California is normally the America's capital of whitewater rafting, with massive Sierra snowfalls feeding dozens of cascading, granite-lined mountain rivers. Unfortunately the Golden State has been wrung out by one of the worst droughts on record. For rafters, kayakers, and stand-up paddlers that means it's time to look elsewhere. Luckily, America is teeming with waters ripe for everything from lazy paddles to aggressive runs.
Here are six non-Californian streams that will be flush with whitewater this spring and summer.
Hudson River Gorge, New York
Several hundred miles upstream of its mouth in New York City, the Hudson River cascades through a 14-mile long, whitewater-studded wilderness gorge in the Adirondack mountains. "For most of the trip, you're three miles from any road," says Adirondack River Outfitter's co-owner Ronald Smith. "Down the river is the best way to see that wilderness." April-June you'll don wetsuits for the five-hour Class IV trip, threading pounding 10-foot high waves of rapids like the Narrows and Greyhound Ledge (a wave big enough to stop a Greyhound bus.) Later in the season, the snowmelt replaced by reservoir releases, so the water is warm enough for swimsuits, and still splashy fun. As of April 1, there’s still plenty of snow in the valleys, says Smith, "which usually translates into a big-water season."
Credit: ARO Adventures