Whitewaters by the Numbers
Download the PDF here: Whitewater by the Numbers
Rapids are rated Class 1-6 for difficulty. Classes 1 and 2 are usually doable for beginners. The Upper St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers are considered recreational paddling rivers at normal water levels. They have a few Class 1 and sometimes 2 rapid areas.
Check with us regarding river water levels and river rapid conditions. High water from melting snow or heavy rains can produce Classs 3 rapids that can swamp paddle craft.
CLASS 1: Easy rapids with small waves. Good for beginners who know basic strokes.
CLASS 2: Waves up to 3 feet high; some maneuvering may be necessary. Go with a more experienced paddler to give advice and pick up paddles after you dump.
CLASS 3: Difficult, with high waves that can swamp an open canoe. Significant maneuvering may be necessary. Experienced paddlers only.
CLASS 4: Very difficult, long rapids with powerful waves and hard-to-avoid obstructions. Very tough and hazardous water in an open canoe, even for an expert.
CLASS 5: Extremely difficult, long and violent rapids, with complicated routes and steep drops (including waterfalls). Only experts in decked canoes, kayaks or rafts need apply.
CLASS 6: Class 5 to the extreme, with a real chance you’ll die if you mess up.