How Do I Get Started with River Rafting Near Me? US & UK Edition

River Rafting Near Me?

Here at OTL, we know about shows, events, and other things to do. But, outdoor activities? Not so much. So, we consulted an adventure-seeking expert to put together this guide to “river rafting near me.” You go all-in with friends or keep it tame and float along with your family.

However you decide to pursue it, you’ll be making some memories – and that’s what life’s about, isn’t it?

river rafting adventures, river rafting near me, rafting, whitewater rafting

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

You know that old nursery rhyme “row, row, row your boat?” They were onto something when they said it made life like a dream. There’s nothing quite like floating down a river in a raft to make all of your troubles seem to melt away. The current gently pushing you along; the wind whispering across the banks; the sound of birds chirping. River rafting truly does make life a dream!

Getting into river rafting can be a bit intimidating, especially if you’ve never gone and are unsure of where to go. Places like Eagle, Colorado, Missoula, Montana, and Oak Hill, West Virginia, are some of the best for finding excellent rivers (as well as river outfitters) to help you begin your journey of getting started with river rafting!

But just getting to these places may not answer all of your questions about getting on the river. That’s why we put together this quick guide to help you get started with river rafting this summer. Let’s get started!

young river rafter, river rafting for families

Get Me Started With River Rafting Near Me

The best thing you can do to get started is to find a local outfitter to chat up. These companies should offer guided trips down the river you plan to tackle. They’ll be able to tell you what to expect when getting on the river, what sections to avoid, and even tell you what sort of gear to bring.

Consider booking a trip with the outfitter before you attempt to float the river yourself to get a sense of where to paddle based on how an experienced guide navigates the river you’d like to float.

How Do I Find the Best River Rafting Spots in My Area?

The best thing that you can do to find the best river rafting spots in your area (aside from finding a local outfitter, of course) is to Google the phrase “river rafting near_______” and put the city that you’ll be visiting.

As mentioned in the intro, some of the best places to go rafting are in western states like Colorado and Montana and eastern states like West Virginia. Generally speaking, areas with access to mountains are some of the bes.

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river rafting equipment, supplies for river rafting

What Do I Need?

Some of the primary things that you need to go river rafting include:

  • A comfortable swimsuit
  • Sandals with backstraps (like Chacos) or water shoes
  • A personal flotation device (PFD/life jacket)
  • Helmet
  • Wetsuit

Most outfitters will set you up with a PFD, helmet, and wetsuit when you book a trip with them. But if you’d like to avoid wearing something that someone else has already worn, you’re usually welcome to bring your own., OTL Seat Fillers, seat filling
river rafting, where to go river rafting

River Rafting Resources – US

We’ve put together some handy river rafting resources including tours and supplies to get the ball rolling for you. If you’re looking for London information, keep scrolling as we have those below.

