The closest river rafting trip to Denver is through Clear Creek Canyon. This exciting trip floats you along I-70 as you dig into class IV rapids and, eventually, through the mountain town of Idaho Springs where you’ll duck under low bridges while enjoying the beautiful architecture. Raft guides from around the globe describe Clear Creek as one of the most technical rivers for rafting in the world. Do the “advanced” trip if you’re really feeling ambitious but be prepared to take instructions on-the-fly at rapid pace to make it out alive!
For the best raft trip in Colorado for beginners and seasoned rafters alike look no further than Browns Canyon. On this trip, you’ll take on class III and IV rapids. You’ll have the opportunity to jump into the water and experience some smaller rapids at eye level but remember to keep your feet down stream. End your trip in Buena Vista where you’ll be able to partake in happy hours on the main street of this charming mountain town.
If you’ve ever been to the Royal Gorge then you probably thought two things: this is way too high for comfort; and, whoa, people actually raft those huge rapids down there!?! The Royal Gorge rafting adventure warms you up with some class III and IV rapids during the beginning of the trip with a climax of class IV and even class V rapids (in high water) that navigate the narrow base of the canyon. Be sure to take in the sight as you approach this section as you’ll need all your wits to get through these challenging rapids without a scratch. This is one of the most memorable rafting trips you will ever have the pleasure of surviving. Pair it with a visit to the bridge itself where you can look down and admire the wild river you conquered.
To wrap up this list we’re tackling the roughest and toughest of rafting options in Colorado. Note that you will likely be required to complete an advanced trip on Clear Creek to prove your capability before any guide takes you through Gore Canyon. You will experience the steepest gradient drop per mile in the state including a waterfall. This is not for the casual rafter and you’ll have to prove that you can swim half a kilometer, run a mile, and, of course, paddle like a pro. Trips often originate out of Kremmling, CO so you may as well turn it into a long weekend in Steamboat.
2017 really is a rare year for rafting conditions so hurry and book your experience today!