With 158 named rivers, Colorado has everything to offer from a leisurely float down the river to a wild white water adventure. No matter your skill level, you are sure to find a trip to suit you. Here is a list (in no particular order) of the best river rafting in Colorado according to the an article in the Denver Post:
- The Royal Gorge of the Arkansas River – Named the “King of the Arkansas”, you will find class III-V rapids on this part of the Arkansas River. You will see many beautiful rock formations and a view of the Royal Gorge Bridge from below.
- Gunnison Gorge – Nicknamed “Gunny”, this is a 2 day adventure beginning with a hike down the Chunkar Trail to a remote canyon where you can relax and enjoy fishing. On the 2nd day, you will board your boat and take off down the river for some class II-IV rapids.
- Lodore Canyon on the Green River – This is a great trip for families or first-time rafters. The 4 day trip offers camping on sandy beaches and class II-III rapids down the river.
- Animas River – The lower Animas is a great trip to get some class III rapids in, but for the veteran rafter, you may prefer the 3 day adventure on the upper with class IV-V rapids and 80 foot per mile drops.
- San Miguel River – Most summer days, you will find this river to be relaxing and calm. However, early on in the season, as the snow melts, it creates some class II-III rapids that make for a great family tubing trip.
- Lower Eagle River – This free-flowing river offers class II-III rapids great for the beginning kayaker/packrafter looking to improve their skills on the water. Families also enjoy a commercial trip down this river in a raft.
- The Upper or Lower Colorado – Have a blast rafting down this river and viewing wildlife along the way. You will find class II-IV rapids scattered throughout your trip. Commercial tours are offered through the dramatic rapid areas of the Colorado River.
- The Dolores – Not many make it to this river to enjoy the relaxing float through the calm waters due to a short rafting season. Parts of the river, however, can get pretty intense, so be sure you know which part of the river you are heading toward. You will find class I-IV rapids along this river.
- Roaring Fork River – You need to get to this one before the class II-IV rapids are gone for the season and enjoy one of the only waterfall runs in the area.
For those that are lovers of rafting, you may be more up for the multi-day adventures. These trips usually include more than just time on the water. You can also enjoy other outdoor experiences such as hiking, fishing and camping. Have fun!