Have you ever thought of going white water rafting? Colorado Springs is one of the most amazing places in the United States to go on a white water rafting trip. White water rafting Colorado Springs is an extremely popular sport, and the areas in and around are some of the best places in the entire country to experience rafting.
All About White Water Rafting
White water rafting has been a popular sport in America for many decades and is thought to have begun sometime in the early 20th century. The first white water trip has been traced back to 1811, when explorers attempted to navigate the Snake River in Wyoming.
White water rafting includes taking an inflatable raft out on the water. It’s recommended that you wear a wetsuit and helmet, especially if you are paddling on advanced rapids. Many of the white water rafting trips also offer a guide to help you navigate the waters. There are also trips that include meals, and some even include a trip photographer so that you can enjoy digital photos of your trip after you return.
White water rafting can be somewhat dangerous, and it’s important to have a good guide and experience with boating as well as the ability to swim if you want to go white water rafting Colorado Springs. There are six different classes of rapids, from I to VI.
Rapids in category 1 include very small rough areas and require little skill level. Class 2 rapids may include some rocks, and rafters should have basic paddling skills. Class 3 rapids include small waves and a potential drop. There is usually no considerable danger with these rapids, however.
Class 4 rapids can include waves, rocks, a drop and may need some sharp maneuvers to reduce the chances of tipping the raft. They also include whitewater. Class five rapids include white water, large waves, large rocks, a variety of hazards like eddies, and the need for precise maneuvering. It’s important to have full mastery of rafting before going on class five rapids. Class 6 rapids are considered so dangerous that no one should attempt to take rafts out on them.
White Water Rafting Colorado Springs
There are many options for white water rafting Colorado. Colorado Springs locals and visitors are closest to two main areas for rafting: Clear Creek and the Arkansas River. Clear Creek is near Denver as well, with most rafting companies located just west of Denver and right off of I-70.
The Arkansas River is located northwest of Colorado Springs and includes Royal Gorge and Bighorn Sheep Canyon. There are also numerous opportunities to explore the historic sites in the area, including North America’s highest suspension bridge in Royal Gorge.
Many of the outfitters listed below offer a variety of trip options. If you are planning a vacation to the Colorado Springs area, there are also a few outfitters that include add-ons like zip line adventures, railroad adventures, and even overnight camping trips.
Before you plan your trip, you’ll want to make sure that you’re visiting at the right time, as not all trips run throughout the year. Weather and water levels are other important considerations, as the difficulty of a white water rafting trip can depend on how high or low the river or creek you are rafting on is at that time. Most of the companies provide up to date information about their trip schedules on their website. You can also find out the latest information by giving the company a call.
Our Favorite Spots for White Water Rafting Colorado Springs
The Royal Gorge Rafting and Zip Line Tours company is located in Canon City, very close to the Arkansas River as well as the Tunnel Drive TrailHead and the Eagle Wing Trailhead. It is also very close to the Royal Gorge Railroad.
Royal Gorge Rafting and Zip Line Tours offer two distinct choices for those interested in going white water rafting with the company. The Royal Gorge trip includes class III, IV, and even class V rapids when there is high water. This trip is more appropriate for older children and adults, and the minimum age for the trip is between 13 and16 years old, depending on how high the water is. The trip includes a photographer and a river guide to support your trip. It’s recommended that you have a good fitness level to participate in this trip.
The cost for the Royal Gorge trip begins at $79 and can increase depending on whether you go for the full day or a half day trip. The price includes all of the river gear you’ll need for a fantastic trip. The trip lasts at least three hours.
Raft Masters is located in Canon City, very close to E. Main Street. It’s also close to Oil Creek Ditch and the Travel Inn Motel.
There are three trips offered by the Raft Masters white water rafting outfitter. The first is the Bighorn Sheep Canyon trip, which includes rapids in class II and III, making the trip suitable for children ages 5 and up. The trip lasts about 3.5 hours total and was developed for beginners.
Rafters will explore the Arkansas River, enjoying rapids at Five Points, Spike Buck, and Cowgirl Up. You’ll travel about 9 miles total.
The second trip offered by Raft Masters for white water rafting Colorado Springs is the Royal Gorge trip. This trip is for intermediate to advanced rafters and includes rapids in class III, IV, and V. The minimum age for this trip is 14, but that can vary depending on how high the water is that day. Also, the trip moves down the Arkansas River, and goes through the 1100-foot Royal Gorge. The action-packed rapids included on this trip are named Sunshine Falls, Sledge Hammer, and Boat Eater! Anticipate some swimming if the water is high.
Finally, Raft Masters offers the Clear Creek trip, which is considered intermediate level. This is a shorter trip when compared to the others, and includes rapids in class II, III, and IV. The trip goes down Clear Creek, where you’ll see rapids named Nomad, Phoenix, and Deliverance. There are also some interesting historical locations to explore while you travel down Clear Creek. All of the Raft Masters trips include all of the gear you’ll need to enjoy your white water rafting adventure.
