The best river routes for kayaking and canoeing can be found in America's beautiful National Parks. From the Pacific to the Atlantic, and from the desert to the plains, you can traverse the United States on the original highway of rivers that connects every state in the union. And, there is no better home-base from which to see America's riverways than your RV.
Learn about the best Kayaking in National Parks across the country. Find out about the unique scenery and natural splendor that each river features. And, see which routes are best for beginners, intermediate, and advanced kayakers.
Best Kayaking Routes in National Parks Across the United States of America
The United States is a gorgeous country, offering a wealth of inspiration for anyone who loves the great outdoors. For those who travel across the country, looking for adventure in nature, the National Parks offer more natural splendor than you can experience in a lifetime. And, one of the most defining features of any National Park is the waterways flowing through the landscape.
The waterways of America, like rivers, lakes, and canals are the original highways that connect the country. Long before Europeans settled North America, over thousands of years the rivers seeped and snaked through the mountains and plains, creating canyons, swamps, and lakes. With your kayak and RV, these National Parks offer adventure and wonder that is unseen from land:
California – Point Reyes National Seashore
On the West Coast of California, a marine wilderness exists like none other at Point Reyes National Seashore. This underwater forest features eelgrass beds, bat rays, harbor seals, leopard sharks, and many other forms of local wildlife. Motor vehicles are not permitted, which makes this pristine water a perfect kayaking or canoeing experience.
Experience the pacific coast like never before by camping along the backcountry of Drakes Bay. Unlike boating on the river, Point Reyes offers minimal currents and easy put-in and take-out from the same location – or different locations, depending on your group's skill level. Point Reyes is perfect for introducing new kayakers and campers to the pacific coast of California.
Wyoming – Grand Teton National Park
If you're looking for a kayaking or canoeing trip for experienced boaters, the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park is unlike any other. Grand Teton National Park stands as one of America's most popular destinations for avid outdoors-enthusiasts, campers, and boaters. And, since it was immortalized on film cutting through the heart of the Teton mountains, in the late 1940s, Snake River has been traversed by thousands.
Snake River is filled with unparalleled wildlife, scenery, and adventure – but it is not for the uninitiated boater. Mild rapids make Snake River the perfect choice for intermediate and advanced kayakers – but not for beginners. The last thing you want is to take a dip into the very cold waters of Wyoming's Snake River.
Arizona – Grand Canyon National Park
Every RVer has the Grand Canyon on their bucket list, but did you know that Grand Canyon National Park is a haven for boaters, as well? Kayaking through the Grand Canyon offers a brand-new and fascinating experience, as opposed to experiencing the canyon from its rim. And, with whitewater rapids of every kind, the canyon's waterways are not for the faint of heart.
Advanced paddlers find that Grand Canyon National Park offers an unforgettable boating experience. With over 277 miles of river rapids, you can take your pick of tours, or set to the water on your craft. But, if you want to take a self-guided tour of the rivers, be sure to contact the park for a permit before setting out in your RV.
Texas – the Rio Grande at Big Bend National Park
Experience the desert as never before, floating down the Rio Grande in Texas' Big Bend National Park. With canyons over 1,500 feet tall and geology that dates back hundreds of millions of years, there is no shortage of fascinating scenery. And, big Bend National Park is a perfect choice for kayakers and canoers of all skill levels.
Minnesota – Voyageur National Park
Looking for a waterway further North and not as sandy? The natural scenery couldn't be further from the dessert in Minnesota's Voyager National Park. In total, over 30% of Voyager National Park consists of waterways, lakes, and rivers. With hundreds of islands to explore, mysterious inlets, and countless wildlife, Voyager is a wonderful destination for beginner and intermediate paddlers.
Florida – Everglades National Park
In America's Southeast swampland, the Everglades remain one of the planets crowning-jewels of beauty. Nowhere in the country can you experience water in more diversity and variation. From still-sitting lagoons to quick-running creeks, Everglades National Park is a monument to water's influence over ecosystems.
Florida's subtropical climate is perfect to host a wide variety of plants, animals, and natural formations. Float down rivers, covered by mangrove trees and 99 miles of Wilderness Waterway Trails. Paddle along the open bays where dolphins can swim freely alongside your kayak, or down the twisting creeks and rivers that eventually spill into the Atlantic Ocean.
America's National Parks are the best locations to find an amazing boating experience while camping in your RV. These are only a few of the best kayaking routes in National Parks, and many routes are yet to be discovered – by you. Get your RV ready to take your friends and family on the adventure of a lifetime, exploring the rivers, canals, and lakes of America's great National Parks.