History buffs ― and anyone who likes riding rapids ― will love Cort Conley's trip down Idaho's Salmon River.
7. LOWER KLAMATH, CA
Yoga on the river There's nothing like doing the tree pose among the trees ― especially on a sandy riverbank in the redwood-studded Siskiyou Wilderness. Days start and end with gentle yoga and meditation ― and in between, the silence is broken by hoots and hollers as you splash through the Klamath. Whether you're new to namaste or are as bendable as the necks of the great blue herons lining the river, you'll find true inner peace as you bed down beneath the dizzying stars. 3 days (Aug 4-6); $400; class II-IV rapids; River Dancers; 800/926-5002. -Julie Tomasz
8. UPPER ARKANSAS RIVER, CO
Inn to inn For river rats who prefer a cushy king bed to a Therm-a-Rest after a day on the rapids, this inn-to-inn trip on the Arkansas is for you. The 25- to 80-mile voyage includes an option to mountain bike or ride horses beneath 14,000-foot peaks. When the day's fun is done, you're whisked away to Western-chic B&Bs ― for a hot shower or spa tub and a hearty meal. 2-4 days; $260 per day; class III-V rapids; Wilderness Aware Rafting; 800/462-7238. -T.A.S.
9. SALMON RIVER, ID
Natural and human history Rushing 80 miles through the 2 million-acre Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, there's nothing dry about this on-river history course ― including "professor" Cort Conley, an Idaho historian. The affable author of 11 books will introduce you to the sites and stories of the Salmon River while botanist Roger Rosentreter rattles off the scientific and common name for any wildflower, tree, grass, or lichen that catches your eye. All you have to do is listen and learn, as you ride the rapids and lounge on wide sandy beaches. 6 days (Aug 20?25); $1,550; class III rapids; Canyons Incorporated; 888/634-2600. -L.S.
10. AMERICAN RIVER, CA
Wine tasting First swirl and sip, then swirl along the South Fork ― it's a decidedly refined way to enjoy a weekend on the river. Especially
in El Dorado County, land of juicy Zinfandels. Enjoy a guided tour of the region's most noteworthy wineries, followed by a
full day of riding famed and feared rapids like Troublemaker, the Triple Threats, and, our favorite, Meatgrinder. Toast your
adventures over dinner at the campsite, and let the murmur of the river rock you to sleep. 2 nights; $309; class III-IV rapids;
Adventure Connection; 800/556-6060. -Lisa Taggart