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Home to two major rivers—the Arkansas and the Colorado—as well as a multitude of other waterways that begin gushing when the snow of the Rocky Mountains melts each summer, Colorado is one of the United States’ top river-rafting destinations. Here are our ideas and tips to help you choose the best rafting tour for you. 
 
Highlights
  • Tackle the Class III and IV rapids of the Arkansas River through Browns Canyon National Monument on a white water tour from Buena Vista.
  • Paddle through Glenwood Canyon’s Class III and IV rapids on the Colorado River on a tour from Glenwood Springs.
  • Experience the Royal Gorge, one of Colorado’s deepest canyons, on an Arkansas River rafting tour from Cañon City.
  • Discover the Animas River and its Class I and up rapids on a tour from Durango.
  • Closer to Denver, enjoy the Class II and III rapids of Clear Creek on a tour from Idaho Springs.
 
Things to Know
  • Colorado’s rafting season is generally May to September.
  • The amount of winter snowfall determines the water levels of the rivers each year, meaning that dry winters usually result in a shorter rafting season.
  • River rapids are categorized into six classes, from Class I: easy to Class VI: extreme.
  • Helmets, waterproof jackets, and other safety gear are typically provided.
  • Rafting tours in Colorado’s popular vacation spots are generally family friendly and cater to beginners; you’ll receive a safety briefing and paddling instructions from the guide.
  • Some tours offer a choice between a half- and full-day tour; full-day tours often include stopping on the riverbank for a provided lunch.
  • The sun is stronger in high elevations so wear sunscreen, and bring sunglasses and a hat with straps so you won’t lose them in the water.
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66 results | All Colorado Tours

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Beginner Whitewater Rafting on Historic Clear Creek Park

Beginner Whitewater Rafting on Historic Clear Creek Park

star-5
154
Even beginners can enjoy a whitewater rafting trip on Clear Creek with this guided tour. All instruction and equipment—wetsuits, paddles, life vests, and personal drybags—are provided for you. This tour is suitable for those who have no experience and is also perfect for families with children.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD67.00
From
USD67.00

Clear Creek Intermediate Whitewater Rafting near Denver

Clear Creek Intermediate Whitewater Rafting near Denver

star-5
156
Get an eyeful of stunning Colorado scenery as well as learn about the canyon's Gold Rush history on this whitewater rafting tour. Appropriate for intermediate rafters, this tour shoots a long stretch of free-flowing whitewater. All equipment and the leadership of an experienced guide is included for your safety and comfort.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD78.00
From
USD78.00

Browns Canyon National Monument Whitewater Rafting

Browns Canyon National Monument Whitewater Rafting

star-5
148
Enjoy the experience of a lifetime with family friendly Colorado rafting through Browns Canyon National Monument on the Arkansas River. Exciting class III-IV rapids intermixed with calm water in between make Browns Canyon rafting great for beginners and experts alike.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD109.01
From
USD109.01

Arkansas River Half Day Royal Gorge

Arkansas River Half Day Royal Gorge

star-5
142
There are enough Class II-V rapids to satisfy even expert rafters on this half-day whitewater tour through the Royal Gorge. Navigate steep drops and churning waves as you wind between 1,100-foot (335-meter) canyon walls for a classic Colorado adventure. Experienced river guides lead the way to ensure everyone's safety and an unforgettable voyage.
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  • 4 hours
From
USD105.93
From
USD105.93

Half-Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure in Cotopaxi

Half-Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure in Cotopaxi

star-5
20
There’s nothing like seeing Colorado’s exquisite scenery by water—and this trip along the mighty Arkansas River is perfect for both beginner and intermediate rafters. On this ministry-led journey, you’ll hit the whitewater rapids of Bighorn Sheep Canyon with a trained guide, marveling at the unparalleled scenery between taking on the churns. This is Colorado’s most popular river, and it’s easy to see why.
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  • 3 hours
From
USD79.00
From
USD79.00

Glenwood Canyon Half-Day Raft Trip in Colorado

Glenwood Canyon Half-Day Raft Trip in Colorado

star-5
297
The Colorado River is one of the US’ most popular spots for whitewater rafting, but if you’ve never been before, the Class III rapids can seem a bit scary. Take the stress away from a trip that should be fun with this Glenwood Canyon half-day rafting trip. Not only will your guide safely lead the way down the river, but all equipment is included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD70.00
From
USD70.00