The cost for the Bighorn Sheep Canyon trip is $60 for adults and $56 for children, if you leave in the morning. If you leave in the afternoon, the cost is $65 for adults and $61 for children.
The cost for the Royal Gorge trip is $74 if you leave in the morning and $79 if you leave in the afternoon. There is no discount for children. The cost for the Clear Creek trip offered by Raft Masters is $59, and there is also no discount for children.
Echo Canyon River Expeditions is located north of Canon City, which is south of Colorado Springs. It is also east of Pike and San Isabel National Forests and directly north of Westcliffe, Colorado.
There are three different trips offered by the Echo Canyon River Expeditions outfitter. The first trip is called the Bighorn Sheep Canyon trip and is their moderate trip offering. It’s great for the whole family. The trip includes rapids in class II and III and can go for a half or full day. You’ll also enjoy catching sight of wildlife along the way, trees like willows and cottonwoods, and birds like Golden Eagles and Peregrine Falcons.
The second trip offered by Echo Canyon River Expeditions is the Royal Gorge rafting trip. This trip offers high-adrenaline rafting adventure, with rapids in class III, IV, and V. The rapids you’ll find here are on the Arkansas River, and you have a half or full day option when taking this trip. The minimum age for the trip is between 14 and 18, depending on how high the water is. The half day trip is ten miles and the full day trip is twenty miles.
The last trip offered by Echo Canyon River Expeditions is called the family float. It’s a gentle trip with a handful of easy rapids that are perfect for all ages, including small children and grandchildren. The boats can include seven to eight guests at a time, and it spans a five-mile area. You’ll spend about one and half hours on the river and have a guide that will provide information about how to effectively paddle on the water.
If you go for a half day, the cost for the Bighorn Sheep canyon trip is $69 for adults and children. If you select the full day Bighorn Sheep Canyon trip, the cost is $119. The Royal Gorge trip cost $81 for adults, and the minimum age for participation is 14 years old. The family float trip cost $72 for both adults and children.
Clear Creek Rafting company is located at 350 Whitewater Rd. in Idaho Springs, Colorado. It is just off of I-70, north of the National Forest.
Clear Creek Rafting Company offers two trips leaving from two different locations, the Clear Creek trip and the Royal Gorge rafting trip. Both trips include the use of a wetsuit and a splash jacket. Plus, the option for a photo package that includes high quality digital photos of your adventure.
The Clear Creek trips include a beginner, intermediate, advanced, and evening trip option. The beginner trip includes rapids between class II and III, and you will float past the historic Charlie Taylor Waterwhell and drop over Castle Falls. Mr. Twister rapid is also included on this trip. The intermediate trip includes rapids in class III and IV. It’s important that you are able to swim and are in good physical condition for this trip. The advanced Clear Creek trip includes rapids that are in class IV and even V. This is for serious paddlers and includes constant rapids including Guide Ejector, Double Knife, and Hells Corner. Don’t forget about the Terminator! The evening trip includes the beginner or intermediate routes, allowing you to check out the sunset while you paddle.
The Royal Gorge trips offered by Clear Creek Rafting include the Bighorn Sheep Canyon trip, for younger folks and first timers. This one includes rapids like Spike Buck and Double Dip. The full day Bighorn Sheep trip includes some more difficult rapids, including Texas Creek and Maytag. The Royal Gorge half day trip includes higher class rapids like SledgeHammer and Wall Slammer. Plus, awesome views of the canyon and North America’s highest suspension bridge. The full day Royal Gorge trip includes a packed lunch and some truly majestic scenery. There are some other great options with this outfitter including 2- and 3-day long trips, which include a minimum group size.
For the beginner trip down Clear Creek, the cost is $52 for adults and $42 for children. The minimum age for the trip is seven years old. The intermediate trip costs $62 for adults and children, with a minimum age of 14. The advanced clear creek trip costs $77. For the Bighorn Sheep canyon trip half-day, the cost is $62 for adults and $52 for children. The full day is $107 for adults and $97 for children. The Royal Gorge trip has a minimum age of 14. The cost for a half day is $75, and for a full day on Royal Gorge, the cost is $130.
Whitewater Adventure Outfitters is located at 50905 US-50, just west of the city limits of Canon City, Colorado. This location is also west of Fremont Peak and north of Temple Canyon Park, as well as northeast of YMCA Mountain.
Whitewater Adventure Outfitters offers three options for rafting down the Royal Gorge. The first is the half day trip which includes rapids in class III, IV, and V. This trip includes awesome Arkansas River sightseeing throughout the trip.
