April 23, 2022 8 min read

Rafting is a thrilling and exciting sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It's important to choose the right grade of rafting to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on your white water trips.

What is White Water Rafting

The Rogue River in Oregon is one of the most popular rafting destinations in the United States. With its Class III and IV rapids, the Rogue is perfect for rafters of all levels of experience. In addition to its whitewater rapids, the Rogue River is also known for its scenic beauty, making it the perfect place to spend a summer day.

So, how many grades of river rafting are there? This is a question that doesn't have a definitive answer, as different rivers have different difficulty levels, and what one person considers a "Grade III" rafting experience might be considered a "Grade IV" experience by someone else.

Generally speaking, though, there are six grades of river rafting, from Grade I (the easiest) to Grade VI (the most difficult). Grade I rafting is typically suitable for beginner paddlers, and usually involves relatively calm waters and easy rapids. Grade VI rafting, on the other hand, is for experienced paddlers only, and usually involves difficult rapids and dangerous conditions. There are many different grades of river rafting, and each has its own set of pros and cons. You should choose the grade that best suits your needs and abilities.

What are the Different Grades of Whitewater Rafting

There are many different river rafting grades, depending on the level of difficulty and danger of your tours. In general, there are three grades of river rafting: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Beginner river rafting is easy and suitable for anyone who is comfortable on the water. There is little danger involved and the rapids are typically Class I or II. Intermediate river rafting is more challenging, with rapids that are Class III or IV. Advanced river rafting is the most difficult and can be dangerous for those who are not experienced rafters. The rapids are Class V or VI and can include large drops, sharp rocks, and powerful currents.

river rafting

What Are the Pros and Cons of Each Grade of River Rafting

The beginner grade is for those who have never been rafting before or for those who are not looking for a challenging trips and unforgettable experience. The beginner grade typically has easy rapids and is a great way to see the river and get a feel for rafting. The intermediate grade is for those who have some experience with rafting and are looking for a more challenging experience. The intermediate grade typically has rapids that are more difficult than those in the beginner grade. The advanced grade is for those who are looking for the most challenging experience and who have a lot of experience with rafting. The advanced grade typically has the most difficult rapids.


What is Grade 1 River Rafting?

There are three main grades of river rafting, with grade 1 being the easiest and grade 3 being the most difficult. Grade 1 rafting is suitable for beginners, with few rapids and easy maneuvering. Grade 2 rafting is slightly more challenging, with some moderate rapids and obstacles. Grade 3 rafting is for experienced rafters only, with difficult rapids and treacherous obstacles.

What is Grade 2 River Rafting?

There are many different grades of river rafting, each with its own level of difficulty. Grade 2 river rafting is the easiest, making it perfect for beginners. This type of rafting is suitable for anyone who is comfortable in water and can swim. Grade 2 rafting involves Class I and II rapids, which are typically easy and non-technical. This means that there are no obstacles in the river that require advanced skills to navigate. However, there is still some risk involved in grade 2 rafting, so participants should be aware of the potential hazards.

What is Grade 3 River Rafting?

There are three main grades of river rafting: easy, moderate, and difficult. Easy river rafting is perfect for beginner rafters, while difficult river rafting is only recommended for experienced rafters. Grade 3 river rafting is considered to be a moderate rafting experience. This type of river rafting has some rapids that can be tricky, but is still manageable for those with some rafting experience. Rapids are designated by a number from 1-6, with 1 being the easiest and 6 being the most difficult.

What is Grade 4 river Rafting?

There are different levels of river rafting, also known as grades. The higher the grade, the more challenging the experience. The lowest grade is 1, and the highest is 6. Grade 4 is considered a moderate level of difficulty. It is perfect for those who want a thrilling experience without being too challenging. There are a few factors that go into determining the grade of a river. The first is the water level. If the water is high, it will be more difficult to navigate and could pose a greater danger. The second is the terrain. Rapids, rocks, and other obstacles make the experience more challenging. The third is the weather. Strong winds and rain can make it more difficult to stay on course.

What is Grade 5 River Rafting?

There are different grades of river rafting that you can experience, and the difficulty of the rapids will depend on the grade of the river. Grade 1 rafting is the easiest, with gentle rapids and no obstacles. Grade 5 rafting is the most difficult, with rapids that can be Class V or even VI. Grade 5 rafting is not for the faint of heart – it can be dangerous and requires a high level of skill. If you're looking for a thrilling adventure, though, grade 5 rafting is definitely the way to go. You'll experience some of the most challenging rapids on the river, and you'll need to be prepared for anything. Make sure you're aware of the dangers.

