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Colorado: 10 Best Places In Colorado For Whitewater Rafting

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Travel Attractions – Best Places in Colorado for Whitewater Rafting

Colorado is a paradise for adventurers with many exciting outdoor activities that will keep them busy. It is home to many beautiful mountains that can be used for hiking and mountain climbing.

However, the state also has great whitewater rafting opportunities. This adventure is often available in the summer months. It will take you through Colorado’s beautiful outdoors while getting soaked and tossed around by the rapids. 

If you’re looking for the summer outdoor adventure you’ve always dreamed of, Colorado offers plenty of spots to try whitewater rafting.

The Bighorn Sheep Canyon, located near Colorado Springs, offers class III through class V rapids. If you’re looking for more challenging terrain, the Royal Gorge is a great choice. A day spent on the river will test your teamwork and techniques.

Whitewater rafting in Colorado is popular and challenging. The state has over a dozen commercially-rafted rivers. Two of the best are the Animas River and the Arkansas River. During peak season, you should book your trip well in advance to avoid the crowds. It’s also advisable to compare prices and availability.

This experience is suitable for both novice and experienced paddlers. Here are some of the top 10 places in Colorado to experience this exciting adventure.

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The Upper Clear Creek

This creek is a great spot to experience whitewater rafting. This river features Class II-to-V rapids and calm areas for younger rafters. It’s also nestled in a beautiful forest and offers stunning views.

You can raft with kids of all ages, but it’s recommended that they’re at least 6 years old.

Before heading out on the river, make sure you have all the proper equipment for the trip. Don’t forget to bring a change of clothes in case it gets cold. You may want to take a paddle board or kayak with you. These will make the trip even more thrilling.

Poudre River

Another great place to go whitewater rafting in Colorado is the Poudre River. This river offers a great experience and is one of the only places in the state that is designated a national wild and scenic river.

There are beginner/intermediate and advanced half-day trips available for different skill levels. The rafting season usually starts in mid-May and goes until early August for easier and more challenging floats.

Rafting in Aspen

There are a variety of places to try whitewater rafting in Colorado, including rafting trips in Aspen. In addition to the Royal Gorge, there are several other sections to consider as well.

A popular rafting section is the Royal Gorge, which winds its way through a narrow canyon and features Class IV and V rapids. It is also home to some amazing wildlife. Snow from the high Rocky Mountains powers the whitewater rivers in Colorado.

Gore Canyon

The most difficult rapids in Colorado are those located in the Gore Canyon and the Snake River. Both are known for their intensity. Gore Canyon’s S-Bend is a challenging class III rapid with numerous hazards.

The Numbers rapid, meanwhile, is class IV and easier to manage. If you’re a beginner or just looking for a bit more bounce, you’ll enjoy this adventure.

San Miguel River

San Miguel River is best for beginners, as it mostly has class II and occasionally class III rapids. There are several sections of the river that offer different views and experiences for rafters. 

The lower sections are more enjoyable, but the upper section is more difficult. To be able to handle the rapids, rafters must be in good health.

Taylor River

Taylor River is a whitewater rafting adventure that is suitable both for intermediate and advanced rafters. Although most of the river features class III rapids there are a few sections that have class IV rapids. 

The ride on Taylor River is tranquil and offers views of the surrounding forest and wildlife like Bighorn sheep, elk and deer.

Clear Creek River

For those who don’t want to travel far for rafting, Clear Creek is a popular destination. It’s located about 30 minutes outside Denver and offers diverse difficulty levels. While the Clear Creek is not the most challenging river in Colorado, it is still a great choice.

Clear Creek is home to some of the most exciting whitewater rafting experiences near Denver. The rapids range from class II to Class V, with sections that offer different difficulty levels. 

Because the river is steep, rafters will need to navigate a downhill route with lots of rocks and rapids. The ride will offer spectacular views of the Rocky Mountain ranges, lush forests, and the chance to be tossed and splashed by the rapids.

Piedra River

Class II-IV rapids are the hallmark of white water rafting at Piedra River. The 22-mile trip will offer rafters views of the canyon as well as the lush forest surrounding. There are two sections to the river: an Upper section and a Lower section.

Both have steep drops and constant rapids. The thrill of this river is only one aspect to the experience. But the stunning scenery and lush surroundings are another.

San Juan River

The San Juan River flows from Southwest Colorado to Arizona. The river offers white water rafting, which is an exciting adventure with stunning scenery, wildlife, and rapids of class III-IV. 

There are many sections of the San Juan River that offer different levels of difficulty, just like other Colorado rivers. The river’s west fork section features class IV-V rapids with many boulder-filled rapids.

While the east fork section has rapids with steep drops and technical spots, it is classified as a class III-IV rapid.

Arkansas River

Arkansas River’s best section offers class III rapids. It takes adventurers through Browns Canyon National Monument, where they can see majestic 14ers while paddling over 10 miles of thrilling rapids. 

Browns Canyon is great both for experienced rafters and beginners, as well as families with children.

FAQs About Whitewater Rafting In Colorado

Can I do white water rafting if I can’t swim?

Yes! You can go whitewater rafting without strong swimming abilities.

What safety measures are required while rafting?

1. Proper fittings are essential. 
2. Properly wear a life jacket (or other personal flotation devices)
3. Wear helmet
4. Properly hold the paddle
5. Place yourself correctly on the raft
6. If you are in trouble, get ready to swim
7. You can paddle together
8. Follow your guide.

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