River Ratings

What River is Right for You? | Whitewater Ratings

All rivers are rated on a "class" scale to help you determine the hazards associated with the whitewater on each river trip. Many of our guests are in search of moderate whitewater where you not only feel the excitement of the rapids but also relax and soak up the beauty of the wilderness. Others are looking for a more intense whitewater experience. Regardless of your choice, be assured that Mountain River Outfitters has one of the best safety records in the industry. Note that the "class" scale was introduced after the rapids in Grand Canyon had already been rated therefore the Grand Canyon is rated on the older "1-10" system. A size 10 rapid in Grand Canyon would be a class V rapid, and so on.

    • Class
    • River Ratings
    • Details
    • Class I
    • Easy
    • Fast moving water with uniform waves that tug at the boat. No obstacles with very little need for manuevering. Each of our trips have some stretches of calm class I water, creating a pleasant break between larger rapids.
    • Class II
    • Moderate
    • Large uniform waves and or drops that are easy to navigate with little manuevering. Some obstacles in wide channels that can be discovered without scouting. Some big splashes of water are common, lots of fun, little danger.
    • Class III
    • Intermediate
    • Large powerful rapids with irregular waves and narrow passages that makes the boat shimmy and sends hearts racing. Large amounts of water in your face with plenty of excitement and thrill with some avoidable danger. Aviodance of obstacles and manuevering required, scouting advised.
    • Class IV
    • Difficult
    • Long, difficult rapids, narrow passages with large drops, turbulent water that requires precise maneuvering in the rapid. Large obstacles and danger for swimmers, requires skilled guides and scouting a must.
    • Class V
    • Very Difficult
    • At the limits of navigation, that requires precise manuevering, large whirlpools and undertoes. Should only be attempted by highly adventurous and in shape experienced river runners. Very dangerous, deliver's a large adrenaline rush.
    • Class VI
    • Not Navigable
    • Beyond the limits of navigation, serious threat to life. Only the most expert should attempt this. Commercial raft trips don't go here. There's too much other water to enjoy.

Our River Trips & Their Ratings

These ratings are based on average summer water flows, early spring trips could be at a higher class than normal. Class III rivers still may have class IV rapids along the way.

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