Whitewater kayaking is one of the most exciting outdoor adventures, and for adrenaline junkies, the more dangerous, the better. In the U.S., there are several places that kayaking experts will agree contain the most dangerous rapids. These are places where only top level, experienced kayakers should seek this outdoor adventure. The main reasons why they are considered hazardous are because they are more wild and the waters are faster. The 5 most dangerous places to seek whitewater kayaking in the U.S. include:
1. Ocoee River, Tennessee
The Ocoee River is probably one of the most recognized dangerous kayaking places in the U.S. for the role it played in the 1996 Olympics, when it was chosen as a challenge site for a kayak slalom course. It is classified as a class III to IV and also has several challenging spots with massive descents and drops. The river has caused several deaths, and it is advisable to kayak with the help of the experienced trainers available at the site, if you are inexperienced.
2. Forks Of The Kern River, California
The most significant part of kayaking on the Kern River is near Mount Whitney where the whitewater is received in large amounts. However, you will have to hike for close to 2.5 miles, while carrying your raft and your kayaking gear. It is considered extremely dangerous, and the site maintenance crew has erected a sign on the nearby highway consisting of the names of those who died by the river. It is, therefore, crucial to be equipped with the necessary qualification and experience while kayaking on the Kern River.
3. Chattooga River, between Georgia and South Carolina
Chattooga River is a free-flowing river with relatively high flows and cool temperatures. The river is well known for its five falls and kayakers enjoy the activity with a different set of rapids. If you are unsure of your class as a kayaker, Chattooga River is the best place to visit. This is because it has different sections with section III and IV, and there are spots that allow children as young as 8-12 years of age to kayak. However, section IV is the most dangerous site where several people have died and it provides a great opportunity for the kayaking enthusiasts to prove their expertise in the activity.
4. Cherry Creek, California
Cherry Creek stretches 40 miles long and is the largest stream that branches from the Tuolumne River. It is considered very difficult and dangerous to navigate, where only top level kayakers conduct this activity. The river flows through the granite valleys and is often considered by most kayaking enthusiasts as the most dangerous commercially-run kayaking sites.
5. Lochsa River, Idaho
The Lochsa River is one of the two major streams that branches off from the Clearwater River in the Clearwater National Forest. It was recently rated as the best continuous whitewater river in the world. However, it is also considered as one of the most dangerous sites for kayaking activity, even to some of the most experienced kayakers. It is well known for its explosive possibilities, and since there are no dams and it’s uncontrolled, it offers raft smashing waves and a large water volume that flows at a very high rate.