Interestingly, rafting was one of the earliest forms of transport. It is not only used for the transport of people, but also for shifting goods from one place to another. However, it became quite popular as a form of leisure activity in the 1980s.
In 1811, the first recorded attempt to navigate the Snake River in Wyoming was planned by the Overland Astorians. As he tried to drive a foot under Jackson Hole, the river was overly dangerous and called Mad River.
It is believed that the rubber raft for the river was invented in the early 1840s. It was first made by lieutenant John Fremont, who then served in the US Army and Horace H. Day. They invented a rubber raft with the intention of exploring the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains. Although the raft was invented in the mid-nineteenth century, only the end of the century was the first commercial trip of white water. At first, the surplus of military rafts were used as boats, and only later boats were used.
Private companies have played an important role in increasing rafting. In 1956, one of the richest business families of America, John D. Rockefeller, built a resort that introduced one of the first floating trips to the country. However, this just provoked a lukewarm response. Later, sixties and seventies of the last century, exclusive white water rafting companies were formed. These are Becker-Cooke expeditions, Hatch River Expeditions and Slickrock Adventures.
Rafting was first involved in the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, and was later included in games in Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996. In 1996, the Ocoee River in Tennessee Valley hosted white events in the Summer Olympics.