Half Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

Half Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

star-5
55
Experience excellent Colorado Rafting as you hit the most exciting and iconic rapids in the Bighorn Sheep Canyon. This is the perfect Arkansas River trip for beginner to intermediate rafters. Journey Quest is a non-profit Christ-centered rafting ministry, and these trip are uplifting, family-friendly adventures. You’ll love the scenery, the experience, and the intentional ministry led by our guides on your next Colorado whitewater rafting adventure. For more information about this or any of our other activities, please contact Journey Quest
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  • 3 to 4 hours
From
USD79.00
From
USD79.00

Half-Day Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

Half-Day Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO

star-5
20
The Royal Gorge is one of the most thrilling and exciting whitewater rafting trips on the Arkansas River. Enjoy the beauty and thrill of God’s creation as you experience 1,000 foot high canyon walls, confront exciting Class IV-V rapids, and see the famous Royal Gorge Bridge. The Royal Gorge is a serious section of river facing Class III-V Rapids, and a half-day trip is not a suitable introduction for beginners. Previous class III or higher paddling experience and strong swimming ability are recommended for all guests. For the safety of our guests and guides, we cannot take guests who are over 250lbs or individuals with a history of heart or serious medical problems. Journey Quest is a non-profit Christ-centered rafting ministry, and these trip are uplifting, family-friendly adventures. You’ll love the scenery, and the intentional ministry led by our guides on this rafting adventure.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
From
USD99.00
From
USD99.00

Raft the Colorado River through Glenwood Springs - Half Day Adventure

Raft the Colorado River through Glenwood Springs - Half Day Adventure

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45
If you've always wanted to try rafting, grab a paddle for this thrilling half-day whitewater tour through Glenwood Canyon. Expert guides help you navigate the roaring Colorado River, from floating along gentle class I stretches to splashing through exciting class II and III rapids. Along the way, get a new perspective on the canyon’s ancient layers and keep an eye out for Colorado wildlife.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD67.99
From
USD67.99

Clear Creek Gold Rush Whitewater Rafting from Idaho Springs

Clear Creek Gold Rush Whitewater Rafting from Idaho Springs

star-4.5
9
Immerse yourself in Colorado’s natural landscape on a whitewater rafting tour through Clear Creek, just 30 minutes from downtown Denver. In addition to providing safety gear including life jackets and helmets, your guide navigates and offers little-known facts about the area’s history. An afternoon departure time and easily accessible location make this a popular choice for families, field trips, and team building initiatives.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD68.77
From
USD68.77

Half-Day Family Rafting in Durango, Colorado

Half-Day Family Rafting in Durango, Colorado

star-5
499
Float down the Lower Animas River on this family-friendly rafting trip in Durango. As you glide over the rapids with a guide, you can enjoy views of Durango from the water and take in the natural beauty south of town. Stop on the riverside for a snack, and listen to stories about the history and traditions of the region. This is a mild rafting option for ages 4 years and up. Select a morning or afternoon departure time when booking.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD91.56
From
USD91.56

Bighorn Sheep Canyon Half-Day Rafting

Bighorn Sheep Canyon Half-Day Rafting

star-5
161
Paddle down the scenic Arkansas River on a half-day rafting adventure through Colorado’s Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Navigate class II and II whitewater rapids with an expert guide, and soak up the beauty of the surrounding high desert landscape, home to an abundance of native wildlife. It’s a great way for families and first-timers to experience one of Colorado’s favorite—and wettest!—outdoor adventure sports.
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  • 3 hours
From
USD84.00
From
USD84.00

Royal Gorge Half-Day Rafting Trip

Royal Gorge Half-Day Rafting Trip

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129
When you're rafting beneath walls that tower 1,200 feet through a canyon just 26 feet wide, it suddenly all begins to make sense why this spot's called the Royal Gorge. During this 3 hour Royal Gorge rafting trip, experience the thrill of splashing down rapids with names like Sledgehammer Falls, and enjoy the pristine Colorado scenery from the seat of your whitewater raft. Professional guides help ensure your safety and discuss the history of the gorge, and this is the perfect way to spend half a day when visiting Canon City.
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  • 3 hours
From
USD98.00
From
USD98.00

Double Shoshone Half-Day Raft Trip

Double Shoshone Half-Day Raft Trip

star-5
78
Raft the mighty Colorado River under the tutelage of experienced rafting instructors. Navigate the Class III Shoshone section of the river—twice—then eddy out at Grizzly Creek. Next, enjoy a scenic float through Glenwood Canyon, a natural marvel whose rock walls tower 1,300 feet (396 meters) above the river.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD75.20
From
USD75.20

Intermediate Clear Creek Blast! Class III-IV Rapids

Intermediate Clear Creek Blast! Class III-IV Rapids

star-5
19
The Liquid Descent experience is one of a kind. We have beautiful facilities, fantastic gear and amazing guides! We care deeply about your river experience and do everything possible to make sure your river trip with us is the highlight of your summer!
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
From
USD70.00
From
USD70.00

