Colorado Rafting Guide

Colorado Rafting Guide

Colorado rafting or whitewater rafting is an adrenaline rush for some people and total intimidation for others. Thankfully, rivers in Colorado cater to everyone, offering adventures from mild to wild. Rivers are rated from Class I–V. Families and beginners usually choose Class I-II, which offers leisurely float trips with spectacular scenic views at every bend of the wide-open rivers. Class V gives you an exciting ride for your money. Your guide will thread your raft through narrow canyons for hold-tight, mind-clearing plunges for whitewater junkies. Classes II-IV are in between.

Colorado Rafting

Echo Canyon Rafting Adventures

Echo Canyon, based out of Cañon City, is one of the largest rafting outfits in Colorado. Their primary focus is on families looking for a gentle introduction to rafting and challenging whitewater excitement for thrill seekers. They offer half and full-day adventures, plus multi-day wilderness trips. They have seven start locations spread across Colorado. Whitewater trips are offered:

  • Royal Gorge Canyon
  • Bighorn Sheep Canyon
  • Browns Canyon
  • The Numbers
  • Dolores River
  • San Miguel River
  • Colorado River

Raft Masters Adventures

Raft Masters, based out of Cañon City, takes pride in providing their guests with the highest quality rafting experience. Their whitewater Colorado rafting adventures are dedicated to your comfort, safety, and enjoyment. All river gear is included. They provide full and half-day trips in:

  • Clear Creek Canyon
  • Bighorn Sheep Canyon
  • Royal Gorge Canyon

Your Colorado rafting trip includes wet suits, river boots, paddle jackets, and helmets. They also offer combination adventure packages.

Royal Gorge Rafting & Zipline Tours

Royal Gorge Rafting and Zipline Tours, based out of Cañon City, are focused on just what their name is all about. Rafting the Royal Gorge and or ziplining across the Royal Gorge either before or after. They offer half and full-day raft trips and include river gear free of charge. Their rafting trips are in:

  • Royal Gorge Canyon
  • Bighorn Sheep Canyon

Signing up for a combination raft and zipline is a seamless experience. Both activities are at the same location, the adventure hub.

Performance Rafting Tours

Performance Rafting Tours has been offering whitewater tours since 1986. They are dedicated to safety, pride in their crew, love for the river, and providing memorable experiences for their guests. They operate out of six destinations spread across Colorado. Trips are Available in the following locations:

  • Royal Gorge
  • Beuna Vista
  • Breckenridge
  • Colorado Springs
  • Frisco
  • Browns Park

In addition to their standard rafting trips, they have various options, including multi-day group trips. These trips include lodging options, team-building options, and planning tools. Check out their adventure packages. These packages combine rafting and another adventure, such as ziplining or a scenic train ride.

Arkansas River Tours

Experience the thrill of rafting the Arkansas River in Colorado! They have three locations: Cañon City, Cotopaxi, and Dumont, Colorado. The Arkansas River offers a range of exciting rafting opportunities in a beautiful, scenic mountain setting. Whether you’re looking for a scenic float or an extreme class V whitewater adventure, there’s a rafting trip for everyone. There are full—and half-day options.

Check out their package deals, which combine one of the following: the Royal Gorge Scenic Train, ATV Tours, and Aerial Park adventure with a half-day rafting trip.

  • Bighorn Sheep Canyon
  • Royal Gorge Canyon
  • Cottonwood Canyon – perfect for families

Clear Creek Rafting

Rafting Clear Creek Canyon with this rafting outfit is just 30 minutes from Denver, right off I-70. If you’re in Denver, experiencing real Colorado rafting is just around the corner. They provide full and half-day trips in:

  • Clear Creek Canyon (near Denver)
  • Arkansas River (Cañon City)

All guests can access complimentary wet suits, digital photos of their trip, and lunch (lunch full-day trips only).

River Runners

River Runners is located near Buena Vista and Cañon City. Its two rafting outposts provide convenient access to the state’s most scenic and exciting river stretches. They can accommodate beginners through experienced whitewater rafting groups looking for the ultimate challenge.

  • Royal Gorge (Cañon City – Buena Vista)
  • Browns Canyon National Monument (NW Colorado)

Defiance Rafting

Defiance Rafting is based in Glenwood Springs, central to Vail, Aspen, and Grand Junction. They specialize in group trips for families, corporate retreats, schools, faith-based groups, and the military.

