Top 9 Best Places to Go Kayaking in the United States

While the winter months may be well underway for many living in colder climates, it’s never too late to start planning your next spring and summer adventure, and for those who are lucky to still be enjoying the warm weather, it’s also great to think of your next idea for fun. One of the best adventure plans is kayaking. That’s why I have listed here nine of the most beautiful kayaking destinations in America that you can visit if you are looking for an exciting adventure on the water. 

Kayaking is a fun sport that can be learned easily by anyone who wants to spend time, and many people swear by it as their outdoor activity of choice. If you’re someone who is really into kayaking, or even a beginner, then here are some popular kayaking spots in the US to plan your next adventure!

guys on a lake doing kayaking

Top 9 Kayaking Destinations in the United States

Hells Canyon, Idaho

The great state of Idaho is a quiet one that doesn’t get as many visitors as places like Colorado or California, but that doesn’t mean it’s a slouch in the kayaking department. Hells Canyon in Idaho is a kayaker’s dream, partly because it’s the longest river in the state, and because of the amazing canyon wall scenery. This is a must-visit destination for kayakers.Related Read: 5 Easy Steps To Proper Inflatable Kayak Storage

Denali Glacier, Alaska

Alaska is home to some of the vastest and untouched wilderness anywhere on the planet, and with that, there are plenty of glacial waters to trek through. The Denali Glacier is a breathtaking view in Alaska to trek your next kayaking adventure. This entire national park is filled to the brim with wildlife and even features the tallest peak in the US Mount McKinley (Denali).

Chesapeake Bay, Virginia

The Chesapeake Bay is technically not just one state, but it’s actually both encompassed by Maryland and Virginia. This bay, which is an estuary, is home to thousands of species of wildlife. The views are spectacular, but the real draw is in its value as a fishing location because the bay is home to so many different types of fish. 

Colorado River, Arizona

Another kayaking destination that is actually part of a larger group of states is the Colorado River. Spanning Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, California, New Mexico, and Utah, this river is gigantic. At almost 1500 miles, the amount of beauty you can see while kayaking is immense. The most popular spot along the Colorado River is the jaw-dropping Grand Canyon.

Rafting Through the Grand Canyon: The Mighty Colorado River

Salmon River, Idaho

We told you Idaho was a popular spot for outdoor adventures. With the second addition to this list, Salmon River provides some high-octane adventure for those looking for more than just sightseeing. It offers Class II to IV level whitewater rafting/kayaking which should be enough to get the blood flowing. Not to be confused, however, the sights are still majestic.

Related Read: Most Beautiful Places in the United States

Arkansas River, Colorado

The Arkansas River, which is funnily located in Colorado and not Arkansas, is another excellent mix of adrenaline and relaxation. Many people enjoy the slow cruise on the water and love to take in the beautiful sunsets that the Rocky Mountain system provides. Others like the immense rush of the impressive whitewater rapids. There are plenty of camping options available too if you want to spend some quality time taking in the full experience.

Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Lake Tahoe in Nevada is often associated with the rich and famous as a destination for their summer getaways, but for the average folk like us, it’s even better because of the fun on the lake. Kayaking in Lake Tahoe is a great way to experience forests, mountains, beautiful starry night skies, and blazing sunsets. Don’t forget that a permit is required for this lake.Related Read: Most Scenic Drives in the United States

woman resting on a kayak

Tyger River, South Carolina

If you want to get your whole family involved in an amazing outdoor kayaking adventure, then the Tyger River in beautiful South Carolina is an awesome choice. There are plenty of rapids to partake in, but they’re mild enough that it won’t be too much of a challenge for your kids. The views are excellent and the climate in South Carolina is to die for. Similarly, when you’re done kayaking, the food is something to check out as well.Related Read: Most Romantic Places to Visit in the South

Gauley River, West Virginia

Considered one of the premier whitewater destinations in the US, the Gauley River in West Virginia will blow your mind. The foliage during the fall months provides an unbeatable backdrop for kayaking fun and it’s a great place to spend a weekend for outdoor adventuring. Residents even consider the Gauley season to be their 5th season.

The continental US is home to some of the most diverse and impressive natural landscapes in the world, and the best way to take advantage of this is by going on a kayaking adventure. If you’re planning a trip, then the spots listed here will help you choose the right trip.

Last Updated on July 21, 2023

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