Upper Yough Expeditions

Whitewater Rafting Maryland

Dam Release Class V Whitewater Rafting on the Upper Yough!


  • User Ages: Ages 16+
  • Hour Glass Duration: 5 hours
  • Info More Info:
  • Fully guided
  • Must be up for an active day of paddling
  • Previous rafting experience required
  • Runs Friday, Saturday, and Monday
  • Small rafts of 1-3 guests plus guide

Maryland Whitewater Rafting on the Upper Yough

What makes the Upper Yough so special? With its drop of up to 116 feet per mile, the Upper Yough is one of the steepest commercially rafted rivers in the country!

Your Maryland whitewater rafting adventure begins when you enjoy the scenery in the deceptively calm entrance pool. You’ll soon find the river’s main attraction…whitewater, and plenty of it! Even the Class III rapids we warm up on will get your attention. Soon, you will be headed into the “heart” of the Upper Yough.

Get ready to go careening through the tightest of slots in boulder piles like “Split Decision” and the “Fat Man’s Squeeze.” The “heart” of the Upper Yough is something very special…virtually one continuous Class V rapid! There’s simply nothing else like it anywhere!

To get through this stretch, you must skillfully paddle over 20 Class IV and V rapids, including such famous monsters as “Bastard,” “Meatcleaver,” and “Cheeseburger Falls.”

In the majestic Upper Yough gorge, the river commands your attention and precise cooperation is needed to skillfully navigate the many blind chutes and ledge drops.

This 11-mile trip is one of the world’s finest. If you’ve rafted before and want to climb to the top of the rafting ladder, this trip is an absolute must. Space is limited so “don’t miss the boat!”

River Safety With Upper Yough Expeditions

Running a river as challenging as the Upper Yough requires the highest standards of professionalism in both the company you choose and the guides that the company employs. Upper Yough Expeditions pioneered commercial rafting on the Upper Yough and has been running the river commercially for over 35 years. Our safety record is unsurpassed.

Our rafts are top-shelf…self-bailing rafts with foot cups and safety straps. Type V Coast Guard-approved PFDs and helmets are provided for every trip. Because of the intense and highly technical nature of the river, each raft will have a guide and a maximum of three guests. Every trip is accompanied by a safety kayak.

Our guides are seasoned professionals who specialize in Class V river descents. Each is an expert in navigating paddle rafts in steep, technical whitewater. They have come to the Upper Yough because they feel that this unique river is the perfect expression of their need to be at the top of their profession. Each of our guides has an intimate knowledge of the river and respects it for both its beauty and its dangers.

As professionals, we take pride in minimizing risks and giving you the most exciting trip possible. We have an unblemished safety record and that is directly attributable to the caliber of the boatmen we employ. Each guide carries valid Advanced First Aid and CPR certifications. Most have received training from the ACA in Swiftwater Rescue.

  • Chevron down How To Prepare

Dress to get wet! Wear whatever you are comfortable getting wet in and whatever is suitable for the weather of the day. In the spring when temps are cool, we have wetsuits available to rent ($10, cash only). You should plan to wear a bathing suit or synthetic layer under the wetsuit. It comes with a heavy, coated nylon paddle jacket to keep your core warm.

For spring and summer, you want to avoid wearing any cotton for your rafting adventure. It is best to stick to all synthetic/sport materials, such as UnderArmor. Everyone will need to have shoes that you can wear on the river. Old sneakers, sport sandals, or well-fitting water shoes are your best option. Sunscreen is recommended on sunny days. Don’t forget dry clothes and a towel for after the trip.

  • Chevron down Trip Requirements

Due to the extreme and continuous nature of the rapids, this trip demands a total team effort and is not recommended for the light-hearted. Participants who wish to challenge the Upper Yough should expect to paddle hard and therefore, should be in good physical shape. Inactive, out-of-shape people who cannot pull their weight will not be permitted to raft the Upper Yough.

No one under the influence of alcohol or abusing drugs will be permitted to raft the Upper Yough. You must be 16 years of age or older and must be accompanied by an adult if under 18 years of age. Previous rafting experience is required.  This is a half-day trip, and we provide all needed equipment with a guide and wetsuits are available to rent.

  • Chevron down Safety First

Safety is the most important aspect of rafting with an experienced outfitter. As pioneers of commercial rafting on the Upper Yough, we strive to offer you the safest, most exciting trip possible. However, a good whitewater river has inherent dangers. To make people aware of this, we require all rafters to sign a liability release form before each trip. A copy of this release is available upon request.

The Upper Yough is a very remote river and as such, does not allow easy access by emergency personnel. Be aware that you will be in a remote wilderness location and access to medical help will not necessarily be available. As with any whitewater trip, we reserve the right to switch the crafts we are using and the rivers we are rafting, according to the water levels.

  • Chevron down What To Expect

Upper Yough trips have a meeting time of 11 a.m. (April, May, September, and October) or 12 p.m. (June, July, and August). There is no need to arrive early. It is recommended that you fuel up with a hearty breakfast or early lunch before your trip as there will be no food stops on the river run. Most trips are provided with amazing pepperoni rolls (a local tradition) and drinks after the trip. Occasionally, the café is closed, and we are stuck with only drinks.

Upper Yough Expeditions does not take photos of the trips, but there is usually a freelance photographer who does, and they are generally available in the park after trips to show and sell photos. Tipping your guide is customary and appreciated if you feel they showed you a quality and memorable day on the river. Cash is appreciated, but tips can be tacked onto your bill.

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Epic adventure awaits. Who's In?

White Water Adventures

  • Limited Availability-Secure Your Spot Today!

Upper Yough Guided Tour – Adrenaline High Experience

Quick Details

  • Tags Class of Rapids: Class III-V
  • Hour Glass Duration: 5.5 hours
  • User Minimum Age: 16+
  • Map Marker Distance: 11 miles
  • Ticket Trip includes: Your whitewater rafting trip includes rafts (3 guests + guide), paddles, life jackets, helmets, snack lunch, transportation to river put in area, return transportation to Ohiopyle and professional guides in the rafts.
  • Users Trip is perfect for: Athletic persons ready to challenge themselves and the rapids.
  • Tag Group Size: Mix of other groups

Face off against the rapids on Western Maryland’s

Upper yough.

Embark on an adrenaline-pumping whitewater escapade like no other as you venture into the heart of the Upper Youghiogheny River! Brace yourself for an exhilarating 10-mile journey through a wilderness canyon, where the river plunges an astonishing 116 feet per mile, unleashing relentless Class IV-V rapids. Navigate through the untamed beauty of hemlock forests, surrounded by vibrant wildlife, as you conquer the tight, technical passages, blind chutes, and epic ledge drops.

This isn’t your average river ride—it’s a daring challenge for those who crave the ultimate excitement! Join our guided rafting expedition led by certified experts, equipped with cutting-edge self-bailing rafts and all the essential safety gear. The Upper Yough is a wild ride, available only on scheduled dam release dates from April to October. Don’t miss out on the thrill of a lifetime—reserve your spot now for an adventure that will leave you breathless!

New for 2024 “Fill a Raft Pricing”

Gather your crew to to save! For each raft you fill (3 persons per raft) your price per person drops! So the larger the group the lower the cost to you. *Individual rafters and smaller groups are still welcome as space permits.

  • Chevron down This river is recommended for:

Extreme adventure enthusiasts! If you participate in other adventure sports and are in good physical condition, consider this experience.

  • Chevron down The Upper Yough is Class:

This section is Class IV-V.

Class IV: Long, difficult rapids in turbulent water, often requires complex maneuvering, constricted passages and obstacles

Class V: Extremely difficult, long and very violent rapids, large drops with unpredictable rapids, many obstacles. Class V is the maximum for commercial rafting outfitters.

