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Best Time To White Water Raft In Colorado

Colorado is known for beautiful weather, great nature, and adrenaline-pumping outdoor adventures. In the summer months, rafting is definitely at the top of the list. But, when should you go? The short answer is the best time to white water raft in Colorado is generally May through August.

Colorado’s creeks and rivers are fed by freshly melted snow, so when they peak depends on how the winter was.

Different parts of the season will have different:

  • Water levels
  • Speed of rapids
  • Overall intensity

Make sure you think about the skill level of your group, and plan your trip accordingly!

Best Time To White Water Raft In Colorado

Best Time Of Year To Whitewater Raft In Colorado

Are you looking for a great adventure, but you’re not sure if rafting is for you? The Colorado Adventure Center offers some of the best whitewater rafting for extreme outdoor enthusiasts and timid first-timers alike all summer long!

The summer months in Colorado are when the runoff from the snowpack melting brings water levels up and warm weather settles in. No matter what time of summer you choose to go rafting in Colorado, there are a variety of difficulty levels to meet your adventure needs.

Water levels in Colorado’s rivers will vary depending on the amount of snowfall from the previous winter and weather systems in the Summer.

Different Seasons of White Water Rafting Colorado

Deciding the best time to go rafting in Colorado depends on your party’s white water rafting experience and the level of adrenaline you are looking for. The Colorado Adventure Center offers Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced whitewater rafting trips on Clear Creek from May through August. Colorado summers start slightly later than many other places, but we average about 300 days of sunshine per year!

Early Summer Is High Water Season

If you are experienced paddlers looking for bigger rapids, the best time of year to whitewater raft in Colorado is around mid-June when the water is generally peaking. This time of year is when the water levels will be at their highest. That means more opportunities for faster speeds, bigger rapids, and a more intense experience overall.

Also, if you go early enough, you miss a lot of the crowds that tend to arrive at the peak of the summer. Not that you’ll notice anyone else while paddling like crazy!

But don’t be discouraged if you are a beginner, and this is the time period in which you have the opportunity to go rafting. The best time to white water raft in Colorado is when you are able to get there, and we are also able to accommodate easier trips during this time period.

Best Time Of Year To Whitewater Raft In Colorado

Later Summer Is Lower Water

Are you new to whitewater rafting or have young children in your party? No worries! The beginner section of Clear Creek runs throughout the summer months. There tend to be more options later throughout the summer, but you’re never going to have a shortage.

And for the more advanced adventurers, we can typically find enough excitement later in the summer, too.

Where To White Water Raft In Colorado

Some may call us biased, but we chose to build our business on Clear Creek. We want to spend as much time rafting there as possible, so that should be all the hint you need about our opinion of where to white water raft in Colorado.

Clear Creek is known for a wide variety of rapids, gorgeous scenery, lots of wildlife, and some historical towns and sights that you will float through.

Plus, it’s a short drive to Denver, Breckenridge, Vail, and many other mountain resort towns, so you won’t have to spend too much time in the car. It’s always a win when the bulk of the time is on the water!

Choosing a Colorado Whitewater Rafting Company

There’s a lot to look for when choosing a Colorado whitewater rafting company. Overall, try to focus on a few main areas, such as:

  • Safety
  • River difficulty
  • Value
  • Expertise


When choosing a rafting company, safety should be the first thing you look for. Do an online search to see if they have any accident history, and check reviews to see the opinions of others who used their service.

It’s also a good idea to see if they are certified by any reputable groups.

River Difficulty

This one is more obvious, but you want to make sure that the company can get you into a river that is the right challenge level for you to safely have your rafting experience. Rapids range from Class I – Class VI, with I being very easy and VI being near impossible.

Reach out to an expert if you’re not sure what level you should be looking for.

Consider the different river classifications and difficulty levels offered by the company, and choose a trip that matches your skill level and experience.


Consider the value of the company you choose, but we recommend not choosing based on price. After all, you want the safest and best experience – not the cheapest lifejacket money can buy!

We offer combo trips where you can combine rafting with another adventure, and this is a great way to make your money go further without sacrificing quality.

Where To White Water Raft In Colorado


Make sure that the company you choose knows what they’re doing. All companies have to be new at some point, but it’s always good to see that a company has been in business for a while. Research anything you can find out about who their guides are and what experience they have. And when you arrive for your rafting trip, make sure to check with your guide to see if they seem up to the task. Trust your adventure-seeking gut, and don’t get in a raft if anything feels off.

Other Colorado Adventures

What happens if you missed the best time to white water raft in Colorado? No problem! The Colorado Adventure Center offers some other options that don’t rely on naturally flowing water. You can get a different rush by taking to the sky in the Clear Creek High Tower Zip Line and Colorado Sky Trek March through November.

Need more information to help plan your whitewater rafting adventure? Call 877-ZIP-RAFT today to speak with one of our knowledgeable and friendly Adventure Specialists.

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Ready to embark on an adventure of your own? We offer whitewater rafting trips, zipline trips, and an exciting ropes course!