that it’s a life changing experience. Spanning close to 300 miles, the Colorado River runs through the following states: Arizona, Utah and Colorado. You can spend up to three weeks kayaking rapids that wind through the wilderness of the Grand Canyon. Lee’s Ferry is a popular launching point for river runners planning to explore the canyon. There are also several rated rapids along the way including, Hance (IV/IV+), Granite (IV+), Crystal  (IV+) and the most famous, Lava Falls (V).

Youghiogheny River

This river is among the best places to go kayaking around the East Coast region. It not only provides calmer waters for beginners to enjoy, but also turbulent rapids that challenge even the most advanced kayakers. The Middle Youghiogheny is typically recommended for those with minimal experience since it offers mild class I-II rapids. The next step is the Lower Yough that’s renown for its thrilling Class III-IV rapids. Then, the Upper Yough is reserved for those with the most experience navigating extreme whitewater.

best places to kayak

Colorado River. Image courtesy of Viator.com.

Snake River

If you’re traveling through Idaho, then you don’t want to miss out on paddling through the steep canyon cliffs found along the Snake River. Just remember, the temperature of this river generally doesn’t reach 70°F until after July, so most people choose to protect themselves from the elements in a hooded wetsuit.

Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay region provides several protected waterways for both canoes and kayaks. Check out the Chesapeake Paddlers Association (CPA) before paddling out to the deep pockets of water and jagged shorelines around this bay. The CPA is an all volunteer organization that promotes safe sea kayaking within this region. They plan trips rated on expected conditions, along with a variety of educational opportunities like Introduction to Sea Kayaking, Boat and Paddle Workshops, etc.

Arkansas River

The Upper Arkansas River is the most popular whitewater rafting river in the United States. It’s also a favorite destination for kayakers from around the world. The kayaking season usually starts during the month of April, and lasts until September. It provides visitors with miles of scenic calm-water sections to help unwind from some of the best whitewater rapids in the world. This region is also renown for its excellent fishing, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, zip lining, camping, and backpacking.

Lauren (LoLo) has been turning words into blog posts for Wetsuit Wearhouse since 2014. She learned to surf for the first time ever in Costa Rica but she gravitates more towards SUP. When she's not scouring the web for travel deals, you can find her either hiking, running, gardening, tending to her animals, or reading a good book outside on a beautiful day.

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