There's nothing like the rush you get when navigating through white water rapids - down every wave, eddy, pillow, and drop of water - as you're rollin', rollin', rollin' down the river. Rapids can be aggressive, yet graceful, providing a certain poetry in motion in the sport of whitewater rafting; in between rapids there's always a proverbial calm before a storm - almost always with beautiful scenery - but when the hydraulic storm hits, it tosses and turns you (and sometimes flips you) like an angry beast. However, it is never actually angry (unless you're feeling mythological) for that's just the nature of rapids, merely flowing perpetually as Mother Nature intended - which is a good thing for adrenaline junkies inside kayaks and inflatable rafts.
In my opinion, rafting is more fun the more challenging it is - otherwise you might as well be on a slow-moving booze cruise (not that there's anything wrong with that). But I'm talking about getting that rush when rafting in rapids Class III or higher, based on the scale of difficulty used by commercial rafting outfitters. It goes from Class I, which is just a mild flirtation with fast-moving currents where you generally stay dry, to Class V, where your life is at the whim of your paddle and you get drenched - but hey, that's what you signed up for, so embrace it. Here's a round up of five top places to raft whitewater in the USA, rated Class III and up.