Choose Between Two Options
- $69 for a half-day whitewater rafting trip for two for the 2016 season ($118 value)
- $129 for a half-day whitewater rafting trip for four for the 2016 season ($236 value)
Rapids: Young Rivers’ Thrilling Tantrums
Whitewater rafting is only possible on a very specific type of river—young, fast, and full of rocks. Check out Groupon’s guide to rapids to learn what to expect.
As long as there’s gravity to pull it, water will flow. Over time, as water flows, it erodes everything in its path, forming a big, calm river that flows quietly toward the sea. A younger river, however, lacks that patience. Only soft rocks break down easily, so the water instead does anything it can to get around the other obstacles, bending around and over the harder rocks that block the way. Particularly in fast, steep streams, these obstacles break up the flow of the water, causing it to fall, splash, and tumble over itself and capture tiny oxygen bubbles that look white as they crest. Functioning like a bunch of small waterfalls, these turbulent pockets are known as rapids—stretches of whitewater that challenge adventurers to navigate their rafts, kayaks, or horses safely through to reach the calmer currents below.
Of course, no two rivers are exactly the same—and even the same river can vary from year by year due to flooding, downed trees, and weather patterns that lead to changes in the water level. What could one year be classified as Class II rapids—with a wide, clear channel and easily avoidable rocks—could the next be a Class III, with irregular waves, a swift current, and tight passages that require complex maneuvering. The same trip can have rapids of different intensity, too, which leads to thrilling, varied rafting experiences. Just around the bend, the smooth, effortless flow of a Class I stretch can transform into a Class IV rapid, complete with large drops and stretches of continuous whitewater fit only for advanced paddlers.