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Idaho Rafting Adventures of a Lifetime

written by: Daniel P. McGoldrick • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 4/26/2010

Idaho rafting adventures are an unbelievably breathtaking experience for two reasons. First, the countless views of pristine, verdant scenery are astounding, and secondly; the fact that the water runs, rocks, and shoots that cold and fast makes breathing difficult at times. Make it happen here.

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    Rafting Paradise

    Selway Country The Idaho rafting adventures awaiting you, on so many of the dazzling rivers that thunder through this state, are spectacular experiences that should be on everybody’s list, at least once in their lifetime. Rafting is an outdoor activity that can provide heart-pounding adrenaline rushes and furious paddling when an experienced guide tells you to. The six-day river trip I did last summer was spectacular, and I couldn't have been more pleased with the performance of the Teva Toachi sandals I reviewed here.

    Idaho has some of the largest tracts of continuous wilderness in the lower 48 states. The flourishing variety of trees, including cedars, pines of many species and shades, and cottonwoods, against the backdrop of eye-catching, craggy ridges or green prairies are inspiring sights to behold. Seeing it all from a raft aligns you with the natural order inherent in wild beautiful places. Rafting pristine rivers in state that has the motto of Esto Perpetua (It is Perpetual), is one of the most exciting, team-oriented exploits you will ever have.

    Rafting Idaho is perpetually a good time to those inclined to see it that way. As for the adrenaline junkies amongst you, there isn’t a better location in the U.S. to satiate your appetite for challenging, churning class V waters. There are rivers here, the Selway for one, that have nothing but the original trails that Native American’s walked along side of them. No roads, or signs of civilization, for days if you desire. These rivers run pure and free the way they’re supposed to be.

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    Guides and Resources to Plan your Idaho Rafting Adventures

    Calm Stretch of the Selway Incidentally, if you are planning on an extended trip, perhaps you'd be interested in a portable GPS that tracks your progress, along with a whole bunch of nifty features. Read this Garmin GPSMAP 60 Portable GPS Recommendation Review to learn about an excellent option for you. Now, onto planning an unforgettable expedition solo (they will put you on a raft with another party), with a group of friends, or with the whole family. For any trip on these dangerous waters, you should only go with highly experienced and reputable guides. The internet makes that so much easier these days when making plans from far away.

    The best rivers for whitewater adventures in Idaho would certainly include the Locsha at the top of the list, the Snake River as it thunders through Hells Canyon, the wild and scenic Selway in the spring, and the middle fork of the Salmon River (also known as the River of No Return). The River of No Return: doesn’t that sound like a place every adventuresome spirit should venture to? Portions of the Salmon and the Selway run through the largest continuous wilderness in America. Although there were a lot of places that I hoped to live to see, while engaged in combat operations in the Middle East, this place was the one I thought about most.

    Although ½ day and full day trips are a blast, the experience of immersing yourself (not literally) on an extended wilderness expedition, where you truly leave the world behind, is second to none. The food on such expeditions is fantastic too. The rafting companies and guides go all out to provide great meals which always taste better out in the great wide open after you’ve earned your keep with a paddle. It's worth noting (in case your interests overlap) that there are many Extraordinary Geocache Hunts in Idaho. Read up on them if you or the kids are into that.

    Do a little research on each of the rivers I listed above to see which one appeals to you most. They’re all located in places that are ideal for hiking, backpacking, and fishing, as well. ROW Adventures offers many exceptional trips into the areas we discussed, and they’ve been operating there for 30 years. The website I just sent you to has useful features to help you decide which river to run. Action Whitewater Adventures is another excellent rafting guide service, operating primarily on the Salmon. Also, the Kooskia-based Three Rivers Rafting features outstanding wilderness excursions on the Selway, Lochsa and Salmon. Remember that there are a lot of guides and adventure vacation packages to choose from so let them compete for your money. Shop around for the ultimate experience that suits your budget. But whichever service you end up going with, the money will be well spent because whitewater rafting and wilderness in Idaho are simply the perfect balm for the adventurous heart.