The most scenic rivers in the US

Stef Zisovska

The rivers in the US represent major arteries coursing across the country and mark the beauty of the entire land. Environmentalists from across the country are trying to protect these beautiful bodies of water from pollution and other human disturbances with the aim of leaving them for the generations to come. Check out our list of the most scenic rivers within the borders of the US and see which ones you would like to visit.

The Kenai, Alaska

Kenai River, south of Anchorage, Alaska – Author: Frank K. -CC-BYY 2.0

The Kenai River flows through south central Alaska, and it’s one of the most picturesque waterways in the world. The turquoise waters of the Kenai run through alpine forests and mountainous terrain. The river is formed by melted glacial ice, and it runs for 82 miles from Kenai Lake to Cook Inlet on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. If you are a wildlife fan, then be prepared to see moose and caribou grazing alongside the river which has also been a major fishing spot for ages.

Columbia River, Oregon

The Columbia River Gorge facing east toward Beacon Rock – Author: etliebe

Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest, and it travels for 1,234 miles through British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon before it reaches the Pacific Ocean. The deep blue color of the river is best seen from the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. The Columbia River waters are host to a lot of fish species that migrate from the salt waters of the Pacific Ocean to the freshwater of Columbia. Verdant forests, steep cliffs, and rolling hills are the main features of the natural beauty that surrounds the river, where you can enjoy hiking, camping, or backpacking.

Hanalei River, Hawaii

Lower Hanalei Valley as seen from the overlook near Princeville – Author: Marshman – CC BY-SA 3.0

The Hanalei River is located on the island of Kauai, running from the peaks of 3,500-foot-high Mount Waialeale down to Hanalei Bay in the Pacific Ocean. The river travels through lush green tropical forests, and the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge. Hanalei River receives the highest percentage of rainfall in the world which makes its surroundings amazingly beautiful. Kayaking down this river is an unforgettable experience that will satisfy anybody looking for an active vacation.

Colorado River, Arizona

Colorado River

The Colorado River is not only one of the most scenic in the US, but in the world as well. Its unparalleled beauty consists of rushing rapids, aquamarine waters, and steep canyon walls that give the whole area an otherworldly look. Thanks to the powerful waters of the Colorado River we have the Grand Canyon, a natural landmark that attracts plenty of tourists, naturalists, geologists, and photographers. If you want to experience the Grand Canyon in the best possible way and explore its dramatic environs, as well as the serene desert landscapes, book a rafting tour or multi-day hiking excursion.

Snake River, Idaho

Snake River winding through Hell’s Canyon – Author: X-Weinzar – CC BY-SA 2.5

The Snake River flows through three states, Wyoming, Idaho, and Washington, and it has perhaps the most stunning countryside views in the States. It’s the largest tributary of the Columbia River and is surrounded by rugged mountains, rolling plains, and deep valleys created by glaciers in the last ice age. You can enjoy this powerful river from many different points along its flow including Yellowstone National Park, Twin Falls, Jackson, Idaho Falls, Boise, and Lewistown. However, the most scenic views are available from Hell’s Canyon.

These five are the most scenic rivers that every American must try and visit in their lifetime. The natural beauties of the country are countless, and we should take advantage of them as much as we can. Decide which of these scenic rivers you want to see first and start planning a road trip with your friends and family. Spending some quality time in nature is the best thing you can do for your mental and physical health. Take care and good luck!

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