  • Chevron down What months does it run?

April- October

April : last 3 Saturdays

May : the first 2 Mondays, the first 3 Fridays, the first Saturday. Memorial Day Weekend even years Friday and Saturday and odd years Sunday and Monday

June : All Mondays and Fridays and the last 2 Saturdays

July-August : All Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays

September : All Mondays and Fridays, Tuesday – Thursday the 2nd week,  and the first 2 Saturdays

October : The first 2 Mondays and Fridays and the first Saturday

  • Chevron down How long is the trip?

The Upper Yough Trip runs for 9.5 miles. Water time is usually about 3.5 hours plus transportation time. Total required 5.5 to 6 hours.

  • Chevron down Is lunch provided?

Yes , a snack lunch is provided.

  • Chevron down Will there be a guide in my boat?

Yes, on the Upper Yough it is required that a guide be in every single raft. The optimal set up is 3 guests plus the guide.

  • Chevron down Will weather affect my trip?

No. All activities run regardless of the weather conditions unless we deem conditions to be unsafe. River activities still go in case of thunderstorms as well. We monitor river conditions constantly. We reserve the right to reschedule any trip to an alternate section of the river or to a different river if conditions warrant. We may also change the length of the trip, raft size or number of guests per raft. If we must cancel a trip due to conditions, a full refund will be given.

  • Chevron down Taxes and Fees

5% MD amusement tax

6% convenience booking fee for trip booked online

  • Chevron down Cancellation Policy

Please note that when you make a reservation, we forfeit the right to sell your spaces to others. Since we do not overbook our trips and trip size is limited we strictly enforce our cancellation policy. You may receive a 90% refund if you cancel at least 14 days prior to the trip; a 50% refund if you cancel 7-14 days in advance. Reservations made less than 7 days prior to the trip date are non-refundable, once payment is received.

We regret that we cannot make exceptions for personal emergencies, late arrivals or inclement weather .

  • Chevron down Trip Protection

Add trip protection for 10% extra on your rafting trip. Cancel up to 48 hours before with a full refund, minus the trip protection and booking fee. NOTE: TRIP PROTECTION CANNOT BE ADDED AFTER CHECKOUT. It doesn’t cover cancellations within 48 hours, late arrivals, no shows, or inclement weather.

  • Chevron down Late Arrivals and No Shows

We ask all guests to arrive promptly at the scheduled trip meeting time listed on your confirmation. It is your responsibility to arrive on time and we reserve the right to leave at our scheduled departure time. There will be no refunds given for guests that are more than 30 minutes late or that do not arrive for their scheduled trip.

  • Chevron down Important Points to Consider

White water rafting is a physically demanding activity; including some dangers and inherent risks. Special safety equipment must be worn in order to participate. The equipment does not fit all body shapes and sizes. Please consider all aspects of your physical condition before making reservations. We can assume no responsibility for personal safety or loss of personal property. We will ask you to sign a liability release/assumption of risk form before you make the trip. All minors must have permission from a parent or legal guardian written on our standard release form. You travel at your own risk. No drugs or alcohol are permitted. We reserve the right to refuse service (with no refund) to anyone we deem unfit to participate in white water rafting. We are not responsible for any lost or stolen items while visiting White Water Adventurers, Inc.

  • Chevron down Will you take children under the age of 16?

Children under 16 years of age are not permitted on this section. We do monitor waivers prior to guest arrival. We reserve the right to refuse service with no refund if we discover a participant under minimum age. Please don’t disappoint your child by scheduling them for an inappropriate section.

River & Trail

  • Book Online
  • Call: 301-834-9950

Your Harpers Ferry tubing and rafting fun starts here!

You are in the right place to “Go Play” in Harpers Ferry! Enjoy 3 different Harpers Ferry river tubing trips on the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers , from mellow float trips to white water tubing. Harpers Ferry white water rafting paddles on these 2 historic rivers and through 3 states – Maryland, Virginia,  and West Virginia. Try canoeing and kayaking with rentals or specialty tours on both the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers – all ages love to spend a day or more enjoying the rivers and trails here.  Airsoft runs through the offseason and all winter long.

Kayaking & Canoeing

Camping & cabins, harpers ferry wv is dc's favorite adventure playground.

Harpers Ferry is adventure central for the Washington DC metro area. This historic area, only an hour from the DC/ Baltimore beltway, is located at the confluence of the beautiful Shenandoah and Potomac rivers. 

Try white water rafting , river tubing , biking & camping along the C&O Canal Towpath, and hiking the Maryland Heights Trail . Combine with history and heritage with outdoor adventures for unlimited fun with friends and family. 


Group of Tubers on mellow Shenandoah - River and Trail Outfitters

shenandoah river mellow tubing

Float the easy going lower Shenandoah River for the perfect tubing adventure all summer long! Grab your friends and family.

Happy tuber on whitewater near Harpers Ferry - River & Trail Outfitters

harpers ferry whitewater tubing

Rafters going down rapids on Shenandoah - River & Trail Outfitters

harpers ferry rafting

Go white water rafting on the beautiful Shenandoah River and the Potomac River. Raft through 3 states, the rivers meet at Harpers Ferry.

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Extreme Whitewater

These trips are the next level for the rafter who has really done it all and wants to go to that next level. Not your typical whitewater trip as we do these trips on rivers that don't get rafted all the time. 

IMPORTANT: These Extreme trips requires that you complete the Upper Yough Trip First.

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Float trips are the perfect way for young kids, older adults or anyone ready to enjoy a scenic ride down a mellow section of river.

white water rafting camping trips maryland

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group of rafters paddling down white water section of the Shenandoah river

Harpers Ferry White Water Rafting

  • Class I-III
  • The Harpers Ferry white water rafting trip is suitable for individuals aged 6-8 years (50 lbs) and older.
  • Rafts typically hold 4-6 guests, along with a guide. However, the number of participants in each raft may vary depending on water levels and the size of the group.
  • This white water rafting excursion spans 5-7 miles and offers a delightful experience for paddlers of all levels. It features class I-III (I-II+) white water rapids and stunning scenery.
  • We kindly request that all guests arrive one hour before the scheduled departure time for your trip.
  • River: Shenandoah and/or Potomac River
  • Location: Harpers Ferry, WV near Washington, DC
  • Class: I-III (sometimes I-II+)
  • Dates: Daily, March through November
  • Duration: 2-3 hours on the river 
  • This is a guided trip with one of our trained, experienced guides

Spend a Full Day with us

Buy an adventure day pass.

The River Riders Adventure Pass gives you access to a full day of activities! You get your choice of one guided activity and one self-guided activity.

  • Choose your guided activity from rafting, river tubing, or ziplining first.
  • Purchase your ticket based upon your guided activity choice (and whether you want a weekday or weekend ticket).
  • In the afternoon participate in up to 2 hours on The Adventure Park or The Potomac Play Pass.
  • Now that’s a day of adventure the whole family can enjoy!


Experience the thrill of Harpers Ferry white water rafting and create lasting memories while reconnecting with what matters most.

Summer and Fall white water trips are mild and family-friendly due to lower water levels. Spring rafting trips offer an exciting and heart-pounding experience. The Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers are great options for beginner to intermediate paddlers. This popular white water rafting trip takes place near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, where Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia meet. The 5-7 mile river excursion offers class I-III (I-II+ in lower water) white water rapids and stunning scenery for beginner to intermediate paddlers.

River Riders has been consistently ranked as the top outdoor activity in Harpers Ferry on TripAdvisor for the past decade. We have the necessary expertise, guides, and equipment to fulfill all of your outdoor adventure requirements. Join us for fun and excitement, conveniently located just an hour away from both Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD.

