California White Water Rafting – What is the history of white water rafting? A very brief history?
Rafting was one of the earliest forms of transportation of people and goods throughout the world. The Eskimos of North America, and the Indians in the equatorial jungles were amongst the first peoples to use the rivers to their advantage, though not for sport, not just yet. A white water river is any river where its gradient and/or flow create rapids or white water turbulence.
In 1842 explorers pushing westward relied on rafts made from trees. In 1840 Horace H. Day developed the inflatable raft so he and John Fremont could explore the Rocky Mountains for the US Army. www.funfix.com
In 1910 Gorgie Clark was born, and she would turn out to be one of the most famous white water rafters on the Colorado River. By 1942 she was fir first woman to row a boat through the Grand Canyon and for the next 20 years she was the only woman outfitter in the Canyon. Her last trip on the Canyon was when she was 80 years old. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgie_White
In the 1972 Munich Olympics rafting was introduced as an Olympic sport and white water kayaking and rafting was introduced to the world. http://www.funfix.com/White-Water-Rafting/History.
In California, in the 70’s, rafting was introduced as a leisure sport; however, it wasn’t until the 80’s that rafting started to become an outdoor sport popular with groups and corporations looking for ways to do team-building. Adventurers learned rafting as a way to increase their self-confidence and develop new outdoor skills in a newly developing sport. Prior to the 1980’s rafting was considered to be an “extreme sport”. The 1980’s is considered the “renaissance age” for rafting. Designs of boats, materials used, safety standards, guiding skills, formations of professional organizations, and the development of the industry were happening fast and furious.
With the fall of the Iron Curtain, rivers in Western Europe were run and added to the list of worldwide rivers adventurers wanted to run.
Today, the white water rafting industry has developed a system of scoring rapids and rivers, from easy to difficult, which helps the individual decide which river is best for him/her. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White water#Classification_of_white water. Rivers throughout the world are being enjoyed; top caliber men and women rafters are doing “first descents” and adding rivers to the list of rivers to be enjoyed.
With the development of rafting as an industry, safety regulations, permits, insurance, professional rafting companies, and certified river guides have all added to the advancement of rafting as a safe sport.
South Fork American River White Water Rafting
White water rafting on the South Fork of the American River is perfect for families, youth groups, corporations, singles, and groups of friends. The South Fork American River is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in northern California, just an hour drive from Sacramento. This river has become California’s most popular Class II-III white water rafting river is enjoyed by our guests once, twice, sometimes three times each summer.
We offer several different types of white water rafting trips on the South Fork of the American River: ½-Day Chili Bar, 1/2-Day Gorge, 1-Day Chili Bar, 1-Day Gorge, and 2-Day trips with wine-tasting during hors d’oeuvres.
Click here to view all California White Water Rafting Trips on the South Fork American River.
Middle Fork American River White Water Rafting
If you like sparkling, clear water and dramatic wilderness canyons resplendent with lush forests, then white water rafting on the Middle Fork of the American River is definitely for you! Postcard-perfect in its natural beauty and ornamented with streams, pools, and waterfalls, the Middle Fork of the American River runs through the scenic Sierra Foothills of Tahoe National Forest.
We offer three different types of trips on the Middle Fork of the American River: 1-Day trips, 2-Day trips, and South Fork & Middle Fork Combo trips.
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North Fork American River White Water Rafting
Plummeting out of the Desolation Valley basin near Lake Tahoe is the free-flowing North Fork of the American River with rock walls tower 2000′ to 4000′ above the river, creating a majestic backdrop for cascading waterfalls, brightly colored wildflowers, and the aquamarine waters of the North Fork itself. It is best known for its thrilling class IV and V white water, challenging hiking trails, outstanding fishing, abundant wildlife, and dramatic scenery. The upper stretch has a gradient drop of 50′ per mile through a narrow granite canyon with spectacular white water!
We offer two different types of trips on the North Fork of the American River: 1-Day and 2-Day Combo trips.
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Merced River White Water Rafting
The Merced River flows out from the western entrance of Yosemite National Park and descends from the waterfalls of Yosemite Valley in successive leaps. The speed of the flow produces exhilarating white water wave trains, technical challenges, and steep gradient drops. The Merced river also offers opportunities for laying back in the raft, relaxing and enjoying the scenery while the current takes us down the river canyon. The river is only about 45 minutes from the Yosemite Valley floor, so this Merced River rafting trip makes a nice activity for the day.
We offer ½-Day and 1-Day white water rafting trips on the Merced River.
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Kings River White Water Rafting
Originating high in the mountains of central California near California’s Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park, the Kings River boasts the largest watershed of any river in the Sierra Nevada range. This California river is undammed and unspoiled. If you take a Kings River trip, your White Water Rafting trip will take you through some of the most scenic rivers in the West, and will provide for an excellent California white water rafting trip experience. The river is about 2 hours east of Fresno.
We offer 2 Day and 1 Day white water rafting trips on Kings River.
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Tuolumne River White water River Rafting near Yosemite
The Tuolumne River (pronounced too-all-o-me) Canyon, near Yosemite National Park, is a magical 18-mile corridor of wondrous side creeks and wide, sandy beaches for camping, and Tuolumne River Rafting is California’s Class IV+ premier white water rafting river. Rushing through one of the most spectacular canyons in the Sierra, the Tuolumne River creates the “Grand Canyon” of Yosemite as it spills into the Hetch Hetchy Valley behind the O’Shaughnessy Dam above our put-in at Meral’s Pool. Tight, technical and steep describes rapids like Rock Garden, Sunderland’s Chute, and Ram’s Head, lead to one of the biggest drops in the United States, the Class V Clavey Falls rapid for white water rafting.
We run several Tuolumne River Rafting trips on the main Tuolumne River: 1-Day, 2-Days, 3-Days. PLUS, we raft the upper Tuolumne section we call Cherry Creek is run as a 1-Day trip.
Click here to view all California White Water Rafting Trips on the Tuolumne River