Best Places To Enjoy White Water Rafting in Colorado

A group of people in life jackets and helmets paddling down a section of white water rapids in a red raft.

The winter snow on the Rocky Mountains creates endless opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and other outdoor fun. The adventure continues in the summer when that snow melts and turns into wild white water rapids flowing through Colorado’s rivers. Check out these best places to enjoy white water rafting in Colorado, whether you’re trying rafting for the first time with your family or tackling hardcore rivers as an experienced team.

Animas River – Durango

The Animas River flows down from the San Juan Mountains and through Durango, creating one of the most beautiful waterfronts in Southwestern Colorado. You can find sections of rapids along the Animas at every difficulty level, but the section that runs through Durango has a nice section of Class I through Class III rapids—perfect for beginner-to-intermediate level rafters.

Spend a couple of hours with Durango’s introductory, kid-friendly “Splash and Dash” trip, where you’ll learn your way around the rapids while exploring the city’s Old West history. You can also take a half-day trip to spend more time on the water, stop for a swimming break, and soak up the gorgeous scenery and nearby wildlife.

Royal Gorge – Canon City

The mighty Arkansas River attracts rafters of all skill levels, but only experienced paddlers dare tackle its most challenging section—the famous Royal Gorge. These Class IV and V rapids cut through the breathtaking cliffs of the gorge, which stand at 1,000 feet tall in some sections.

At its most dangerous, the Royal Gorge narrows to 25 feet wide. It takes a lot of experience and skill to make it through this section, but your reward is awesome waves and thrilling drops as you soar down the river.

Little Gore Canyon – Kremmling

Little Gore Canyon is a mild section of the Colorado River that you can find a few miles southwest of Kremmling, Colorado. The Class II and III rapids make this area a perfect way to experience the thrill of white water rafting as a beginner or with the kids. With mild rapids, breathtaking scenery, and hot springs where you can stop and unwind along the way, this is easily one of the best places to enjoy white water rafting in Colorado.

Gore Canyon – Kremmling

Gore Canyon is the bigger, wilder sister to Little Gore. Here, you’ll find some of the most exciting rapids in the state, but you must make special arrangements to drop your raft in this section of the Colorado River. That includes meeting certain requirements: rafters must be 18 or older, physically fit, and have experience with Class IV and higher rapids. Once you’re ready, though, you can experience the thrill of paddling through big water rapids at 8,000 feet.

Where will you go on your white water adventures? Gear up with the Colorado men’s apparel from YoColorado and tackle the state’s mighty rivers in style.

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