If you’re itching for a vacation and looking for a getaway, the United States has some of the best and most beautiful places to feel at one with nature. For many vacationers, kayaking has become the go-to way to see and enjoy the views. Some of the best waterways can be found in each region of the U.S. with just about every type of landscape. For seasoned kayakers or those looking to learn, there are a variety of waterways that suit any type of kayaker. Here are five of the best kayaking locations that you’ll want to have on your vacation bucket list.
1. Eleven Point National Scenic River, Missouri
Eleven Point National Scenic River is a 44 mile-long kayaking adventure in Mark Twain National Forest that can be tailored to any skill level or duration. Kayakers will paddle through Missouri’s Ozark Hills, a largely untouched natural wooded habitat with beautiful sights. The location is dubbed as one of the most scenic rivers in the United States. There are also eight different camping sites along the route to take a break or spend the night at. Even during dry years, Eleven Point is a consistently great route for kayakers of any skill level.
2. Green River, Utah
Kayakers on the Green River in Ashley National Forest are able to see the variety of landscapes that Utah has to offer. The river runs through the slopes of the Uintah Mountains and the Tavaputs Plateau, which make kayakers feel as if they’re navigating through water-forged canyons. For those who enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, the river crosses the popular Oregon and California trails. It’s not uncommon to see herds of antelope along the shoreline of the river. Kayakers will follow the river through the Dinosaur National Monument, a great place to stop and enjoy a unique experience. If you’re looking to extend your trip, follow the Green River through Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado.
3. Prince William Sound, Alaska
If you’re not afraid of cold weather, a must-see is the Prince William Sound, located in the Chugach National Forest. Kayak around the three Alaskan Islands that form the sound, or get up-close and personal with the steep walls of the Chugach Mountains. Kayakers have the chance to see humpback whales and bears in their native habitat on their route. For those who have experienced it, the location truly earned the name “kayaker’s paradise”. The glaciers surrounding the Chugach Mountains are a unique beauty that can be difficult to find elsewhere, and kayakers here get a front-row seat to enjoy the environment.
4. Tuolumne River, California
Located in Yosemite National Park, the Tuolumne River is a great challenge for seasoned kayakers. During most of the year, the river is home to class 4 rapids. For kayakers willing to take on the challenge, they will pass by the scenic canyons and waterfalls of the park. The Tuolumne River is a popular location, receiving more than a million recreational visitors each year. But the park is well-equipped for visitors, and there are many camping locations near the river. If you have time, check out both forks in the river for the ultimate experience.
5. Devils River, Texas
The Devils River, which spans the state of Texas, is best suited for expert kayakers but it offers a great balance between calm waters and raging rapids as the river progresses. It also offers a unique scenery and warm temperatures. The river itself flows between the Chihuahua and Tamaulipas deserts, areas that are largely untouched by development. Although the remote location might make it difficult to get to, it also promises a kayaking experience away from others in a highly-preserved environment. If they kayak the entire river, kayakers will find themselves at Lake Amistad, another beautiful recreational location and a great place to end the journey.