Colorado is known for its white water rafting. This season lasts for about six months, centered around when the warmth in the mountains melts the snow (May and June, mostly). This raises the water level and, therefore, the speed of the current.
There are about 30 main white water rafting areas in Colorado, so you won’t have any trouble finding a river and a professional outfitter.
A courtesy safety warning though, don’t attempt white water rafting Colorado rapids on your own. Always go with friends or use a guide.
The Colorado River is a massive, 1,450-mile-long river that stretches through seven different states and two more in Mexico.
This is one of the best white water destinations in the U.S. The river spills through different canyons with jaw-dropping views, spanning both wild rapids and slick, calm stretches, making it a good fit for all levels of experience.
Buena Vista is the perfect place to enjoy the adventure of whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River. This quaint mountain town offers easy access to Colorado’s rapids and is surrounded by 14,000-foot snow-capped peaks and the Arkansas River.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, a run through Class IV and V rapids via the “Numbers” section will keep you on your toes.
Idaho Springs offers rafting on Clear Creek, which is Colorado’s own mountain backyard, near Denver. Rafting Clear Creek is available as both a half-day and a full-day trip. Beginners, intermediates, and advanced paddlers can all take part in trips.
With numerous technical rapids and steep drops, Clear Creek is the steepest river in the state located within a narrow canyon inside Clear Creek Canyon. Buckle in for one of the best rafting experiences you can have.
Roaring Fork River
A great place to stop over from Aspen or Carbondale, the Roaring Fork River cuts through beautiful forest. Slaughterhouse rapids are located in the upper part of the river, and as the name implies, they are extreme. It’s one of the most popular commercially rafted waterfalls in the state.
Roaring Fork winds for roughly 70 miles before draining into Roaring Fork Valley and ending at Glenwood Springs. Enjoy a soak in Glenwood’s natural hot springs to cap off your water adventure.
While cruising through Creede, Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, take in the breathtaking scenery. There are rapids of classes II and III at this stunning destination, making it particularly suitable for families.
There are many restaurants and bars in the ski village that are adjacent to the Yampa River, which winds through an exciting dinosaur monument. It’s no surprise that this area is covered in dinosaur remains.
Additionally, the Yampa is the only free-flowing river in Colorado and one of the last free-flowing tributaries of the Colorado River.
Approximately 260 miles of rafting trips await on the Yampa, including some major challenges for adrenaline junkies. From beginner to advanced, it’s a white water rafters paradise.