Essential Paddling Guide

Essential Paddling Guide: Prime Paddling Spots, Alaska

Rivers run fast and tumbling throughout the National Park System, there are streams with lazy meanders, and placid lakes perfect for dipping a paddle. This diversity poses a delightful dilemma when you have the urge to float and paddle. What follows is just a sampling of the experiences that await you, whether you have hundreds of watery miles under your paddle, or are looking for calm waters to take your youngsters.

Essential Paddling Guide: Prime Paddling Spots, Southwest

Rivers run fast and tumbling throughout the National Park System, there are streams with lazy meanders, and placid lakes perfect for dipping a paddle. This diversity poses a delightful dilemma when you have the urge to float and paddle. What follows is just a sampling of the experiences that await you, whether you have hundreds of watery miles under your paddle, or are looking for calm waters to take your youngsters

Essential Paddling Guide: Prime Paddling Spots, Mid-Continent

Rivers run fast and tumbling throughout the National Park System, there are streams with lazy meanders, and placid lakes perfect for dipping a paddle. This diversity poses a delightful dilemma when you have the urge to float and paddle. What follows is just a sampling of the experiences that await you, whether you have hundreds of watery miles under your paddle, or are looking for calm waters to take your youngsters

Essential Paddling Guide: Prime Paddling Spots, Rocky Mountains

Rivers run fast and tumbling throughout the National Park System, there are streams with lazy meanders, and placid lakes perfect for dipping a paddle. This diversity poses a delightful dilemma when you have the urge to float and paddle. What follows is just a sampling of the experiences that await you, whether you have hundreds of watery miles under your paddle, or are looking for calm waters to take your youngsters

Essential Paddling Guide: Everglades, Exploring The River Of Grass

On a windless morning, under the kind of flawless blue sky that always appears in ads for Florida vacations, our paddles send quiet ripples across the otherwise glassy surface of Chokoloskee Bay. As our two canoes glide past a signpost marking the Indian Key Pass water channel, two ospreys lift off from their nest atop the post and flap lazily over the water.

Essential Paddling Guide: Prime Paddling Spots, South

Rivers run fast and tumbling throughout the National Park System, there are streams with lazy meanders, and placid lakes perfect for dipping a paddle. This diversity poses a delightful dilemma when you have the urge to float and paddle. What follows is just a sampling of the experiences that await you, whether you have hundreds of watery miles under your paddle, or are looking for calm waters to take your youngsters.

Essential Paddling Guide: Olympic National Park’s Elwha River Running Wild Again

Run, river, run. That was the sentiment in the fall of 2011 when work began on the largest dam removal project in U.S. history. Taking down the 105-foot-high Elwha Dam and its sibling, the 210-foot-high Glines Canyon Dam, was history in the making. With the Elwha River’s headwaters high in Olympic National Park, it was more than just the removal of concrete.

Essential Paddling Guide: What's In A Name?

Wild river, national river, scenic riverways. Aren’t they all water when you really get down to it? Here’s a National Park Service primer on the different categories of rivers in the National Park System:

Essential Paddling Guide: Prime Paddling Spots, East

Rivers run fast and tumbling throughout the National Park System, there are streams with lazy meanders, and placid lakes perfect for dipping a paddle. This diversity poses a delightful dilemma when you have the urge to float and paddle. What follows is just a sampling of the experiences that await you, whether you have hundreds of watery miles under your paddle, or are looking for calm waters to take your youngsters.

Essential Paddling Guide: Rio Grande River Grapples With High Salinity, Bacteria Loads

Big Bend National Park and the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River claim 245 miles of this renowned river. And while many of those miles wend their way through rugged and remote canyon country, sections of the river nevertheless are on the state of Texas’ list of impaired water bodies. The primary concern is high total dissolved solids (high salinity), but bacteria can be a problem in the very upper reach.

Essential Paddling Guide: Minimize Your Paddling Impacts

Paddling starts out as a low-impact activity in the National Park System, but keep the following tips in mind to ensure you leave the lowest possible impact.

Essential Paddling Guide: Can Hogs Be Farmed Safely Upstream Of Buffalo National River?

Often the health of our rivers, lakes, and streams in the National Park System is endangered by something we don’t immediately see. Such is the case in Arkansas, where a hog farm less than 6 miles upstream from the Buffalo National River poses an industrial threat to the river.

Essential Paddling Guide: National Park Paddling Picks, From Day Trip To Sojourn

So much water, so little time. Unless you're independently wealthy with nothing to do but play, how can you take advantage of all the paddling adventures that exist in the National Park System. We have some suggestions.

Essential Paddling Guide: Cataract Canyon, Sample The Best Of The Southwest's Rivers

It’s just two days on the river, but the section of the Colorado River that flows through Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park is one of the best not only in the West but in the entire country for whitewater aficionados and admirers of spectacular red rock scenery.

Essential Paddling Guide: Exploring The Big Lakes Of Voyageurs National Park

Of Minnesota’s fabled 10,000 lakes, none are so pristine, so haunting, so alluring to anglers, boaters, and campers as the rockribbed lakes of the north woods, where the cry of loons and howl of wolves soar over the gray water.

Essential Paddling Guide: Sea Kayaks And Sea Caves Of Channel Islands National Park

Channel Island Outfitters can lead you through the caves and down into the kelp forests of Channel Islands National Park, a remote and isolated realm that is home to a unique faunal assemblage.

Essential Paddling Guide: Explore The Rivers Of Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument's two rivers, the Yampa and the Green, should be justification enough to formally describe Dinosaur as a "national park;" they offer some of the best rafting in the West.

Essential Paddling Guide: Paddling The Buffalo, America's First National River

Massive, water-stained bluffs soaring over 500 feet above your canoe or kayak; the highest waterfall between the Appalachians and the Rockies; potential campsites on gravel bars along over a hundred miles of clear, free-flowing river; all this and more make the Buffalo National River a worthy addition to your list of must-do float trips.

Essential Paddling Guide: Row Your Boat, Deep In The Canyon With O.A.R.S.

I've often said that if you've seen one Grand Canyon you've seen them all. Well, that does make some sense because, after all, there's really just only one in the world. And deep in the bottom of this desert chasm lays the main culprit of erosion, the granddaddy of all American waterways: the Colorado River. It's the big ticket, the plum, the one that challenges all paddlers and rowers.
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