Durango Family-Friendly 2-Hour Rafting Trip
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Durango Family-Friendly 2-Hour Rafting Trip

star-5
125
Get your whole family out on the rapids with this whitewater rafting trip down the Animas River in Durango. Spend two hours in the company of an adventure guide, paddling over Class I, II, and III rapids, suitable for novices and experts alike (including children). Shoot down the river and take in the scenery, coming away with a sense of accomplishment and a better understanding of Colorado's wilderness.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD65.00
From
USD65.00

Advanced Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting Trip

Advanced Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting Trip

star-5
115
Take advantage of the rapids of the Royal Gorge on Colorado’s River Arkansas to hone your rafting on this advanced half-day adventure. Designed for experienced rafters and adventurers in good physical shape, the rafting expedition lets you brave waves, steep technical drops, and near-continuous Class IV-V white water rapids, with equipment—excluding wetsuits and wetsuit boots—provided for convenience. Prebook to guarantee your preferred time slot on your ideal date.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
From
USD120.00
From
USD120.00

Arkansas River Half Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon

Arkansas River Half Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon

star-5
43
If you've always wanted to try rafting, get a splashy start in Colorado’s Bighorn Sheep Canyon on this half-day whitewater tour that's perfect for beginners and families. River guides provide all the gear you need and safety instruction to get you paddling down class I-III rapids on this scenic stretch of the Arkansas River. On calmer sections, look out for bighorn sheep and other Rocky Mountain wildlife along the way.
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  • 4 hours
From
USD94.78
From
USD94.78

Advanced Whitewater Rafting in Clear Creek Canyon near Denver

Advanced Whitewater Rafting in Clear Creek Canyon near Denver

star-5
14
Advance paddlers will love challenging themselves with this technical run down Clear Creek. Listen closely to your experienced guide's instructions as you paddle through whitewater that plummets more than 100 feet per mile. Suitable only for good swimmers.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD91.00
From
USD91.00

Arkansas River Family Float

Arkansas River Family Float

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12
Experience the thrill of white water rafting on a family-friendly trip through through the Cañon City rapids. Once on the river, your guide navigates for you while you take in views of the Colorado landscape often missed by visitors. Round-trip transport from a central meeting location and safety/water gear are provided for your comfort and convenience.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
From
USD65.79
From
USD65.79

Clear Creek Advanced half day

Clear Creek Advanced half day

star-5
6
the Clear Creek advanced rafting trip is extremely exciting and is intended for those who are strong swimmers and in good physical condition. The rapids are long and in close proximity to each other. This makes for an exhilarating and continuous whitewater rafting experience!
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
From
USD80.00
From
USD80.00

2.5 Hour Family Rafting in Durango with Guide

2.5 Hour Family Rafting in Durango with Guide

star-5
204
Not all rafting trips have to take up your entire day—this tour from Durango gets you on the water and back out with time to enjoy another adventure before the sun goes down. You'll spend one hour on the Animas River navigating the Class II and Class III rapids with a rafting guide.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD69.00
From
USD69.00

Durango Rafting - Family Friendly Raft Trip
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Durango Rafting - Family Friendly Raft Trip

star-5
196
Experience the adrenaline-pumping excitement of a rafting adventure on this professionally guided, 4-hour excursion. Ride along the clear, crisp waters of the Animas River in Durango. Crash through the Class I, II and III rapids, which are less technical but no less exciting for an introductory river experience. It’s a perfect balance for kids and adults wanting to share a fun day on the river. All boating equipment, plus transportation and snacks are included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD80.00
From
USD80.00

Numbers Extreme Whitewater Rafting

Numbers Extreme Whitewater Rafting

star-4.5
27
Extreme Colorado white water rafting on the Arkansas River in Buena Vista is for experienced rafters or adventurous beginners in good physical condition. The Numbers sections offers some of the most technical white water rafting in Colorado. Be prepared for a full body workout as your professional river guide directs your group through each back to back rapid. Enjoy scenic views of the 14,000 foot Collegiate Peaks and cottonwood lined riverbanks between paddle strokes
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD119.90
From
USD119.90

