Published: Jan 14, 2016

Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking Duluth, Minnesota: An Intro to the World of Whitewater Paddling

whitewater rafting Duluth MinnesotaSome people think that whitewater kayaking or whitewater rafting is this extreme sport suited only for adrenaline junkies but nothing could be farther from the truth. Sure, there are professional paddlers that push the limits of paddling whitewater each day all over the world, running huge rapids and massive waterfalls, but there is more to whitewater paddling than just the extreme. Whitewater paddling can be a lifetime sport for people of all ages and skill levels. This is something we strive to show people if they come whitewater rafting and kayaking in Duluth, Minnesota with Swiftwater Adventures.

Many whitewater paddlers, be it kayakers or rafters, are content with paddling class II and III rapids (which are rapids with standing waves and a few obstacles, such as boulders, that require maneuvering). Class IV and above rapids require more technical skills, a solid roll ( if in a kayak), and the ability to negotiate large holes and waves. Swimming in class IV and V whitewater can be very dangerous and hazardous to life. For these reasons class IV and V isn’t for everyone and also why we don’t commercially raft class V.

At Swiftwater Adventures we hope to get more people out on the water, whether they aspire to be the next ‘hair boater’ or just like to surf a wave in a kayak or a fun float in a raft. Everyone has to start somewhere and everyone is a newbie at some point. One of the main benefits of the St. Louis River is that there are two fantastic sections of river that can appease both the newbie and the experienced paddler looking to go whitewater rafting and kayaking in Duluth, Minnesota.whitewater kayaking

The ‘Upper’ St. Louis River is our typical run for whitewater rafting and whitewater kayak trips near Duluth, Minnesota. This section typically sports class II and III rapids, although in high water the ‘Electric Ledge’ rapid is considered by some to be a big water class IV rapid. This section is where many kayakers build their skills. With this section being pool drop, a rapid then a pool of water, kayakers can wipe out and pick up the pieces below as they learn.

The ‘Lower’ St. Louis River sports class III to V rapids. This section is where advanced kayakers test their skills, where some rapids are long and unforgiving class IV and V, such as the Octopus Rapid or Fin Falls. Although the Lower does boast class V the first couple fo miles is class II, III, and one class IV. We raft the first few miles of the Lower when the Upper section is too low for fun paddling. The Louis provides us with fun all summer long!

For our professionally guided raft and kayak trips on the St. Louis River no experience is necessary. We supply you with a professional in-raft guide and all the outfitting for raft trips. For whitewater kayaks or sit on-top whitewater kayaks, we outfit you, teach you the basic strokes, and employ a challenge by choice philosophy where you can decide if and what rapids you want to paddle. On these kayak trips you are also guided along by one of our experienced kayak guides.

Whitewater rafting and kayaking in Duluth, Minnesota can not only be a fun and safe experience with Swiftwater Adventures but a memorable one too! Give us a call and put some adventure in your life!

Category(s): Blog Posts