AdditionaL Info

Related activities.

white water rafting camping trips maryland

Flatwater Kayak Rentals

Kayak Harpers Ferry and explore the Potomac River at your own pace with our well-maintained fleet of kayak rentals, available for rent through the Potomac Play Pass. The Potomac Play Pass ensures a seamless experience and a worry-free kayaking adventure.

white water rafting camping trips maryland

White Water Tubing on the Potomac River

Our most thrilling activity! If you are seeking an experience filled with excitement, adventure, and the option to do it alone, our white water tubing trip may be the perfect option for you! 

  • 2-3.5 Hours

white water rafting camping trips maryland

Flat Water Tubing on the Shenandoah River

A crowd favorite, Flat Water Tubing is a unique and relaxing way to explore the river at your own pace. The Sunday drive of all river trips, just go wherever your tube takes you.

  • 1.5-2.5 Hours


Book lodging, save with passes.

River Riders, Inc. 408 Alstadts Hill Rd. Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers

Call or text: 304-535-2663

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MD Recommendations

Top Destinations for Whitewater Rafting in Maryland

MD Recommendations

1. Adventure Sports Center International

  • Address: 250 Adventure Sports Way, McHenry, MD, 21541
  • Contact info: 301-387-3250 | 877-300-2724
  • Websites: Adventure Sports Center |  Wisp Resort  

2. River & Trail Outfitters


  • Address: 604 Valley Rd, Knoxville, MD, 21758
  • Contact number: 301-834-9950
  • Website: River Trail  

3. Precision Rafting

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  • Address: 715 Morris Ave, Friendsville, MD 21531
  • Contact number: 800-477-3723
  • Website: Precision Rafting  

4. Potomac Paddlesports

  • Address: 9812 Falls Rd Potomac ,  MD 20854
  • Contact Number: 301-881-2628
  • Website: Potomac Paddlesports

5. Gunpowder Falls State Park, Hereford Area


  • Address: 17910 York Rd, Parkton, MD, 21120
  • Contact Number: 410-592-2897
  • Website: Gunpowder Falls State 

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White Water Rafting

Best white water rafting in the mid-atlantic.

Experience the ultimate white water rafting adventure with Wilderness Voyageurs! With exhilarating and family-friendly rafting trips in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia, you can find our rafts on the best rivers in the region. From scenic rafting in Ohiopyle to thrilling excursions down the Cheat Canyon rapids, our trips cater to all experience levels, with children as young as five welcome to join in on the fun. Whether you crave heart-pounding rapids or prefer a leisurely family outing, our dedicated team ensures your experience is extraordinary. See you on the river for an unforgettable adventure!

Why Try White Water Rafting With Wilderness Voyageurs?

  • We are the first & most experienced white water rafting outfitter on the East Coast. With over 55 years in business learning every detail of the rivers, we have fine tuned the rafting experiences we offer from put-in to take-out.
  • We offer “guide escorted” rafting tour options in Ohiopyle and fully guided. You can captain your own raft knowing that you have expert guides escorting you in kayaks and ready to help at any moment. Perfect for individuals wanting to grow their skills navigating the river!
  • White water rafting is a memorable family-friendly activity. We offer easy rafting options that are great for kids as young as five.
  • We run trips on the best rivers in the Mid-Atlantic states. Whether you’re looking for rafting in Pennsylvani a,  Maryland or West Virginia , we can serve you there!
  • Our expert guides, easy transportation, stunning river views, and many rafting trip options make these adventures fun and exciting for all ages and experience levels.

Our White Water Rafting Trips

Check out all of our white water rafting trips that cover all ages and experience levels here! From exciting rafting in Ohiopyle to gentle and scenic floats with your family and high adrenaline Class 5 runs, we have a trip perfect for every group!

white water rafting camping trips maryland

Lower Yough Rafting

Most popular.

Level: Moderate Rapids: Class 2, 3+ Age Limit: 12 Trip Length: 3-5 hours Good for: older children, adults, adventure

Our most popular adventure, the Lower Yough Rafting Trip includes Class 2 and 3+ white water rapids that offer fun and excitement for enthusiastic first-timers, older kids (age 12 and up) and experienced adventurers. The Lower Yough is the heart of white water rafting fun for thousands of people every year!

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Middle Yough Family Rafting in Ohiopyle

Family friendly.

Level: Easy Rapids: Class 1, 2 Age Limit: 5 Trip Length: 3-5 hours Good for: younger children, families, leisurely floats

The Middle Yough Rafting Trip has no big rapids to navigate, making it the perfect self-guided trip for beginners and families. While this trip is gentle enough for small kids, the easy Class 1-2 ripples and splashy water keep the trip exciting and fun!

rafts on upper yough heinzerling rapid

Upper Yough Rafting in Maryland

Level: Challenging Rapids: Class 3, 4, 5 Age Limit: 16 Trip Length: 4-5 hours Good for: adults, rafting enthusiasts, high adventure seekers

This blood-pumping, adrenaline-boosting Upper Yough white water rafting trip is full of class 4-5 whitewater – the most challenging rapids commercially run in the states. This trip is perfect for anyone in Pittsburgh, Washington DC, Cleveland and Columbus looking for some exciting class 4+ rapids.

Middle Yough Pedal and Paddle

Middle Yough Pedal and Paddle

Bike & raft trip.

Level: Easy Rapids:  Class 1, 2 Age Limit: 8 Trip Length: 5-8 hours Good for: families, full-day adventures

Boating and biking unite for one fantastic adventure in Ohiopyle ! Start your day biking through Ohiopyle State Park’s Great Allegheny Passage and then transition to the water for a gentle scenic float back to Ohiopyle. Great for families that want a full-day adventure!

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Cheat Canyon River Rafting in West Virginia

Level: Difficult Rapids: Class 3, 4 Age Limit: 16 Trip Length: 4-5 hours Good for: adults, rafting enthusiasts, high adventure

The best of West Virginia white water rafting, our Cheat River Rafting Trip winds through a remote canyon with a whopping 40+ rapids. This trip is perfect for groups with previous rafting experience. This is a free-flowing river with varied water levels, so it only runs in the spring. Only 3 hours from DC and 1.5 hours from Pittsburgh!

Cheat River Narrows Family

Cheat Narrows Family Rafting

Level: Easy Rapids: Class 1, 2 Age Limit: 8 Trip Length: 3-5 hours Good for: younger children, families

This Cheat River rafting trip is a perfect introduction to the world of white water rafting. With gentle class 1-2 water, no big rapids, and opportunities for swim breaks, it’s perfect for families who want a fun and relaxing day on the river.

Savage River Maryland Action

Savage River Rafting in Maryland

Level: Challenging Rapids: Class 3, 4 Age Limit: 16 Trip Length: 3-5 hours Good for: adults, rafting enthusiasts, high adventure

The Savage River is some of the most exciting Maryland white water rafting you can find. This river offers continuous class 3-4 rapids for non-stop adventure. Less technical than other advanced rivers, this trip is excellent for groups that have some previous rafting experience and are ready to test out more significant rapids. The Savage is also the site of the World Cup Whitewater Slalom events in the 1990s.

Stonycreek Canyon Rafting

Stonycreek River Rafting in Pennsylvania

Level: Moderate Rapids: Class 2, 3 Age Limit: 12 Trip Length: 3-5 hours Good for: older children, adults, adventure

A perfect balance of exciting and beginner friendly, our Stonycreek white water rafting trip is packed with class 3 white water rapids. From self-guided duckie trips to fully-guided rafting excursions, there are multiple ways to take on this exciting creek just an hour outside of Ohiopyle !

White Water Rafting Near Me

With white water rafting near Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and other major cities, you can find thrilling and fun river adventures near you!