What is Grade 6 River Rafting?

There are many grades of river rafting and the difficulty of each one varies. Grade 1 rafting is the easiest and usually involves floating down a calm river. Grade 6 rafting, on the other hand, is one of the most difficult and can involve rapids that are Class 5 or 6. Class 5 rapids are considered to be very dangerous and can often result in serious injury or death. They can also be very difficult to navigate, making grade 6 rafting a challenge for even the most experienced rafters. That said, if you're up for the challenge, grade 6 rafting can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It's a great way to test your skills.

International Scale of River Difficulty

Class iii Rapids

If you're an experienced whitewater rafter, then you know that Class iii rapids are characterized by medium-sized waves and small eddies. These types of rapids (iii) are often found on rivers with steep drop-offs, and they can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. That's why it's important to always wear a life jacket and stay close to the shore when you're rafting in Class III rapids.

Grade iii Rapids

For those that are looking for a thrill, grade iii rapids are the way to go. These types of rapids (iii) are characterized by large, crashing waves and require precise maneuvering to navigate. While challenging, grade iii rapids are a blast to ride and are sure to give you an adrenaline rush.

Famous Rivers to Raft

Rogue River Rafting

There's nothing quite like spending a few days rafting down the Rogue River. With its wild rapids and picturesque scenery, it's no wonder this river is one of the most popular in Oregon.

Whether you're an experienced rafter or a first-timer, you're sure to have a blast on the Rogue. Rogue River rafting is an exciting way to explore the great outdoors. This activity is perfect for those who love adventure and want to explore the beauty of nature. rafting down this river is a great way to bond with friends and family, and create lasting memories.

Salmon River Rafting

Salmon River rafting is an amazing experience that everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. The river is located in Idaho and is one of the most popular rafting destinations in the United States. The Salmon River is known for its beautiful scenery and challenging rapids. Rafting on the Salmon River is an exhilarating experience that will leave you wanting more. There's nothing quite like spending a summer day rafting down a river with friends, and the Salmon River in Idaho is the perfect place to do it. With its gentle rapids and beautiful scenery, the Salmon River is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. And, of course, there's nothing better than a cold beer or refreshing swim at the end of a long day of rafting.

raft boat

Colorado River

Join the Colorado River for an unforgettable American rafting adventure! Whether you are a first-time rafter or an experienced pro, you need to ensure that you have a safe and fun trip. You can choose half-day, full-day, and multi-day trip options to accommodate your schedule and preferences. So come on out and experience the thrill of rafting on one of America’s most iconic rivers. Enjoy the camping at the end of the day and get lasting memories. There are few experiences as thrilling as rafting down the Colorado River. The river winds through canyons and cliffs, providing an ever-changing landscape to explore. Rafting down the Colorado is the perfect way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with nature.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon River Rafting is an exhilarating experience that is perfect for thrill-seekers and nature-lovers alike. There is no better way to see the Grand Canyon than from the comfort of a river raft, and with experienced guides, you can be sure that you'll have a safe and unforgettable trip.

However, be sure that you are ready for such a trip through the canyon. Another trips and destinations that are well known among river rafting are:

  • River rafting California
  • Tamur river rafting
  • Hidden Morocco rafting
  • River rafting Oregon
  • River rafting Idaho
  • Zambezi blast rafting

Final Thoughts

So, if you want to try rafting for the first time, don't let the thought of "grades" intimidate you. Chances are good that you'll be able to find a river and a company that will offer you a trip appropriate to your skill level. And, if you're an experienced rafter looking for challenging tours, don't be afraid to ask about running rivers with higher grades. With proper preparation and the right attitude, you just might find yourself enjoying a level of rafting that you never thought possible.

Commonly Asked Questions

What is the highest white water rafting class?

There are different ways to classify the difficulty of a whitewater rafting trip, but one of the most common is by using the International Scale of River Difficulty. On this scale, Class I is the easiest, with Class VI being unforgettable and only navigable by experts in kayaks or canoe.

Author - Olivia Poglianich
Olivia Poglianich          

Content Strategist

Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the surf, watersports and outdoor adventure space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.

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