5 extreme kayaking destinations

November 3, 2015

Five extreme kayaking destinations

Here are the five most extreme kayaking destinations in the world that will test your skills. When planning a trip, be sure to keep in mind that many of these locations require technical skills possessed only by advanced kayakers.

5 extreme kayaking destinations

1. Ocoee River in Tennessee

If feeling the thrill of putting your life on the line is a priority, it is hard to imagine that there is a better place to go kayaking than the stretch of Tennessee's Ocoee River that is known as Mickey's. This white-knuckle stretch of the river has Class IV rapids that cost two people their lives in 2011. The river attracts more than 200,000 kayakers and white water rafters each year; however, only the bravest head for Mickey's. Not only does it feature numerous bone-crushing drops, but Mickey's was also the site of the 1996 Olympics challenge course.

2. Palouse Falls in Washington

Expect to tempt fate at Palouse Falls, the site where extreme kayaker Tyler Bradt set a world record during a 186-foot descent in 2009. Taller than Niagara Falls by 17 feet, Bradt's jump made national news because of his daring bravado. Although it's not recommended that you recreate Bradt's descent, anyone can attempt to do the same. From top to bottom, the descent takes all of 3.7 seconds.

3. Kaituna River in New Zealand

Because it offers Class I, II and III rapids, Kaituna River appeals to white water kayakers of all skill levels. Offering spectacular scenery and kayaking that can get within inches of the edge of numerous waterfalls, Kaituna River is ideal for any adventure lover. If you are up for more of a challenge, hitch a ride aboard a helicopter to the far west coast of the South Island for an up-close and personal experience with some of the best rapids in the world.

4. Sognefjord in Norway

At first glance, Norway may not be the place many think of visiting for excellent kayaking; however, the numerous mountains in the region provide lots of snow in the winter that turns into churning water in the summer. As the longest fjord in the country, Sognefjord is the place to come for thrilling drops and picturesque waterfalls.

5. Dora Baltea River in Italy

If you did not think that Norway was the place to go for kayaking, then you will certainly not think that the land of spaghetti and pizza will be the home to some of the best waters in the world. However, the Dora Baltea River that flows from the highest mountain in Europe and through the Aosta Valley offers excellent paddling. Come during May and June when the crowds have not yet arrived for the summer and the snow from the winter has fully melted.

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