Pennsylvania White Water Rafting

Outpost for Rafting in Pennsylvania: Ohiopyle, PA

White water rafting in Pennsylvania offers a diverse experience with stunning views and the opportunity to combine your trips with biking activities, swimming and lounging by the shore. White water rafting the Youghiogheny River is excellent for young families to seasoned pros, depending on the section of the river you choose. These Youghiogheny river trips are only an hour from Pittsburgh, making it the ideal Pittsburgh rafting day trip!

West Virginia White Water Rafting

Outpost for Rafting in West Virginia: Albright, WV

We offer two exhilarating white water rafting trips in West Virginia on the Cheat River – A.K.A. The Grand Canyon of the East. These two Cheat River rafting trips fall on opposite ends of the spectrum, from the family-friendly Cheat Narrows relaxing float to a rip-roaring advanced white water adventure on the Cheat Canyon Rafting Trip. This white water rafting is an easy 2-hour drive from Pittsburgh or 3.5 hours from Washington, DC, for an easy weekend trip.

Maryland White Water Rafting

Outpost for Rafting in Maryland: Friendsville, MD

Our white water rafting trips near Maryland are packed with adventure, perfect for an adrenaline-pumping excursion rafting near Ohiopyle. Our Maryland raft trips include an advanced section navigating the rapids of the Upper Youghiogheny River, known as the best white water rafting in Maryland ! You can also whip your way down the Savage River on an advanced rafting trip on the Savage River, which became famous for holding the U.S. Olympic Trials and was the site of the 1989 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships.

White Water Rafting FAQ

From info on white water rafting the Youghiogheny River to understanding the different rafting trip options, we want you to be informed and prepared to hit the water! Here are some frequently asked questions about our white water rafting trips.

What is the best family-friendly white water rafting in Pennsylvania?

There are several family-friendly options for rafting near Pittsburgh, PA, in Ohiopyle ! The Middle Yough rafting trip (minimum age of 5 years old) is one of our favorite recommendations for kid-friendly rafting fun. You can even make a full day of it with our Middle Yough pedal and paddle trip (minimum age of 8 years old)! For families with kids age 12 and up, the Lower Yough is a fantastic half day trip.

What is the difference between self-guided raft trips, guide-escorted raft trips and fully-guided raft trips?

We offer three different types of raft trips:

  • Self-guided raft trips: Rent a kayak, canoe or raft to embark on a journey down the river without a guide! These are only available on milder sections of the rivers.
  • Fully-guided trips: An expert guide is in the boat with you, navigating the river and calling the shots. This is the only way we run our advanced river trips.
  • Guide-escorted raft trips: A middle ground between the first two types of trips, this option includes expert guides taking on the river with you by kayak, but you are the captain of your own boat. You navigate the river, but a guide will be nearby every step of the way. This is a unique way to grow your skills on our moderate Lower Yough raft trip!

How much experience do you need for advanced white water rafting trips?

We recommend having some previous rafting experience before hopping on one of our advanced rafting trips on the Cheat River, Savage River and Upper Yough River. That said, with our expert guides, even rafting novices can have an amazing time taking on the exciting class 3, 4 and 5 rapids of these thrilling rivers!

Do you offer kayak and raft rentals to raft the Youghiogheny River?

Yes – we offer rentals for self-guided trips down the Youghiogheny River. Middle Yough raft and ducky rentals provide an easy, gentle self-guided river experience perfect for families and relaxing trips. The Lower Yough raft, shredder and ducky rentals are only recommended for those familiar with the rapids on this river and with previous river experience.

What is the Rafting Adventurer’s Club?

The Adventurers Club is for experienced rafters who prefer the river less taken and are waiting for that coveted high water. When rain storms or unscheduled dam releases boost our river levels enough to raft, you’ll be the first to know about it! You can sign up for impromptu rafting trips that jump on the unique opportunity to run an off-season white water extravaganza.

These trips are only for people with previous class 3-4 rafting experience who know what an advanced river feels like. Interested in joining our Rafting Adventurer’s Club? Read more and sign up here!

Explore all of our adventures.

Explore all of our adventures.

Whether you want a relaxing day fishing on the river or a thrill ride down whitewater rapids. We've got what you're looking for.

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white water rafting camping trips maryland

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Fall Fish, Raft & Camp

Snake River

About snake river rafting.

  • Raft in Hells Canyon, North America’s deepest river canyon (yes, even deeper than the Grand Canyon)!
  • Snake River Rafting surrounding mountain tops reach 9,393 ft (Seven Devils Mountain) and fall nearly 8,000 ft to the river positioned at ~1,400 ft.
  • We offer several Snake River rafting specialty trips: Women’s Wellness & Rafting, Flying Fish Restaurant Partnership Trip and Fishing & Hunting rafting trips
  • Raft the Wild & Scenic section of the world renowned river.
  • Side hikes including Suicide Point in the Seven Devils Mountains.
  • Excellent Snake River fishing opportunities for bass, trout, sturgeon, and steelhead.
  • Diverse wildlife – bighorn sheep, chukar flocks and bald eagles.

The Wild and Scenic Snake River is a bucket list river for whitewater rafters and outdoor enthusiasts. As the deepest river canyon in North America (deeper than the Grand Canyon) Hells Canyon features incredible views with a 8,000ft drop from surrounding mountain tops to the river. This world renowned river offers unforgettable multi-day rafting and camping expeditions that seamlessly blend tranquil stretches with thrilling Class III rapids.

As the largest and longest river in the Pacific Northwest, the Snake River meanders through breathtaking landscapes, boasting an impressive 112 miles of National Wild and Scenic River designation. Wild and Scenic Rivers like the Snake River are meticulously preserved and cherished for their unobstructed flow, pristine water quality, and exceptional scenic, recreational, and ecological values, including vibrant aquatic habitats and diverse wildlife. The Snake River joined this revered group through its designation in 1975.

The Snake River Oregon stands tall as a premier destination for whitewater rafting and outdoor exploration. Our rafting trips launch from our outpost in Eastern Oregon, run along the Oregon, Idaho border and offer a thrilling variety of rapids suitable for all experience levels.

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Let's Go Snake River Rafting

4 day river rafting & camping trip.

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  • Location: Halfway, OR / Eastern Oregon
  • Duration: 4 Days, 3 Nights
  • Level: Class III, Intermediate,

4 Day Women's Wellness Retreat

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  • Min Age: 14+ years

4 Day Fishing & Hunting Trip

white water rafting camping trips maryland

  • Min Age: 14

Flying Fish Company Specialty Trip

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WHY GO Snake River Rafting

Tributary’s Snake River white water rafting trips feature rafting in Hells Canyon, North America’s deepest river canyon where mountain tops reach 9,393 ft (Seven Devils Mountain) and fall nearly 8,000 ft to the river positioned at ~1,400 ft. The river is world renowned for its excellent fishing, home to bass, trout, sturgeon, and steelhead. In addition to its diverse fish population the Snake River basin boasts an array of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, bald eagles, whooping cranes, and even the occasional grizzly bear.

There are options throughout the trip to explore side hikes  including Suicide Point in the Seven Devils Mountains and view ancient petroglyphs right from the river.

Tributary offers several different trips on the Snake River including the 4 Day Women’s Wellness Retreat, 4 Day Wilderness Raft trip and a 4 Day Fishing & Hunting trip. Snake River rafting trips include side hikes, swimming, fishing, but also the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the sun setting and rising each day, making it an amazing vacation.

The Hells Canyon multi day rafting trips are perfect for families ages 7+ while the Women’s Wellness Snake River multi day rafting trips are geared for ages 14+ (girls trip anyone?!). Snake river fishing is a super popular activity during any trip and those wanting to make that a focus of their rafting adventure will want to check out our Fishing & Hunting trips.

