2014 Travel Awards: Best River Trip
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
Winner: Chilko and Chilcotin Rivers, British Columbia
Roam’s 120-mile trip down the Chilko and Chilcotin Rivers begins on a dirt road deep in the Coast Range of British Columbia, where there’s a collection of elevated safari-style tents linked by hanging walkways. From there, you’ll set off on a six-day trip through some of the continent’s most rugged peaks and clutch rapids—including Lava Canyon, the longest stretch of commercial whitewater in North America—to a take-out on the Fraser. The July 19 excursion features Outside contributing editor Kevin Fedarko reading from his book about the Grand Canyon, The Emerald Mile, between bites of campfire canapés. From US$2,995; iroamtheworld.com
Runner-Up: Ord River, Australia
The Kimberley region of northwest Australia is an immense, hard-to-reach plateau of flaming red rock and booming canyons. It’s also home to one of the most exciting canoe trips we’ve encountered. The upper Ord River is the only waterway in northern Australia that’s free of the notoriously vicious saltwater crocs. (Their more docile “freshie” cousins won’t cause you much hassle.) Fly into Kununurra, a rugged outpost near Darwin, and paddle for three days and 34 miles past waterfalls, jabirus, and ancient rock art. Outfitter Go Wild supports DIY missions on the river with equipment, transfers, tips, and a guidebook showing awesome camping spots. From US$158; gowild.com.au