The full day Royal Gorge rafting trip includes the Bighorn Canyon, offering a chance to paddle over rapids in classes III and IV, like Wake Up and Sharkstooth. There’s then a rest stop included at the Parkdale beach. After, you’ll explore rapids through the Royal Gorge including seven miles of white water thrills. You can also select to do the double shot Royal Gorge rafting trip, which includes doing the half day trip twice. This is offered for those who aren’t up for the more challenging full day trip but want to enjoy a delicious packed lunch on the beach and then repeat the thrills from earlier in the day.
The cost for a half day trip down Royal Gorge with Whitewater Adventure Outfitters is $73. The cost for a full day’s trip down Royal Gorge is $119. The double shot trip with Whitewater Adventure Outfitters is $35. There are also special group rates available with this company.
Lost Paddle Rafting is found within Canon City proper, at 1420 Royal Gorge Blvd. It is just south of Main St. in Canon City and provides easy access to the Arkansas River.
The Lost Paddle Rafting company offers three options for their rafting trips down the Arkansas River in Colorado. The half day trip includes about three hours of rafting down the Royal Gorge, which includes class IV and V rapids depending on water levels. A private kayak photographer is included with the trip. The full day trip down Royal Gorge includes lunch on the river and rapids in class IV and V. The trip goes from 9am to 3pm and includes a kayak guide to ensure safety of the rafters.
Lost Paddle Rafting also offers an overnight trip down the Royal Gorge, which is a two-day, one-night adventure of rapids from class III to class V. If you select this adventure, you’ll camp out next to the river. Four meals are included with this trip.
The half day cost for paddling down the Arkansas river with Lost Paddle Rafting is $74. For a full day, the cost is $118. The overnight trip offered by this company costs $369.
Rocky Mountain Whitewater Rafting is located at 1313 Idaho St. in Idaho Springs, Colorado. Idaho Springs Colorado is northwest of Colorado Springs. The location is just off of I-70. It’s north of Chief Mountain and Squaw Mountain, west of the Clear Creek Canyon Park, and east of Saxon Mountain.
There are three trips offered by the Rocky Mountain Whitewater Rafting outfitter, and they all go down Clear Creek. The trips are organized by difficulty level. The Clear Creek beginner trip includes rapids in class II and II and is suitable for children. The intermediate trip includes rapids that are in class III and IV. The advanced trip includes rapids in class III, IV, and V. All of the trips offered by Rocky Mountain Whitewater Rafting include safety gear and a certified rafting guide. For up to date information about river flows and water levels, visit their website.
The cost for the clear creek beginner trip offered by the Rocky Mountain Whitewater Rafting outfitter is $54 for adults. It is $47 for kids under 12. The intermediate trip costs $64. The advanced trip costs $79.
The Colorado Adventure center is found at 2607 Stanley Rd. in Idaho Springs, CO. This center is just north of I-70. It’s east of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, and just east of Denver.
The Colorado Adventure Center offers four different options for individuals interested in taking a whitewater rafting trip. Colorado Springs locals will enjoy the accessible location of this outfitter. The first trip, the beginner’s trip, is a great adventure for the whole family. You’ll be able to scope out views of historic sites like Argo Gold Mine and the Charlie Taylor Waterwheel. The intermediate trip includes rapids in class III and IV. There are some great challenges and adventures on this trip, including rapids like Deliverance and Outer Limits.
The advanced half-day trip includes the most extreme rapids on Clear Creek, including Hell’s Corner and the Terminator. You must have the ability to swim and some prior rafting experience to take this trip, and the rapids are in class IV and V. Finally, the Colorado Adventure Center offers a happy hour rafting trip, which is a shorter version of the intermediate trip. It’s great if you’re looking for a way to take a short trip later in the day, and the trip includes a free beer or soft beverage as it leaves at 5pm!
The cost for the beginner’s trip offered by the Colorado Adventure center is $50 for adults and $45 for children under 12. The minimum age for this trip is seven. For the intermediate trip, the cost is $60, and the minimum age is 14. The advanced trip costs $79 for all participants, with a minimum age of 16 to participate. The happy hour trip with the Colorado Adventure Center is $55.
So, if you’re looking for companies and trips that offer white water rafting, Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas are a great place to visit. There are trips down the Arkansas River, which include Royal Gorge and Bighorn Sheep Canyon. These areas are some of the most popular white water rafting areas in the entire country. Other trips will take you down the Clear Creek. The Clear Creek also offers some very challenging rapids, as well as historic sightseeing like the Argo Gold Mine and the Charlie Taylor waterwheel.
White water rafting is truly one of the most exciting adventures you can go on—and with all of the incredible options in the Colorado Springs area, it is something you can enjoy with your entire family. So, go ahead, select one of the companies detailed above and plan your upcoming trip to go white water rafting Colorado Springs. Visitors will especially enjoy white water rafting during the on season, which lasts from April to September.