Colorado is well-known as the premiere outdoor playground of the country, and it’s the best place to go for an adrenaline fix in the fresh air. But when you’re thinking about planning a trip to go camping or skiing, don’t forget to consider the excellent river trips in Colorado.
Rafting is a great activity for everyone from families to seasoned rafters, and it adds a splash of adventure to a sunny day in the mountains.
Choosing the trip to take in such a large state can be a little overwhelming, so we’re going to help you find the best river rafting in Colorado.
Why Go White Water Rafting in Colorado?
Of all the adventures you could do, why go white water rafting in Colorado?
Thanks to its stunning natural beauty and unique terrain, Colorado is home to some of the best white water rafting in the world. You may spend most of your time in heavy focus on doing your job in the raft, but you’ll definitely have a chance to soak in the scenery around you.
Here are just a few reasons why you should consider a white water rafting trip in Colorado:
- Varying levels of rapids
- Great scenery
- Variety and ease of the locations
Let’s dive a little deeper into each of those.
Rapids of All Levels
Colorado is known for its fast and furious rivers, with rapids ranging all the way from class II to class V. This means that whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rafter, there’s a river and a trip that’s perfect for your skill level.
From the snow-capped Rocky Mountains to the picturesque valleys to the historic mining towns along the rivers, Colorado offers a wide range of stunning landscapes that you can take in you’re on the river. And you’ll probably experience some wildlife viewing in there as well!
Variety of Options
With so many outdoor opportunities to choose from, there’s a trip for everyone. Whether you’re looking for an easy and family-friendly float or an adrenaline-fueled adventure, you’ll find it on the water in Colorado.
Colorado is a big state, so some of the places are quite a hike from Denver and the other popular places. The good news here is that our favorite spot, Clear Creek, is an easy drive from Denver and many of the mountain resorts, such as Vail and Winter Park.
Colorado White Water Rafting Season
The Colorado white water rafting season generally runs from May through September, but it all depends on the snowmelt and rainfall. The peak season is usually in late May and early June when the water levels are highest, but there’s still plenty of action to be had throughout the summer months.
The weather in Colorado can be unpredictable, so it’s important to come prepared for any conditions. We recommend dressing in layers and bringing a rain jacket just in case. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the necessary gear, as we provide the equipment you need.
Best River Rafting in Colorado
We firmly believe that the best river rafting in Colorado is on Clear Creek near Idaho Springs.
It checks all the boxes of things we are looking for, including:
- Close to Denver and the summit county resorts
- Diversity of rapids
- Scenic nature and historic mining buildings
- The fun town of Idaho Springs as a base
There are options for all different levels.
Beginner White Water Rafting Colorado
Our Beginner trip takes you through Class II-III rapids, so it’s a manageable trip for all ages and skill levels. You’ll also have plenty of time to take in the nature and scenery, as well as the historic Argo Gold Mine and Charlie Taylor Water Wheel.
Intermediate White Water Rafting Colorado
Our most popular trip is the Intermediate level. It tackles Class III-IV rapids, so it’s idea for enthusiastic first timers or experience rafters.
Advanced White Water Rafting Colorado
If you’re an experience paddler, consider our most extreme, steep, and technical trip. These Class IV-V rapids will get that adrenaline pumping!
What to Bring on Your White Water Rafting Trip
When preparing for your river trips in Colorado, it’s important to pack the right gear and dress appropriately so that you stay safe and comfortable on the water. Here are some essentials to bring with you:
- Swimwear: You’re going to be getting wet, so make sure to wear a swimsuit or quick-drying clothing.
- Footwear: Water shoes or sandals with straps are recommended, as they will protect your feet and stay on securely during the trip.
- Sun Protection: Colorado’s altitude puts you closer to the sun! Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
- Change of Clothes: Bring a change of dry clothes to wear after your trip.
- Personal Medications: If you have any personal medications, make sure to bring them with you on the trip.
We provide equipment such as helmets, life jackets, and paddles, so you mostly just want to focus on warm, comfortable clothes that will handle getting wet..
Is White Water Rafting Safe?
Yes, yes, and yes!
White water rafting can be a thrilling and unforgettable experience, but safety should always be a top priority. When you book a trip with a reputable rafting company such as ours, you can trust that they will take all necessary precautions to keep you safe.
All rafting guides should be trained and certified in CPR, first aid, and water safety, and they should also have extensive knowledge of the river and its conditions. Before your trip, your guide will provide you with a safety briefing and instructions on how to properly use the equipment.
It’s important to listen carefully to your guide and follow their instructions throughout the trip. In the event of an emergency, your guide will be equipped to handle the situation and ensure your safety.
Now, Let’s Go Rafting!
Just talking about all the opportunities for river trips in Colorado makes us excited to hit the water. If you’re still not sure which trip is best for you, please reach out and we’ll help you figure it out.