Summit County has an impressive selection of whitewater rivers to run, from the raging Class V deluge of the Arkansas River to the quieter sections of the Blue River.
- An overnight rafting trip through the Colorado back country is an unforgettable experience.
- River options in the area include the Arkansas, Blue, Clear, Eagle and others.
- Water levels vary throughout the season, so talk with the guides to find the right river for you.
- For those who don't want the adrenaline of heavy whitewater, a scenic float trip is the perfect choice.
Whether you're in Keystone or Breckenridge, whitewater rafting should be on your list of things to do. The rafting in the area is famous for the scenery as well as the whitewater rapids. These rivers offer something for people of ages and skill levels, so come prepared to have a great ride!
There are two types of trips that are available:
- Whitewater: The classic rafting trip includes the thrills and spills of Colorado whitewater. Rapids range from small ripples to raging class V monsters, which are guaranteed to soak you to the bone. Don't worry, the water will feel great as you take on river holes, haystacks and wave trains. Just remember to hold on!
- Scenic Float: A scenic rafting trip is a quieter experience. Lay back, relax, let the current take you downstream, winding through the canyons and forests. This is a great opportunity to spot eagles, hawks, deer and other wildlife, so make sure your camera is charged and ready. These trips are perfect for younger kids.
Overnight trips are common options, giving rafters the chance to relax in the cool summer evenings while the guides take care of dinner.
Where to go Rafting
The mountain rivers and creeks are highly variable because of the snowmelt coming off the mountains. One week, a river might be a lazy, scenic float trip. Then the next week, the river could change completely, making it nearly unnavigable.
Because of this, talk to the local guides to figure out when and where the best option might be. It simply depends on the time of year and the trip you're looking to book, because the same river has different personalities during different seasons.
Because the Blue River flows through both Keystone and Breckenridge, rafting is all around. The Class III whitewater conveniently starts in Silverthorne, so there's no excuse not to get out for at least a half-day on the river.
This is one of the country's most pursued rivers because of the topography it runs through. Dropping nearly a mile over its first 125 miles, there's a lot of whitewater for rafters.
Think about taking a multiple day adventure on this river. It has a number of different segments, such as the Narrows, Royal Gorge, and Browns Canyon, so an overnight adventure give you the chance to run more than is possible in a single day. Plus, the quiet evenings in the wilderness are a great contrast to the excitement of the day.
This river, more than most, varies with the weather. Being so close to the snowmelt, the water levels can change drastically. This, of course, means for some great whitewater rafting in the spring.
Starting as early as April, the summer sun breaks water from the snowpack, which drains directly into the river. If you're there during spring runoff, this river is a must.
This rafting trip is a local favorite. The creek may be small, but it packs a whollop! Starting on Loveland Pass, Clear Creek offers different sections for different adventures.
Rentals and Fees
Depending on the size of the group, the type and length of the trip, guiding companies will charge different rates. Take a look at the companies below for specific details of the trip, including prices and minimum age levels.
Hire a Guide
Take the hassle out of the trip by hiring a guide! This way, you can focus on the experience at hand.
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Discounted Whitewater Rafting & Zipline Trips
Find a trip near you: 4 Outposts within an hour of Summit County with rafting trips, mountaintop zipline tours, horseback and more. See our website for discounts daily.