  • The Colorado River
  • Roaring Fork River

Colorado Rafting – Be Prepared

Be prepared to get soaking wet! Splashing comes with the territory, even if you’re on a gentle float trip. So, try to wear quick-drying fabrics and bring a change of clothing for the return bus trip. Your driver will shepherd your belongings. (Many outfitters provide wet suits and shoes—a good idea if your trip is in late spring’s icy waters.) Because of whitewater rafting’s popularity, reservations are highly recommended.

Choosing an established rafting company is important. The Colorado River Outfitters Association can provide you with a list of companies staffed by certified, experienced professionals. Choose from half-, full– or multi-day trips that generally include bus transportation to the put-in and take-out point on your river journey. Get ready to have fun!

Colorado Rafting Questions to ask:

  1. Are you planning a half-day, full-day, or multi-day trip?
  2. Minimum age or height requirements?
  3. Can the outfitter accommodate special needs or large groups?
  4. What is included in the price of the trip?
  5. What do I need to bring?

A Raft Masters Adventure

2315 E. Main St., Cañon City, CO
719-275-6645
Celebrating 27 years experience providing the highest quality outings for all group sizes. The Arkansas River is America...
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Arkansas River Tours

49311 W U.S. 50 B, Cañon City, CO 81212
800-321-4352
Arkansas River Tours – Whitewater Rafting Since 1973, Arkansas River Tours has connected over 300,000 guests to th...
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Clear Creek Rafting

44650 W. US Highway 50, Cañon City, CO 81212
800-353-9901
Clear Creek Rafting Clear Creek rafting trips or the Arkansas River at the Royal Gorge. Rafting trips for all abiliti...
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Defiance Rafting Company

1308 County Road 129, Glenwood Springs, CO
970-404-3022
Defiance Rafting Colorado At Defiance, we like to keep things easy peasy lemon squeaky.  Not sure what trip to book? No...
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Durango Hot Springs

6475 Co Rd 203 Durango, CO 81301
970-247-0111
Durango Hot Springs in Colorado Surrounded by mountain views, these natural mineral hot springs are like no other on Ea...
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Echo Canyon River Rafting Expeditions

45000 W US Highway 50, Canon City, CO 81212
800-755-3246
Echo Canyon River Expeditions Echo Canyon River Expeditions has been hosting guests to the beauty and adventure of Colo...
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New Sheridan Hotel

231 W. Colorado Ave., Telluride, CO
970-728-4351
We are a Colorado Historic hotel in the very heart of Telluride but we do not rest on our history. The present booms jus...
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Performance Tours Rafting

Performance Tours, Canon City, CO 81212
1-800-328-7238
About Performance Rafting Tours This rafting company has been offering whitewater tours science 1986. They are dedicated...
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Play Dirty ATV

27077 Hwy 50, Cañon City, CO
719-275-7373
Play Dirty ATV Tours, whether it be a private tour or rental, come get dirty with us. It’s fun....
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Quality Inn & Suites Cañon City

3075 E. US 50, Cañon City, CO
719-275-8676
Cañon City’s only FULL SERVICE HOTEL. FREE Deluxe Continental Breakfast, FREE High Speed Internet Access, Relax &...
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River Runners

44641 US Hwy 50, Cañon City, CO
800-723-8987
Raft the Royal Gorge and other famous sections of the Arkansas River. Choose from half-day, full-day and overnight rafti...
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Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center (RMOC)

23850 Hwy 285 S., Buena Vista, CO
719-395-3335
Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center is the premiere adventure outfitter in Colorado.  Our riverside outpost sits at the entra...
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Royal Gorge Cabins

45054 W US Highway 50, Canon City, CO 81212
800-748-2953
Here at Royal Gorge Cabins you’ll find not just a high-end lodging experience and lots of pampering amenitie...
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Royal Gorge Rafting & Zipline Tours

45045 W US Hwy 50, Cañon City, CO 81212
719-275-RAFT
Royal Gorge Rafting Zipline Tours, All Your Fun in One Location Get ready for the Royal Gorge rafting zipline experience...
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The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey

3011 East Highway 50, Cañon City, CO 81212
719-276-5191
About Winery at Holy Cross Abbey Since July 2002, The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey has been attracting visitors worldwide....
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Vail’s Mountain Haus

292 E. Meadow Dr., Vail, CO
800-237-0922
Nestled along Gore Creek at the Covered Bridge in the heart of Vail Village, Vail's Mountain Haus offers luxurious accom...
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