Have you ever heard of anyone white water rafting Columbus GA waters?
Is this really a popular rafting destination?
Why is it well-known?
Is it worthwhile?
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Georgia may not seem like the best vacation destination for whitewater rafting, but the Chattahoochee River is actually an extremely popular location that continues to draw huge crowds every year.
This river is the longest urban-setting whitewater experience that can be found anywhere, and it offers rapids ranging from Class II all the way up to Class V, depending on which part of the river you visit.
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As an added bonus, portions of the river were once used for various events during the 1996 Olympic Games. This helped the river gain even more popularity and notoriety, and ever since, it’s been a go-to destination for many looking to challenge themselves on the rapids.
If you’re looking for a unique rafting getaway for you and your friends or family, Columbus, Georgia may be the perfect solution. This location is more out-of-the-way than some other popular rafting sites, but still populated enough that it makes for a memorable vacation from start to finish.
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Check out the information we’ve gathered below to help you find out more about rafting this exciting river in the heart of the Southern United States.
JUMP TO A SECTION:
Option #1. Columbus, Georgia Whitewater Rafting
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Location: Columbus, Georgia
Trip durations available:
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Columbus, Georgia is home to the Chattahoochee River, which is a wild and exciting whitewater rafting experience perfect for those who already know what they’re doing on the water. Some portions of the river are better for intermediate rafters or for beginners just looking to move up a little bit in skill level, while most of the river is made up of Class IV and Class V rapids that should be tackled by advanced rafters only. The river features a controlled dam release that takes place every day, so the water levels are lower before the dam releases and higher afterward. This allows most rafting companies to offer a more traditional raft as well as a challenging version when water levels raise later in the day.
- The intermediate level version of the river is available from 9am to 3pm daily with most rafting companies and includes rapids ranging from Class I to Class III. This traditional rafting experience lasts a couple of hours and is the best option for most people looking to enjoy the Chattahoochee.
- The advanced level version of the river is available after 4pm, when the dam has released and the water levels are high and faster. Some rafting companies will offer this trip several times in the evenings, especially in the summer when the sun is up longer.
- Some rafting companies offer a “Carnage” version of the challenging trip, which is taken in a smaller raft that tends to tip over a lot more easily. These trips can be taken with an experienced tour guide and are meant only for those who have had a lot of experience with rafting Class IV-V rapids before.
- Although this river is a lot more predictable in terms of water levels than many others in the country, it nevertheless may still run lower than expected at certain times of the year. If this happens, trips will need to be rescheduled or may be run on lower water levels.
- The river runs through an urban setting instead of through the wilderness, so it’s not the best choice if you’re looking for wildlife viewing or want to see a lot of scenery. Although there are still some interesting sights to see on the Chattahoochee, they’re not wild.
- During some times of the year, Georgia is prone to tornados. If you book during this time of the year, there may be a higher risk of the trip being canceled due to inclement weather.
Now that you’ve had a chance to read up on rafting the Chattahoochee, you may be wondering how to begin planning your trip. When is the best time of year to visit Columbus, Georgia? Is this the same as the best time to go rafting in Columbus? What do you need to know before you go?
Below, we’ve put together a few answers to these questions to help you get started.
When is the best time to raft in Columbus?
- Georgia’s best tourism takes place from spring through fall, with the majority of tourists coming to the state during May and June or later, around September and October.
- Rafting in Columbus is best during May or September. Rafting in May allows you to enjoy the pleasant spring temperatures and warmer weather than much of the rest of the country may be experiencing at the time. Visiting in September, however, provides the chance to raft while it’s still warm outside but not as hot as it was during August.
- September rafting will also allow you to avoid a lot of summer tourist traffic, since school will be back in session by then.
- You may want to avoid booking rafting trips during March or April. This is tornado season in Georgia, and the weather is usually foul during this time.
Here are a few reasons why you may want to go during peak season:
- Going during the best season will give you the chance to avoid bad weather as much as possible. Georgia always has the risk for some bad weather, but it’s best during late spring, summer, and early fall.
- When you visit during peak season, you’ll be sure to have many booking opportunities available and several trips per day on the river from different companies.
- You can easily make a fun vacation for everyone out of visiting Georgia during its peak tourism season.
And here are a few reasons to go during the off-season instead:
- During the off-season, hotel rooms are cheaper and it may be easier to find food and lodging in the area.
- The off-season may also bring deals from some of the rafting companies looking to fill their rafts at a discounted price before tackling the river.
- Since the river is fed by a dam release every day, there’s no need to worry about water levels being too low for safe and enjoyable rafting at any time of the year.
No matter when you visit, keep the following tips in mind to prepare for your trip to Columbus:
- Plan to dress accordingly. The weather can be more unpredictable than the river in Georgia, so bring along several different options for your whole vacation experience.
- Consider the crowds. Tourists flock to the Chattahoochee, and since it’s near the city, many locals visit it at all times of the year, too. Crowds can be an issue when you’re planning your trip to this river.
- Always pay attention to safety rules and listen to your tour guide. Read up on the river before you go and ask the company any questions you may have at the time of booking.
All rafting experiences can be unpredictable. However, there are a lot of predictable factors involved with the Chattahoochee River, and this makes planning a little bit more convenient for this exciting whitewater rapids experience.