River Rafting ResourcesAreaStateWebsite
City KayakSan FranciscoCA
Environmental Traveling CompanionsSan FranciscoCA
Headwaters Adventure CompanySan FranciscoCA
Healing WatersSan FranciscoCA
San Francisco Kayak & AdventuresSan FranciscoCA
101 Surf SportsSan RafaelCA
Ava Rafting & ZiplineAvonCO
Stand Up Paddle ColoradoAvonCO
Confluence KayaksDenverCO
Denver Outdoor Adventure CompanyDenverCO
Renaissance Adventure GuidesDenverCO
Salmon River Experience RaftingDenverCO
Alpine KayakEdwardsCO
Alpine Quest SportsEdwardsCO
The Inn At RiverwalkEdwardsCO
Lakota GuidesVailCO
Everglades Swamp TourFort LauderdaleFL
Ride ElementFort LauderdaleFL
Riverwalk ActivitiesFort LauderdaleFL
Sunrise PaddleboardsFort LauderdaleFL
Adventure Kayak FloridaJacksonvilleFL
Adventures Up The Creek JacksonvilleJacksonvilleFL
All Wet SportsJacksonvilleFL
Ccr PowersportJacksonvilleFL
Kayak AmeliaJacksonvilleFL
Mulberry Cove MarinaJacksonvilleFL
Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State ParkJacksonvilleFL
Wayne B Stevens Boat RampJacksonvilleFL
Florida Bay OutfittersMiamiFL
Ipaddle MiamiMiamiFL
Miami Water Life ToursMiamiFL
Miami WatersportsMiamiFL
Morningside WatersportsMiamiFL
South Beach Party BoatsMiamiFL
Wahoo's AdventuresMiamiFL
Shoreside Club - Paddle Board & Clear Kayak RentalsMiami BeachFL
South Beach KayakMiami BeachFL
Island Water Sports Surf ShopNorth Miami BeachFL
Adventures In FloridaOrlandoFL
Orlando Bass Fishing GuideOrlandoFL
Bay Breeze Paddle AdventuresTampaFL
Phatfish Kayak ChartersTampaFL
Tampa Bay Sup Stand Up Paddleboarding & KayakingTampaFL
Urban KaiTampaFL
Whatsup Paddle SportsTampaFL
Chattahoochee Outfitters LlcAtlantaGA
Chattahoochee RiverAtlantaGA
Right-Ontrailer CompanyAtlantaGA
Shoot The Hooch.ComAtlantaGA
Chicago Paddle CompanyChicagoIL
Chicago River Canoe & KayakChicagoIL
Chicago Water Sport Rentals At 31St Street HarborChicagoIL
Kayak ChicagoChicagoIL
Lincoln Park Boat ClubChicagoIL
Charles River Canoe & KayakBostonMA
Community Boating Inc.BostonMA
10,000 Waves Raft & Kayak AdventuresMissoulaMT
Adventure LifeMissoulaMT
Last Best Ski And Paddle.MissoulaMT
Lb SnowMissoulaMT
Lewis & Clark Trail AdventuresMissoulaMT
Love Boat Paddle Co.MissoulaMT
Row AdventuresMissoulaMT
Strong WaterMissoulaMT
Trail HeadMissoulaMT
Zoo Town SurfersMissoulaMT
U.S. National Whitewater CenterCharlotteNC
Great Outdoor Provision CoRaleighNC
Alder Creek Kayak & CanoePortlandOR
Andy & Bax Outdoor StorePortlandOR
Northwest Whitewater Adventures LlcPortlandOR
Portland Rafting Company Llc.PortlandOR
Portland River CompanyPortlandOR
Caney Fork OutdoorsNashvilleTN
Cumberland KayakNashvilleTN
Elk River Canoe Rental LlcNashvilleTN
Float HorizenNashvilleTN
Austin Paddle ShackAustinTX
Frontera ToursAustinTX
Glow Paddle Austin Raftingkayaking Center Austin Texas | Facebook 5 PhotosAustinTX
Live Love PaddleAustinTX
Rowing DockAustinTX
Texas Rowing CenterAustinTX
Waller Creek BoathouseAustinTX
Colorado River & Trail ExpeditionsSalt Lake CityUT
Holiday River ExpeditionsSalt Lake CityUT
Western River ExpeditionsSalt Lake CityUT
Alki Kayak ToursSeattleWA
Ballard Kayak ExpeditionsSeattleWA
Moss Bay Kayak Paddle Board & Sail CenterSeattleWA
Mountain To Sound OutfittersSeattleWA
Northwest Outdoor CenterSeattleWA
Seattle Canoe & Kayak ClubSeattleWA
Seattle Flying DragonsSeattleWA
Ace Adventure Resort - Day ToursOak HillWV
River ExpeditionsOak HillWV

Did we leave your river rafting service off the list? Send us the info and we’ll be sure to add it.

London Resources

There aren’t any rolling rapids running next to your favorite pub. But there are some kayaking and rafting services nonetheless.

Rafting and Kayaking Resources in LondonAddressRegionWebsite
Active360 Paddleboarding And Canoeing Brentford LockCommerce RoadLondon Borough of Hounslow
B.O.A - Base Outdoor Activities Limited LondonPaparigopoulou 47London
Back of Beyond AdventuresRiver LaneLondon Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Decathlon Surrey Quays9 Maritime StreetCity of London
Go PaddlingAdbolton LaneCity of Nottingham
Islington Boat ClubGraham StreetLondon Borough of Islington
Kayaking LondonCremorne Riverside CentreLondon
Laburnum Boat ClubLaburnum StreetLondon Borough of Hackney
OCUK -- Outrigger Club United Kingdom81 Hartington RoadLondon Borough of Hounslow
Phoenix Canoe ClubCool Oak LaneLondon
Regents Canoe ClubGraham StreetLondon Borough of Islington
Royal Canoe ClubTrowlock WayLondon Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Secret Adventures6 College CrossLondon
Westminster Boating Base136 Grosvenor RoadLondon
Windows on the Wild24 Oxford Road NorthLondon Borough of Hounslow
World ExpeditionsOsiers RoadLondon Borough of Wandsworth

Did we leave your river rafting service off the list? Send us the info and we’ll be sure to add it.

Final Thoughts

Floating down the river in a raft is one of the best ways to pass the time. Being outside while being pushed along by the current renews and invigorates in ways hardly found off the river.

Now that you have a good idea of getting started river rafting near you, it’s time to get your gear, book a trip, and go floating merrily down the stream yourself!