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Old 05-20-2011   #1
Sheboygan falls, Wisconsin
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 19
Best runs in the US... or potentially north america maybe central america

I am from the midwest so there aren't any classic runs within everyday range. Having said that I want to take a few trips over the course of the year and I want to know what some of the best runs in the country might be.

First: fall like november(aka thanksgiving break)
second: winter-I'll have like a month off, but is everything frozen? also I'm a skier so that could be a backup/two for one trip.
third:spring break(usually in march) this will be in 2012
fourth: summer of 2012

what runs are reliable during these times?
I've paddled class IV, but I've never even seen anything that is class V.
I live on lake michigan, so I would like to see a real river wave that is comparable or bigger. I haven't gone creeking much because there really aren't any creeks around that have any value.

Last thing-I want to make a vacation out of paddling at least once.

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Old 05-21-2011   #2
dillon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 281
Fall Gauley fest is pretty fun...you can typically run the Gauley at other times but getting shuttle set up during Gauley season is usually easier. That's probably my favorite day trip. Check out the middle Meadow while your there as well the million other runs that are very scenic and fun in the area. Grand Canyon would be my fav overnight...I like it best in the spring and summer. Green and Dolores are also great summer trips. I haven't pulled the Idaho permits but I'm sure the main/middle trip is just as awesome and inspiring as everyone says. During winter maybe go check out the Apurimac or the Costa and Chilean rivers, or paddle the east coast. Have fun!!!

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Old 05-21-2011   #3
Okemos, Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 29
If you're looking for something in winter or spring I'd head to Oregon. That's the rainy season for them so everything would be running. Tons of good runs. Enough to keep you busy for a long time.
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Old 05-21-2011   #4
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
I think little white would be considered as the shit. But its V
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Old 05-21-2011   #5
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
For winter, I would head to mexico or central america. Lots of good outfitters down there to make a great paddling vacation. I haven't been, but have seen glowing reports of mexico, panama, costa rica etc.

For summer time, california and colorado are both good destinations.

March can be hit or miss depending on rain, but can be good in both the pac NW and the southeast.
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Old 05-21-2011   #6
ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 222
For winter and early spring and class 4 it's hard to beat western Oregon.
Where I live in the southern part of the state (or for that matter the whole state) A combination of runs from just above sea level to 3,000', pacific storms, rain, snowmelt, and spring water add up to wide variety of runs to choose from during those times (I average 10 or more days per month of boating during the winter). If you make it out here let me know.
some of my favorites include (in case you want to investigate);NF Smith in Ca. (fantastic scenery and rapids, I've run it in January, sunny and close to 70 degrees many times), Illinois (great overnighter), Lake Creek (best play run in Oregon), Opal Creek (my vote for best class 4 creek in the state)
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Old 05-21-2011   #7
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Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 983
Chile in the winter, cali in the spring and summer
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Old 05-21-2011   #8
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
Jereyk there is actually a fair amount of damn good boating in your neck of the woods.Check out Jim Rada's 'Northwoods Whitewater" a guidebook to the rivers of Minnesota,Wisconsin,Michigan,and Ontario[ Amazon $25].Way more than you'd expect with plenty of IV-V stuff.There was a thread on here maybe a year ago about all sorts of creeks and falls around Lake Superior.Bunch of creeks just over the border near Thunder Bay.

Fall /early winter Central America/Mexico
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Old 05-22-2011   #9
Goshen, New York
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 63
WV for March. Spring New and Cheat are legendary big water class IV. The Gauley releases are a good bit earlier on the fall than you are free. Gauley runs in spring pretty often too though. It's not hard to find shuttles any time of the year. If you have a car and go to a bar in Fayetteville (don't drive the car there cause Fayettevilles finest suck) you will find video boaters, out of work raft guides and assorted river folk to run the river with.

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