International Scale of River Difficulty

US Standard Rated Rapids: 

Class 5.0 to Class 5.3


This is the American version of a rating system used to compare river difficulty throughout the world. This system is not exact; rivers do not always fit easily into one category, and regional or individual interpretations may cause misunderstandings. It is no substitute for a guidebook or accurate first-hand descriptions of a run.



Rapid name (s) River, section (s) State Level
Class 5.0
North East
Insignificant Gauley, Upper WV 2400-3200
Lost Paddle Gauley, Upper WV 2400-3200
Cribworks Penobscot R., W. Br., ME 2000-3000
Rapid name (s) River, section (s) State Level
Rocky Mountain
No Name Animas, Upper CO 2000
Damnation Alley Encampment WY 1000-1200
Broken Bridge Animas, Upper CO 2000-2500
Pine Creek Arkansas, Pine Creek Canyon CO 1500-2100(3.5')
Rock Garden Rio Grande, Lower Taos Box NM 2000-3000
Canyon
No Name Animas, Upper CO 4000
Big Drops Colorado, Cataract Canyon UT 30,000
South East
Sock'em Dog Chattooga, Sect. IV GA/SC 1.8'-2.3'
El Horrendo (Right Side) Russell Fork, Breaks VA 800-1250
Tower Russell Fork, Breaks VA 800-1100
Watauga Falls Watauga River Gorge (sect 4) NC -6"-0 (200-400)
Hydro, The Hole Watauga River Gorge (sect 4) NC -6"-0 (200-400)
West Coast
Vortex Kern, Forks of CA MODERATE
Starts with a bang and Cascade River WA mod
Bridge Drop
Mushroom Tuolumne, Cherry Cr. CA 1200
Lava Falls (Right Side) Colorado, Grand Canyon AZ 15-25000
Hounds Tooth Payette, N. Fk. ID 1800-2000
Screaming Left Turn Payette, N. Fk. ID 1800-2000
Class 5.1
North East
Big Splat Big Sandy Cr., Lower WV 6.2'
Rocky Mountain
Gore Rapids Colorado, Gore Canyon CO 1200
Double Suck Clarks Fork WY 1200
Kirschbaum Colorado, Gore Canyon CO 1200
Pine Creek Arkansas, Pine Creek Canyon CO high-2900
Slaughterhouse Falls Roaring Fk., Slaughterhouse run CO hi
Lower Narrows Cache La Poudre, Narrows CO 2.5', 500
Upper Provo Falls Provo UT 300
South East
Pinball Little River Canyon AL 6"-1'
Pinball Overflow Creek GA 1-1.5'
West Coast
Straight Shot American, S. Fk., Golden Gate CA 1000
Drain Pipe American, S. Fk., Golden Gate CA moderate
Jacob's Ladder Payette, N. Fk. ID 1200-2500
Rapid name (s) River, section (s) State Level
Class 5.2
Rocky Mountain
Snolic Sister Clarks Fork WY 1200
Lower Barrel Springs Colorado, Glenwood Cyn CO 3000
Pine Creek Arkansas, Pine Creek Canyon CO 4.5'
Slurry Pipe Eagle River, Gillman Gorge CO 4'
South East
Gorilla Falls/Green Green River Narrows NC 1-4 tubes
Scream Machine
Sunshine Green River Narrows NC 1-4 tubes
West Coast
Lumsden Falls Tuolumne CA moderate
Juicer Payette, N. Fk. ID 4000
Rapid name (s) River, section (s) State Level
Class 5.3
Rocky Mountain
S Turn Lime Cr. CO
Upper Narrow's Cache La Poudre, Narrows CO 2.5', 500
Rigormortis Clear Cr. Cyn CO 900
West Coast
Jacob's Ladder Payette, N. Fk. ID 3500
Nutcracker Payette, N. Fk. ID 1800-2000