Looking for other whitewater rafting trip options? Check out Owyhee River rafting located in Eastern Oregon south of the Snake River.

We can also extend our wilderness and fishing trips from a 4 day trip to a 6 day vacation – just ask!

History & Wildlife

Snake River White Water Rafting

Hells Canyon, which the Snake River flows through, is the deepest river gorge in North America. It was formed over millions of years ago through a combination of geological processes, including volcanic activity, tectonic plate movements, and erosion.

The Snake River itself was named by the Shoshone tribe, who lived in the area. They called the river “Yin-suti-pa,” which means “coiled serpent” in reference to its winding course. Over time, early European-American settlers began referring to it as the “Snake River,” likely because of this description.

There are a few theories about how the naming of Hells Canyon came about. One of the more common explanations is that the name reflects the harsh, inaccessible nature of the canyon. Early travelers and settlers likely found the steep, rocky terrain and extreme temperature variations reminiscent of a ‘hellish’ landscape.

The Snake River Canyon unveils a remarkable ecological tapestry. It boasts a notable concentration of rare and endemic plant species, like Macfarlane’s four-o’clock, bartonberry, prickly pear, and vibrant wildflowers, setting it apart in the Pacific Northwest and western North America.

Within this area diverse wildlife thrives in various habitats creating one of the nation’s most diverse ecosystems. Elevation fluctuations, ranging from 1,500 feet along the Snake River and to 9,393 feet in Idaho’s Seven Devils Mountains, allow distinct plant communities to flourish side by side. These habitats, in turn, provide homes for a variety of wildlife families, totaling around 350 species that call this area home throughout the year.

The Snake River’s renown extends to its diverse fish population. A distinguished sport fishery, it is celebrated for sturgeon, salmon, steelhead, rainbow trout, and walleye. Of special note is Hells Canyon’s role as a sanctuary for immense white sturgeon, some reaching over 1,000 pounds.

The richness of the canyon’s biodiversity is not limited to flora and fish. A captivating array of wildlife flourishes here, including peregrine falcons, bald eagles, big horn sheep, mountain goats, chukar flocks, black bears, and mountain lions. This vibrant mix of species adds to the allure of the canyon, establishing it as a truly exceptional and multifaceted natural gem.

QUESTIONS ABOUT Snake River Rafting

Where should I stay in Halfway Oregon the night before my trip starts?

The Pine Valley Lodge: We recommend our guests stay here for your night before trip lodging. After our meet & greet dinner enjoy an evening at the Pine Valley Lodge. Breakfast the following morning is included at this location.

Halfway Motel & RV Park: Another great place to stay in Halfway.

What Class rapids are on the Snake River?

The rapids on the Snake River are rated Class II-III during normal flows. Some springs will see higher flows up to Class IV when snowpack levels and runoff are above normal.

Where is the Snake River located?

The Snake River flows through several states in the United States, including Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. It journeys through diverse landscapes, from rugged canyons to expansive valleys. This portion of the Snake River holds stories from the Oregon Trail, the legendary Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the deep-rooted histories of the Nez Perce and Shoshone Native American tribes. Inhabitants have cherished and called this region home for over 11,000 years, leaving behind a tapestry of cultures and legacies that enrich the river’s journey.

Where does the Snake River start and finish?

The Snake River originates in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and carves its way through the picturesque landscapes of the Rocky Mountains before eventually merging with the Columbia River in Washington state where it eventually flows into the Pacific Ocean. It spans over 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers), making it one of the longest rivers in the United States.

What to do on the Snake River?

The Snake River invites a variety of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. From whitewater rafting and kayaking to serene fishing excursions, there’s something for everyone. You can also explore its stunning surroundings by hiking its scenic trails or simply relaxing by its tranquil waters.

How long is the typical Snake River rafting trip?

A typical Snake River rafting journey covers several days, offering an immersive experience of nature’s wonders. Our rafting trips often span 4-days and 3-nights, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the river’s beauty and excitement. Ask us about making the trip a 6 day vacation!

What makes the Snake River unique?

The Snake River is renowned for its rich history, diverse ecosystems, and captivating landscapes. It has carved deep canyons, nurtured abundant wildlife, and is a world renowned Wild & Scenic River.


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Acknowledging ancestral lands.

As we journey down the Snake River, we’ll pass through lands rich in history and culture. These territories belong to the Nimiipuu (Nez Perce), The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation: Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla, as well as the Palouse Tribes represented by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Recognizing these communities is a way of honoring their legacy, their lives, and their descendants.

Acknowledging the Indigenous communities whose lands we visit is a crucial step in understanding our shared history and the ongoing challenges faced by these populations today. For more insight, visit our Territory Acknowledgement page. We encourage you to learn about the people whose land we’re privileged to explore by following the links above.

Our Territory Acknowledgement is an evolving project. If you find missing information or acknowledgments, please share it with us. Together, we can ensure accuracy, inclusivity, and respect. Thank you.

Get In Touch

Tributary whitewater, incredible river experiences.

We launch trips on many different rivers in California, Oregon and Idaho. For questions give our main office a call – we would love to talk with you about our trips and rivers.

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the Rivers we run

Our vision is to create a sustainable and equitable reality where our rivers are enjoyed and protected, a place where families and friends can be inspired and challenged.

Tributary Whitewater Tours has been running rivers since we were first founded in 1978. Since we opened 40+ years ago we have expanded to include Adventure Connection, Mariah Wilderness Expeditions, High Desert River Outfitters, Canyon Outfitters and are the parent company of Raft California and Raft Oregon. While some things have changed over the years, Tributary remains a family-run small business with the same passion for the river and the mission of leading others to experience it.

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Tributary Whitewater Tours is a permitted outfitter under the National Forest Service, the CA Dept. of Parks & Recreation, Nevada County, El Dorado County and Bureau of Land Management. Tributary Whitewater Tours is an Equal Opportunity Service Provider.

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Conquer the Rapids: Whitewater Rafting Adventures in West Virginia

Home     Blog     Conquer the Rapids: Whitewater Rafting Adventures in West Virginia

Are you ready to embark on the ultimate whitewater rafting adventure? Look no further than Harpers Ferry Adventure Center, your premier destination for adrenaline-pumping thrills on the wild rivers of West Virginia. Nestled amidst the stunning scenery of the Shenandoah Valley and just a stone’s throw away from Harpers Ferry National Historical Park , our center offers an unrivaled opportunity to experience the rush of conquering rapids while surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty.

The 7 Best Things About Whitewater Rafting in West Virginia

1. spectacular scenery.

West Virginia’s rivers wind through some of the most stunning landscapes in the eastern United States. As you navigate the rapids, you’ll be surrounded by lush forests, towering cliffs, and breathtaking waterfalls. The scenery alone is worth the trip, offering a perfect backdrop for an unforgettable adventure.

2. The Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers

Harpers Ferry, WV, is where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers converge, providing an exceptional setting for whitewater rafting. These rivers offer a mix of gentle waves and thrilling rapids, catering to both beginners and experienced rafters. The unique confluence of these rivers adds an extra element of excitement and beauty to your rafting adventure.

3. Variety of Rapids

The Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers boast Class I-III rapids, making them ideal for families, novices, and those looking for a moderate thrill. These rapids provide an exciting yet manageable challenge, perfect for both beginners and more experienced rafters who enjoy a fun, scenic ride through the stunning landscapes of Harpers Ferry.

4. Historical Significance

Rafting in Harpers Ferry isn’t just about the thrill of the ride; it’s also a journey through American history. Harpers Ferry is a historic town known for its pivotal role in the Civil War and John Brown’s raid. As you paddle through the rapids, you’ll be surrounded by landmarks and landscapes steeped in history, adding a unique cultural dimension to your adventure.