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What people are saying about White Water Rafting in Colorado

star-5
Beginner Whitewater Rafting on Historic Clear Creek Park
"The beginner trip was great. And the attention to safety was much appreciated - even through capsizing Nat took great care of us!"..."
star-5
Clear Creek Intermediate Whitewater Rafting near Denver
"Such a great time super cool guide would definitely do it again! Was really nice that they provide wetsuits and gear to stay warm! Loved the sights so beautiful!"..."
star-5
Browns Canyon National Monument Whitewater Rafting
"It was a beautiful day. Our guide was Coaltrain. He was excellent and informative. He had a good command of the boat, and was a lot of fun. Did a 360, and some surfing under a rock. The lunch was very well thought out. A great sandwich, and sides. I will definitely recommend this trip and your company. Thank you, Gloria Thomas"..."
star-5
Arkansas River Half Day Royal Gorge
"Had a lot of fun! Epic views of the Royal Gorge and excellent guides and team. A must do for anyone planning a trip to Colorado"..."
star-5
Half-Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure in Cotopaxi
"Awesome experience! The entire family loved the ride. Riley was an excellent guide and a very nice young man."..."
star-5
Glenwood Canyon Half-Day Raft Trip in Colorado
"This was our first time rafting. Defiance was extremely organized and very knowledgeable about the area. Our guide was friendly and helpful."..."
star-5
Half Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO
"Kate was fantastic! She made the whole experience a great experience! And...the fact that this is a Christian based company will keep me coming back!"..."
star-5
Half-Day Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting Adventure Cañon City CO
"Mark, our tour guide/raft captain was the absolute best. Our safety was his #1 concern. He was fun and personable. One of the highlights of our vacation."..."
star-5
Raft the Colorado River through Glenwood Springs - Half Day Adventure
"Our guide Jake was awesome! Super funny and very skilled. The mudslides had changed the Shoshone rapids from class two to clad three! Tip: bring closed toed river shoes and goggles/ sunglasses for better pictures!"..."
star-5
Clear Creek Gold Rush Whitewater Rafting from Idaho Springs
"Our first time whitewater rafting was an amazing experience!! I am a single mom who took my three teenage kiddos for an outdoor adventure. We chose the Hold Rush level 2-3 rapids for our first time. Our guide Eric was extremely thorough and clear and the directions! We were able to take each rapid with confidence and enthusiasm! We are hooked! Can’t wait to go back and try the long and more difficult levels. Our guide Eric encouraged us and took care of us throughout the experience way beyond my expectations. It was truly an awesome experience in working together as a family and feeling so accomplished in a new kind of adventure together!"..."
star-5
Half-Day Family Rafting in Durango, Colorado
"Andrew was a great guide! He made all of us feel comfortable, told classic river guide jokes, and was happy to go along with my daughter's suggestion that we have a boat cheer. Everyone had a great time on the river!"..."
star-5
Bighorn Sheep Canyon Half-Day Rafting
"This trip was so much fun. Our guide Sierra was awesome and kept us safe and taught us a lot in the process. Everyone in our group enjoyed and walked away wanting to do it again with more higher tiered rapids!!!"..."
star-5
Royal Gorge Half-Day Rafting Trip
"What a blast. The whole family had a great time! I recommend this for anyone seeking an adventure unlike any other"..."
star-5
Double Shoshone Half-Day Raft Trip
"We REALLY enjoyed our trip !! First time rafting and I have to say it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. Our tour guide Jamie was the absolute best and really knew what he was doing which made us feel comfortable during the entire trip. We drove 3 hours for this trip and will most definitely make the drive again. We are really wanting to do a full day of rafting with this company! HIGHLY recommend."..."
star-5
Intermediate Clear Creek Blast! Class III-IV Rapids
"My family and I had a great experience. This was our first time rafting and Kenny really lead us through a great ride. He kept us safe, the instructions were simple and we had so much fun!"..."
star-5
Durango Family-Friendly 2-Hour Rafting Trip
"Lillyann was phenomenal! It was our first time rafting and she maneuvered our boat magically. We had a wonderful experience as a family & will definitely raft again."..."
star-5
Arkansas River Half Day Bighorn Sheep Canyon
"The staff was great. The rafting was not hard and still enjoyable. Definitely a great place to go for a first float trip."..."
star-5
Advanced Whitewater Rafting in Clear Creek Canyon near Denver
"Everything was awesome!! Russell was excellent man guide!!! We want to do it again!!! Safety first, very nice weather, music in the boat!! We strong recommend!! A lot of fun!!!"..."
star-5
2.5 Hour Family Rafting in Durango with Guide
"My family and I had the most enjoyable trip! Our guide, Zach Unger, was friendly, knowledgeable, and witty. He made the trip so much fun! Michelle was also so sweet and accommodating. Overall everyone was profesional, prompt, and courteous. We would absolutely come back and recommend this to family and friends."..."
star-5
Durango Rafting - Family Friendly Raft Trip
"Our guide Eddie made our first rafting experience enjoyable and fun. Would definitely recommend! Even though none of us have gone before we felt like we were pros by the end with his positive attitude!"..."
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The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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What are the best White Water Rafting in Colorado?
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