Rafting Season Hits California with Thrills Galore

Rafting is an activity everyone can enjoy. Some people can't handle the excitement that pits man and his intelligence in a battle with nature's fury so they opt for easy rides with scenery that simply glides by seamlessly. For those who love the adrenaline rush, however, this year is one of the best for white knuckle experiences in whitewater rafting. It's the perfect opportunity to amp it up!

Wild and scenic rivers are the landscape and location for tours ranging from class 1 to class available this spring in a region of California called the Shasta Cascade. Rivers such as the McCloud River (shown in photo,) and the Smith River are buzzing with excitement and sound. The snowfall in California's mountains has been exceptional in 2010-2011 and that means the the snowmelt is creating exceptional rides on the rivers as that water rushes out of the mountains, hitting rocks and river beds full force. Sitting and bouncing in a giant raft, water rushes around you as you slice by giant, mossy boulders and race down whitewater rapids.

Prime rafting and kayaking season extends spring or summer, and visitors from all over the world come to Northern California to experience the refreshing outdoors of the Shasta Cascade. Here are some rafting options and tours:

Tributary Whitewater Tours depart from Weed, Big Flat and Happy Camp. Many rafting trips for all levels, from novices and families to expert only whitewater for more than 30 years. 1/2 day to 3+ days. Group, youth (4-17 years) & other discounts. Call:(800) 672-3846

Canoe West in Yreka includes Whitewater canoe school on the Klamath River. For over 30 years Canoe West has specialized in a high instructor-to-student ratio. Call: (530) 842-7805

Wilderness Adventures in Mt. Shasta offers Whitewater rafting, kayaking, and fishing trips on Northern California's wild and scenic rivers. One day trips to twelve day expeditions year round. Call: (800) 323-RAFT

River Dancers Rafting & Kayaking in Mt. Shasta features guided rafting and kayaking adventures on the uncrowded rivers of far northern California and southern Oregon. Class 2 to 5, 1 to 5 days, Yoga on the River, family and kids camping trips, whitewater. Call: (800) 926-5002

Bigfoot Rafting Company in Willow Creek features half-day to three day rafting trips on the uncrowded Trinity, Klamath, Salmon and Smith Rivers; Drift fishing trips, inflatable kayaks, equipment rentals, shuttles, river store. Call: (800) 722-2223

Trinity River Rafting in Big Flat offers whitewater rafting on wild and scenic Trinity River (class II-V). Also Klamath River. Springtime: South Fork Trinity, Canyon Creek, Upper Sacramento. Rafts & inflatable kayaks too. Call: (800) 307-4837

Other adventures and unique options include cave tours and renting a houseboat, though there are countless things to see and do in one of California's best kept secret places.

If you need help planning a trip to this pristine are of California, Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association is a non-profit organization serving your travel needs in Butte, Lassen, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Modoc and Trinity Counties. For a free copy of the 64-page visitor's guide all 1-800-4SHASTA (474-2782). The website, shastacascade.com, offers the download version.

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