5. Seasonal Excitement

The rafting season in Harpers Ferry brings different experiences. Spring and early summer, with higher water levels from melting snow and rainfall, offer more challenging rapids. Late summer and fall provide a more relaxed rafting experience with lower water levels and stunning fall foliage.

6. Experienced Guides

Harpers Ferry Adventure Center employs experienced and knowledgeable guides who ensure your safety while enhancing your adventure. These guides know the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers intimately, providing expert navigation through the rapids and sharing fascinating information about the area’s history, geology, and wildlife.

7. Convenient Location

Harpers Ferry is conveniently located within a short drive from major cities like Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, MD. This accessibility makes it easy for adventurers from the metropolitan area to escape to the wild beauty of West Virginia for a day or weekend of rafting.

Plan Your Whitewater Adventure Today

Ready to take on the rapids? Plan your whitewater rafting adventure at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center today. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline-fueled excursion with friends or a family-friendly outing surrounded by nature’s beauty, we have the perfect trip for you. Book your adventure now and get ready to experience the thrill of whitewater rafting in West Virginia like never before.

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Maryland White Water Rafting

River details, guides, rentals,....

Presented below are Tour Companies that offer guided white water rafting & kayaking trips and/or rent equipment in Maryland. Click on any name for more detailed information.

Maryland Rafting Guides & Outfitters

Search maryland rafting guides & outfitters, 28 tour result s, more info adventures in good company.

  • 5913 Brackenridge Ave, Baltimore
  • 877-439-4042

More Info American Whitewater

  • 204 B Philadelphia Ave, Takoma Park
  • 866-262-8429

More Info Amphibious Horizons

  • 600 Quiet Waters Park Road, Annapolis
  • 410-267-8742

More Info Atlantic Kayak Company

  • 1201 North Royal Street, Alexandria
  • 800-297-0066

More Info Official Website B & B Yacht Charters

  • 206 Big Holly Ct , Stevensville
  • 410-643-1529

More Info Official Website Bahia Marina

  • 2107 Herring Way , Ocean City
  • 410-289-7438

More Info Bay Paddlers

  • 4055 Gordon Stinnett Ave, Chesapeake Beach
  • 410-286-3663

More Info Blu Gnu Kayak Company

  • 703-751-6662

More Info Broken Eagle Adventures

  • White Marsh
  • 410-529-6421

More Info Butts Tubes

  • 10985 Harpers Ferry Road, Purcellville
  • 800-836-9911

Maryland River Information

Search maryland river information, 1 rafting result s, more info new river.

The New River, a.k.a. "The Grand Canyon of the East,” is a beautiful place to vacation during the summer months and enjoy some great waves and excitement. Rich with history, the New River is the oldest river in the world other than the Nile in Egypt! If that’s not enough to tempt you, rafting unde...

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white water rafting camping trips maryland

10+ places to swim near DC if you want to avoid Bay Bridge traffic

Summertime heat in the Washington, D.C., area means that swimming season is in full swing.

While the beaches along the Atlantic Ocean are beautiful, traffic on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge can be a nightmare. Why spend your beach day battling gridlock?

Rivers, lakes and swimming holes throughout Maryland and Virginia offer plenty of fun on natural waterways ( Go here if you're looking for pools and splash parks! ).

Favorite swimming spots near Washington, DC

Here are our favorite swimming spots that are an easy drive from the D.C. area. They're all open for the season as of Memorial Day weekend.

Mayo Beach in Edgewater, Maryland

Make sure to reserve a free pass before heading to Mayo Beach to enjoy the water in Anne Arundel County on a Saturday, Sunday or other busy days (weekend passes become available on Mondays). You can play and wade in the shallow water, or bring your own kayak, canoe or sailboard. There are no lifeguards. Amenities include bathrooms and water bottle fill stations.

Where : 4150 Honeysuckle Drive, Edgewater, Maryland

Distance from D.C.: 34 miles

North Beach, Maryland

Sink your toes into the sand or take a dip in the water at the pristine waterfront of North Beach on Maryland's western shore, south of Annapolis. Looking for some exercise? Rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard at the Welcome Center. (Note: No lifeguards are on duty, so swimming is at your own risk.)

There’s not much wave action, so North Beach is a good pick for a trip with kids.

See beach fees and purchase day passes here .

Where : 9023 Bay Ave., North Beach, Maryland

Distance from D.C. : 34 miles

Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Maryland

Watch a stunning sunrise over the Chesapeake Bay or spend a day out on the water swimming . You can also go fishing or crabbing (remember to get a Chesapeake Bay Sport fishing license ). Grills and picnic tables near the marina make this a perfect spot for an afternoon cookout.

Lifeguards are on duty on parts of the beach from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends. Otherwise, swimmers go at their own risk.

Where : Sandy Point State Park, 1100 East College Parkway, Annapolis, Maryland

Distance from D.C. : 37 miles

Breezy Point Beach in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland

Breezy Point Beach has swimming, fossil hunting and fishing throughout the summer. You can check the beach's Facebook page or call 410-535-0259 to ensure it hasn't reached capacity. Here's information about fees and amenities. Jet ski rentals are available nearby!

As of June 2024, the beach is undergoing restoration . So, expect some of the beach areas near the campground to be blocked off.

Where : Breezy Point Beach, 5300 Breezy Point Road, Chesapeake Beach, Maryland

Distance from D.C. : 43 miles

Beaver Dam Swimming Club in Cockeysville, Maryland

Plunge into a fresh-water quarry via rope swing or spend the afternoon swimming in one of two pools at Beaver Dam Swim Club. If you need a break from the water, hit up one of the club's basketball or volleyball courts, or use the club's grilling facilities to make up your own feast. You can bring your own food and drinks, but alcohol is not allowed. There’s also a snack bar. See admission fees here .

Where : 10820 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville, Maryland

Distance from D.C. : 57 miles

Tubing in the Harpers Ferry Area

Float along the pristine Shenandoah River for gorgeous views of downtown Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, after renting an inner tube. Two outfitters can provide tubes and personal floatation devices (and floating coolers, for an extra fee), plus give you a ride to and from the waterfront. Both allow you to choose your own adventure: float along flat waters or rip down beginner class I to III rapids.

The Harpers Ferry Adventure Center (37410 Adventure Center Lane, Purcellville, Virginia) has everything you need for a day on the water, plus ziplining, rafting or take a ropes course at its home base. Lodging is available on the grounds via cabins and riverside or mountain-top camping.

River Riders Family Adventure Resort (408 Alstadts Hill Road, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia) is also open for the season. In addition to tubing access, you’ll also find an adventure park, a campground and several cabins for rent.

Distance from D.C. : About 60 to 65 miles

Greenbrier State Park

A white sandy beach on a 42-acre man-made freshwater lake draws crowds from Memorial Day to Labor Day. You can rent rowboats and paddleboats by the hour or go fishing for trout, largemouth bass and bluegill with a Maryland Angler's License. The park also features 11 miles of hiking trails.

Where: ​​​​​21843 National Pike, Boonsboro, Maryland Distance from D.C.: About 60 miles

Virginia's Northern Neck Region

Virginia's Northern Neck region , where the Potomac River, Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay meet, offers multiple beaches, quaint inns and plenty of shops. If you're in search of a swim, check out some of these:

  • Belle Isle State Park offers cabins and camping, plus canoe and kayak rentals.
  • Colonial Beach has Virginia’s second-longest sandy beach and sits along the Potomac River. Here’s a breakdown of the different beach zones .
  • Naylor’s Beach Campground in Warsaw, Virginia, has day admission for swimming, or make it a weekend getaway to the campground.

Distance from D.C. Mileage varies on your specific destination. Colonial Beach is 63 miles from D.C.

