Best Whitewater Rafting Trips in Colorado

best white water rafting

Best Whitewater Rafting Trips in Colorado

Colorado whitewater rafting trips are rated some of the best in the world. With so many amazing options it is difficult to choose which is the best rafting trip in Colorado. There are a wide variety of rafting trips depending on where you are traveling and your group’s whitewater experience. From breathtaking scenic floats to heart-pounding rapid sections, Colorado offers some of the best rafting in the United States.

As Spring settles in each year, the snow from high in the Rocky Mountains starts to melt and fill up Colorado’s waterways. Due to most whitewater coming directly from snow melt, the peak season for rafting in Colorado is mid-May through mid-August. Hitting the river while the weather is warm, and the water is flowing is a big factor in having a great whitewater experience in Colorado.

Your group’s whitewater experience, ability, and minimum age are a few very important factors to consider when picking a rafting trip in Colorado. Beginner whitewater rafting trips with Class I, Class II, and Class III rapids are a great choice for guests with minimal experience and younger children. Paddlers with more experience and after some adrenaline should consider intermediate river sections with Class III to Class IV rapids. These river sections will have more technical rapids with bigger drops and waves. There are several advanced rafting sections in Colorado where you will encounter Class V rapids. These sections are for experienced paddlers that are in good physical condition. Be advised that rapid classifications and difficulty of river sections will fluctuate due to water levels. Choosing the appropriate level of whitewater for your group is an important first step of having the best whitewater experience possible.

Group rafting

Due to its variety of difficulty levels, scenic canyon views, and convenient proximity to Denver, Clear Creek is one of the front runners for the best whitewater rafting in Colorado. Every year more and more travelers and locals alike come to Clear Creek to experience Colorado whitewater rafting at its best. Beginner to advanced rafting trips offered on Clear Creek allow first timers and thrill seekers alike to get their kicks on this iconic stretch of Colorado whitewater. Clear Creek rafting trips will meet at the Colorado Adventure Center’s Idaho Springs Base Camp. The scenic 35-minute drive from Denver allows guests to check out some of the best whitewater rafting adventures in the state without devoting several hours driving in the car.

Experience Clear Creek’s top-rated rafting trips for yourself. Book online or call 877-ZIP-RAFT to reserve one of the best whitewater rafting trips in Colorado.

What to Wear Whitewater Rafting

If you are in the process of booking a trip with the Colorado Adventure Center, you are probably wondering what to wear white water rafting. Planning ahead to bring the right attire to wear rafting can have a big impact on your adventure.

No matter what rafting trip you choose, you are going to get wet! Be prepared. Several factors go into deciding what to wear while you are white water rafting. Time of year, time of day, difficulty of rapids, duration of rafting trip, weather forecast, water temperature and air temperature.

The water on Clear Creek is directly fed from snow melt high up on the continental divide. This means the water temperature stays approximately 40 degrees. Even on the hottest days in the Summer, the water on Clear Creek can be breath taking and, in some cases, hypothermic. Choosing the right gear to wear white water rafting is a crucial part of an amazing experience on the water.

Don’t Wear any Cotton!

Cotton material and cold water don’t mix. Cotton is a negative insulator because it stays wet and does not dry easily. Once your cotton layer is wet, it will stay wet and cold. Your best bet is to choose a synthetic dry-fit material that will dry fast. Staying dry, or at least drying off fast, is the key to staying warm while white water rafting.

Proper Footwear

Shoes that strap to your feet are required to wear while rafting on Clear Creek. Sandals, flip flops, or Crocs are not great options for rafting. These loose fitting, strapless styles of footwear can easily fall off and get donated to the creek. Closed toed shoes are also strongly recommended. There are slippery and sometimes sharp rocks that you will have to walk on to get in and out of the raft. Protect your feet with closed toed shoes that strap on securely. Neoprene river booties are the best option and are available for rent at check in.

Change of Dry Clothes

A set of dry clothes to change into after your rafting adventure is a great way to end your day. Avoid a cold and wet ride home, bring a change of clothes.

Keep your shades. You will definitely want eye protection on a sunny day. Make sure your sun glasses are strapped to your head with Chums or Croakies. A big wave or a swim in the creek can easily knock your sunglasses off if they are not secured.

What is included:

All whitewater rafting trips at the Colorado Adventure Center include:

  • Neoprene Wet Suit*
  • Type V Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
  • Helmet
  • Paddle

*Wet Suits are not required on the Clear Creek Beginner Raft trip.  Although they are not required, wet suits are strongly recommended during early season, later trips, or if the weather is calling for rain.

*Wet Suits are required on all Clear Creek Intermediate and Clear Creek Advanced Rafting Trips. During these trips you will be in contact with the water constantly as you navigate more difficult rafting sections. Even on a hot day you will appreciate the wet suit after the first couple big splashes.

Additional Gear to Rent

River Booties – Neoprene Booties are always a great piece of gear to wear while rafting. The self-bailing rafts most commonly used allows water to freely move around the bottom of the boat. This means your feet will be in the water most of your rafting trip. Neoprene booties are designed to keep your feet warm, are closed toed, and have grip on the bottom to help walk on the slippery rocks.

Splash Jacket – The splash jacket is an extra layer of warmth and protection for your upper body. The neoprene wet suits included in your trip are sleeveless. Renting a splash jacket is recommended for early season conditions or if inclement weather is in the forecast.

Gloves – Neoprene gloves are a good idea if your hands get cold easily. Gloves will help keep your hands warm and help with gripping your paddle.

Do you have more questions about what to wear white water rafting? Call 877-ZIP-RAFT and a member of our reservation team will recommend the proper attire for your rafting adventure.