Whitewater rafting is one of the most popular outdoor activities available. It’s possible for rafters to experience a physical challenge while taking in some of the most beautiful scenery on earth. Most rafting adventures will take place in river valleys with amazing mountainous terrain surrounding the route the adventure will take. Here are some of the best places on earth to experience a great whitewater rafting trip.

The Grand Canyon

There’s no doubt that the Grand Canyon in Arizona is an amazing natural wonder. Millions of visitors show up annually to taking in the massive chasm created by the Colorado River that runs at its base. Most of these visitors will view the canyon from one of its rims. It’s also possible to raft the Colorado River as it snakes through the canyon. A Grand Canyon whitewater excursion will be sure to give travelers a whole new perspective of the canyon while also navigating some challenging rapids at the same time.

The Zambezi

Rafting is not the exclusive domain of North America. The Zambezi River in Africa is nicknamed the Slam-bezi with good reason. A trip down the Zambezi gives rafters the opportunity to experience Class IV and Class V rapids in a stunning natural landscape. It’s just important to remember to avoid the crocodiles and hippos that might show up on the journey.

The Gauley River

The beautiful hills of West Virginia are home to one of the top rafting destinations in the US. The scenic Gauley River offers more than 35 miles of raging rapids. The Upper Gauley is a little easier for novice rafters. Those who are up for more of a challenge might opt to go down the Lower Gauley and its Class V rapids that are among the most difficult to navigate even for expert rafters.

The Salmon River

More than 300 rated rapids await those who are ready to head down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River through Idaho. Rafter who choose this option will see a stunning array of forests, towering canyons and pristine grasslands that are home to a vast array of wildlife that inhabit the Western United States.

These are just four of the top places in the world for whitewater rafting. Those who live near rivers that snake through mountainous terrain are likely to find a place to raft near their backyards. From beginner rapids, it’s easy to move up to more challenging options. Regardless, the scenery and the challenges that come with a trip down the river are worth the effort.