Hunting Creek Lake at Cunningham Falls State Park in Thurmont, Maryland

Hunting Creek Lake at Cunningham Falls State Park has three designated swimming areas where you can cool off. Lifeguards are on duty at times between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., but if lifeguards aren't on duty, you may swim at your own risk. Arrive early to make sure the park doesn't reach capacity.

Looking to extend your stay? Make it a weekend getaway by renting a nearby camper cabin.

Where : William Houck Campground, 14039 Catoctin Hollow Road, Thurmont, Maryland

Distance from D.C. : 70 miles

Lake Anna State Park in Spotsylvania, Virginia

You can swim or fish (or both) at the surprisingly close Lake Anna, one of Virginia's largest freshwater lakes. Unguarded swimming is available for the season.

If you're just day-tripping, be sure to arrive early because the parking area closes once it hits capacity. But, you'll also find plenty of nearby lodging.

Other nearby attractions include vineyards, antique shops, golf, historic sites and the Kings Dominion theme park.

Where : 6800 Lawyers Road, Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia

Distance from D.C. 84 miles

James River Park System: Pony Pasture Rapids Park in Richmond, Virginia

The James River Park System (including Pony Pasture Rapids Park ) runs along both sides of the James River as it passes through Richmond, a rare opportunity to hit up real rapids in a U.S. city.

Enjoy kayaking, tubing, hiking, rock climbing, swimming and nearly any other outdoor activity you might want. Here’s what to know about swimming in the James River Park System.

Where : Pony Pasture Rapids, 7200 Riverside Drive, Richmond, Virginia

Distance from D.C. : 111 miles

Rocky Gap State Park in Flinstone, Maryland

The star attraction of the 3,000-acre Rocky Gap State Park is Lake Habeeb, which offers two public beaches surrounded by scenic Evitts Mountain. Camping, cabins, and hot and cold food are also available. Entry fees are $4 for Maryland residents and $6 for out-of-state visitors on weekends and holidays. It’s cheaper to visit during the week.

Where: 12500 Pleasant Valley Road NE, Flintstone, Maryland

Distance: 131 miles

Want to know what's up for your weekend? Sign up for The Weekend Scene , our newsletter about events, experiences and adventures for you and for your family around the DMV.

SLUG:p-hotweather DATE:July 18, 2008 CREDIT: Mark Gail/TWP North Beach, Md. ASSIGNMENT#:202703 EDITED BY: mg Three-year-oldTyonna Oliver-Terry tired to blow her floating pony at the Town of North Beach Friday. (Photo by Mark Gail/The The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Colorado among top destinations for whitewater rafting. Here are 5 favorite spots

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Colorado is among the country's top rafting destinations.

The state has roughly 20 whitewater rivers, and commercial rafting companies saw nearly 550,000 user days in 2022, according to the Colorado River Outfitters Association, which represents about 45 outfitters.

This rafting season looks to be a long, steady ride with all eight of Colorado's river basins having snowpack that exceeded 100% of average and a mild May that allowed for a slow snowpack release.

The Colorado rafting season generally runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day, with June producing bigger water that mellows as the season progresses.

Colorado also is home to two of the top 10 river rafting tours in the country, including No. 1 in Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Tours from Durango, named in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Awards this year.

More: Colorado tour companies earn top spots in USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Awards

Here is a look at five favorite rafting areas in Colorado:

For details about each and the commercial outfitters permitted to run them, visit the Colorado River Outfitters Association site .

Arkansas River ranks among best rafting rivers in the country

The Arkansas has it all, which is why it accounts for about half of all commercial rafting days in Colorado.

The main rafting area is located about three hours southwest of Denver.

The Browns Canyon and The Numbers sections offer some of Colorado's most thrilling rapids and stunning beauty.

The Browns Canyon section takes rafters through Browns Canyon National Monument's sheer cliffs between Salida and Buena Vista. The Numbers section includes a series of seven challenging and exhilarating Class III and IV rapids.

Bighorn Sheep Canyon and Royal Gorge stretches offer similar mixes of rapids and scenery.

Poudre River offers everything from rugged rapids to friendly floats

The Poudre River northwest of Fort Collins sees around 33,000 commercial rafting days a year. It also is enjoyed by many private rafters and kayakers.

It offers Class II to IV rapids and is located in the picturesque Poudre Canyon. The river is Colorado's first and only federally designated National Wild and Scenic River.

It's easily accessible from Fort Collins and Colorado Highway 14, which runs next to the river. Ample put-ins and take-outs are available along the highway.

Colorado River offers canyons, rapids and floats

The Colorado River is broken into two parts, the upper and lower sections. The two combined account for more than 100,000 commercial rafting days but are very different.

The upper section draws about two-thirds of those visitors enticed by big rapids, some reaching Class V, tucked in a 10-mile stretch of the remote Gore Canyon. This stretch is done out of Kremmling or State Bridge, about 100 miles west and north of Denver.

The Little Gore Canyon stretch southwest of Kremmling is much tamer while still offering that feeling of remoteness.

Rafting the river through 16-mile-long Glenwood Canyon offers a different experience. Rapids are plentiful and enjoyable but less challenging than the upper section and less remote, as Interstate 70 is your companion.

This is an excellent family-friendly stretch because of its rapids and access from tourist-friendly Glenwood Springs, which is about 157 miles west of Denver.

From our 2023 coverage: Here's how to stay safe rafting or tubing

Clear Creek rafting offers whitewater fun close to Denver

Clear Creek sees around 80,000 commercial rafting days per year.

The lower stretch is one of the most easily accessed from Denver, yet still offers plenty of scenery.

The Upper Clear Creek section near Bond is about 130 miles from Denver but offers more advanced rapids in a remote setting.

The lower Clear Creek section from Lawson to Idaho Springs is much tamer but with enough rapids action to keep things interesting and much closer to Denver, with Idaho Springs about 30 miles west on I-70.

Yampa/Green rivers offer the ultimate epic overnight rafting trip

These two rivers meet in the remote northwest corner of Colorado and make for an excellent multiday trip.

The free-flowing Yampa River runs west through Steamboat Springs and joins up with the Green River 50 miles downriver.

These rivers take you through the Gates of Lodore in Dinosaur National Monument and Desolation Canyon, finishing on the Green River in northern Utah. Along the way, you will see interesting geological formations, Native American rock carvings and sandy spots for overnight camping.

This section offers mostly Class II and IV rapids.


  1. Friendsville, MD Whitewater Rafting Trips & River Kayaking

    white water rafting camping trips maryland

  2. Friendsville, MD Whitewater Rafting Trips & River Kayaking

    white water rafting camping trips maryland

  3. Whitewater Rafting

    white water rafting camping trips maryland

  4. Youghiogheny White Water Rafting, Maryland, USA

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  5. River & Trail Outfitters Offers White Water Rafting In Maryland

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  6. Class V Whitewater rafting on the Upper Yough in Maryland

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  1. Upper Yough Rafting, Maryland's Only Class 4-5 Whitewater, Near Ohiopyle

    River guides and local kayakers refer to the Upper Yough as the "Dream Stream.". This section of the renowned Youghiogheny River is Maryland's only Class IV-V whitewater rafting. It's a very popular fantastic rafting trip, with limited trip sizes and only 3 guests in a raft. Upper Yough rafting only three times a week from April through ...

  2. White Water Rafting in Harpers Ferry WV

    Harpers Ferry rafting in Inflatable Kayaks (duckies) Get closer to the water with super fun, easy to paddle inflatable kayaks! An exciting step up from the regular white water rafting trip at Harpers Ferry. Recommended for summer levels. Single inflatable kayak. Prices: $69-$89. Must be at least 12 yrs old and at least 90 lbs.

