River Classification



This international river classification provides river enthusiasts with an overview of each class of water.



Class I: Wide, flat, and slow moving water. Ideal for float trips in rafts. Hazards that can potentially be present are overhanging trees and log jams.



Class II: Faster moving water with an increased current and waves. This type of water is typical for canoeing.



Class III: Larger waves are present due to an increased gradient drop and/or the narrowing of the river resulting in a stronger current. Some obstructions are present but navigating is simple to the trained individual. This type of water is typical for family rafting.



Class IV: Increased gradient and obstructions are present making these sections more challenging to navigate. This is an appropriate legal limit to commercial rafting in Canada.



Class V: This is the upper end of professional rafting and kayaking. This environment requires a tremendous amount of training and experience.


Class VI: This is typically unrunnable water.