Travel Picks: Top 10 whitewater rafting destinations

Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:51am EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - If you're keen to beat the sweltering summer temperatures and embrace adventure you might consider cooling off with a whitewater rafting trip. Online travel adviser Cheapflights ( offers its top 10 whitewater rafting destinations to experience the thrills and chills of this splashy adventure sport. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. Grand Canyon National Park, United States

Sign up for a single- or multi-day excursion on rivers that wind through America's most astounding natural wonder - the Grand Canyon. Spend hours, days - even weeks - on a professionally guided tour of waterways that range from placid to downright wild. Start at Glen Canyon Dam at the northeast part of the gorge and, from there, let your tour director - or your own paddle, should you choose - be your guide.

2. Ottawa River, Canada

The Ottawa River does a lot more than distinguish the border between Quebec and Ontario. The behemoth waterway is also Canada's most popular destination for rafting and kayaking. Luke-warm waters attract families and die-hard rafters each summer to steer through a valley thought to be more than 175 million years old. Take the kids for a leisurely paddle, or put on helmets with more competitive friends and race down the wondrous archipelago at top speed.

3. Glacier National Park, United States

Travelers aiming to combine whitewater rafting with other outdoor excursions need look no further than Flathead River in Montana's Glacier National Park. More than a million acres of preserved ecosystem and 700 milesof walkable trails make this nature lover's paradise an ideal spot for hiking and, of course, rafting. Pilot your inflatable vessel along the 158 miles of pure, unadulterated water, sourced directly from the Rocky Mountains.

4. Magpie River, Canada

It'll take you eight days to steer the escalating rapids of Quebec's Magpie River. Pitch a tent along this scenic stretch of river and savor its splendor, including the northern lights, in between day-long floats. Grade V rapids - the toughest classification recommended to raft - will greet you at the end of your week-long journey at Magpie Falls, a 125-foot vision of cascading water.   Continued...

<p>The Grand Canyon and the Colorado river are seen in Grand Canyon, Arizona, April 1, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>