  3. Friendsville, MD Whitewater Rafting Trips & River Kayaking

    Action White Water Trips are loaded with wet and wild fun! View Rafting Trips. Based out of Friendsville, Precision is a veteran whitewater rafting trip and river kayaking guide in West Virginia and Maryland.

  4. Maryland White Water Rafting

    Maryland white water rafting trips with #1 Outfitter Wilderness Voyageurs includes the Upper Yough & Savage River in MD, Ohiopyle Yough River in nearby PA. Call: 800-272-4141 Rafting

  5. Savage River Rafting

    The Savage River is Maryland's Famous White Water Slalom Course. The Savage River is located in Western Maryland & is a little known gem that hosted the 1989 Whitewater Kayaking World Championships. The Savage River delivers quite a thrill through 5 miles of continuous class III-IV whitewater. The Savage River is a small volume, fast paced ...

  6. Upper Yough Expeditions

    Welcome to Whitewater Nirvana. We're glad you've found one of the most glorious Class V whitewater runs in the Eastern United States, the Upper Yough (pronounced "Yock"). Upper Yough Expeditions has over 30 years of experience in showing our guests this fabulous piece of whitewater, and we invite you to join us on this can't-miss ...

  7. Friendsville, MD Upper Yough River Rafting: Whitewater Trips

    GRADIENT: 50 (3.5@115) per mile. VOLUME: 620 -1500 cfs. SEASON: April through October. SCENERY: Wild and Scenic. TIME: 3-5 hrs. LENGTH: 9.8 Miles. Book Now! The Upper Yough (pronounced YOCK, like rock with a Y) flows through one of the last remaining wilderness canyons in the eastern US.

  8. White Water Rafting Harpers Ferry, Shenandoah & Potomac Rivers

    Located only 1 hour from Washington, DC & Baltimore in Knoxville, Maryland, just 3 miles east of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and minutes from Virginia. Join us for whitewater rafting on the final stretches of the Shenandoah River as it tumbles into the Potomac, carving a spectacular 6.5- mile watercourse through the Blue Ridge Mountains.

  9. Whitewater Rafting Maryland

    Upper Yough Expeditions pioneered commercial rafting on the Upper Yough and has been running the river commercially for over 35 years. Our safety record is unsurpassed. Our rafts are top-shelf…self-bailing rafts with foot cups and safety straps. Type V Coast Guard-approved PFDs and helmets are provided for every trip.

  10. Upper Yough Rafting

    Hour Glass. Duration: 5.5 hours. User. Minimum Age: 16+. Map Marker. Distance: 11 miles. Ticket. Trip includes: Your whitewater rafting trip includes rafts (3 guests + guide), paddles, life jackets, helmets, snack lunch, transportation to river put in area, return transportation to Ohiopyle and professional guides in the rafts. Users.

  11. Whitewater Rafting

    River & Trail Outfitters has been running Shenandoah and Potomac white water rafting trips around the DC Metro area for 45 years and is the longest established and most experienced outfitter. Experienced guides lead your trip, showing you the best route through the rapids while entertaining you with tales from the river.

  12. Harpers Ferry Tubing, Rafting, Kayak & Canoe Rentals

    Harpers Ferry white water rafting paddles on these 2 historic rivers and through 3 states - Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. Try canoeing and kayaking with rentals or specialty tours on both the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers - all ages love to spend a day or more enjoying the rivers and trails here. Airsoft runs through the offseason ...

  13. Friendsville, MD Rafting Company: White Water Rapids

    Extreme Whitewater. These trips are the next level for the rafter who has really done it all and wants to go to that next level. Not your typical whitewater trip as we do these trips on rivers that don't get rafted all the time. IMPORTANT: These Extreme trips requires that you complete the Upper Yough Trip First.

  14. White Water Rafting Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

    The Harpers Ferry white water rafting trip is suitable for individuals aged 6-8 years (50 lbs) and older. Rafts typically hold 4-6 guests, along with a guide. However, the number of participants in each raft may vary depending on water levels and the size of the group. This white water rafting excursion spans 5-7 miles and offers a delightful ...

  15. White Water Rafting in Maryland Hotspots

    Some places that offer whitewater rafting in Maryland include: 1. Adventure Sports Center International ... Novice and seasoned rafters can take their pick as the facility has water trails for every level. Choose from easy whitewater, action whitewater, extreme river, family float trips, and kayak school. The prices depend on the water trail ...

  16. Tubing, Camping & More Outdoor Adventures in West Virginia

    Harpers Ferry Adventure Center is your one-stop shop for camping, tubing, rafting, cabins & more in the West Virginia + D.C. metro area. Skip to content 540.668.9007

  17. 10 Must-Do Whitewater Rafting Adventures

    Precision Rafting, out of Friendsville, Maryland, runs the Upper Yough on a trip that's nearly 10 miles long and takes a half-day to do. That doesn't sound like much until you consider "The Miracle Mile," a mile-long section with a vertical drop of 120 feet per mile and some near-continuous rapids.

  18. White Water Rafting

    These two Cheat River rafting trips fall on opposite ends of the spectrum, from the family-friendly Cheat Narrows relaxing float to a rip-roaring advanced white water adventure on the Cheat Canyon Rafting Trip. This white water rafting is an easy 2-hour drive from Pittsburgh or 3.5 hours from Washington, DC, for an easy weekend trip.

  19. Snake River Whitewater Rafting Trips

    WHY GO Snake River Rafting. Tributary's Snake River white water rafting trips feature rafting in Hells Canyon, North America's deepest river canyon where mountain tops reach 9,393 ft (Seven Devils Mountain) and fall nearly 8,000 ft to the river positioned at ~1,400 ft. The river is world renowned for its excellent fishing, home to bass ...

  20. Whitewater Rafting

    Times. Trip length: About 2.5 hours (weather dependent) Trip distance: 7 Miles Summer whitewater rafting Weekdays: 10am, 2:30pm Weekends: 9:00am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm Spring and fall whitewater rafting Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays: 10am Saturdays and Sundays: 10am, 2:30pm Guests must check-in no later than 30 minutes prior to their scheduled trip time.

  21. Conquer the Rapids: Whitewater Rafting Adventures in West Virginia

    The 7 Best Things About Whitewater Rafting in West Virginia. 1. Spectacular Scenery. West Virginia's rivers wind through some of the most stunning landscapes in the eastern United States. As you navigate the rapids, you'll be surrounded by lush forests, towering cliffs, and breathtaking waterfalls. The scenery alone is worth the trip ...

  22. Hells Canyon Rafting Trips

    The Snake River, Hell's Canyon trip travels a distance of close to 80 miles. Throughout each day, you will have the chance to get off the rafts and stretch your legs on a hike to old homesteads, gorgeous overlooks, and maybe Indian pictographs from the Nez Perce. You'll want to try the various rafts available on this multi-day expedition.

  23. White Water Rafting in Maryland

    Presented below are Tour Companies that offer guided white water rafting & kayaking trips and/or rent equipment in Maryland. Click on any name for more detailed information. Rafting Guides & Outfitters River Information. Destination Annapolis Appalachian Mtns Baltimore C & O Canal Chesapeake Bay Cumberland Easton Frederick Hagerstown Ocean City ...

  24. 10+ places to swim near DC if you want to avoid Bay Bridge traffic

    Mayo Beach in Edgewater, Maryland. Make sure to reserve a free pass before heading to Mayo Beach to enjoy the water in Anne Arundel County on a Saturday, Sunday or other busy days (weekend passes ...

  25. Colorado whitewater rafting: 5 favorite spots

    Colorado is among the country's top rafting destinations. The state has roughly 20 whitewater rivers, and commercial rafting companies saw nearly 550,000 user days in 2022, according to the ...