Colorado River Rafting Adventures For Your Bucket List

Rafting is a recreational activity done on the challenging environment of whitewater. When the word “rafting” is mentioned, the first place that come to mind is the state of Colorado. Colorado river rafting is not only for seasoned rafters. The good thing about this activity is the fact that regardless of your skills, there sure is a rafting activity that’s just right for you.


Top Tips for a Successful Colorado River Rafting

Colorado river rafting is an exciting activity to look forward to, whether you’re doing it with family, friends, or on your own (with your guide). There are things to keep in mind so you can make the most out of the rafting adventure, especially if it’s going to be your first time.

Here are the top tips to ensure your Colorado river rafting adventure is going to be a success.


  1. Choose the appropriate Colorado river rafting trip for your group.

If you are planning for a Colorado river rafting trip with your circle of friends, consider everyone’s physical fitness, age, rafting experience, and swimming ability first. You can then agree on what difficulty level is going to work best for the group then move on deciding on how long your rafting adventure is going to be. When it comes to river rafting, in Colorado you will find the best organized tours in the world fit for everyone’s preferences.

There are trips that last for half day, whole day, and couple of days up to weeks with camping in between. Make sure to ask everyone on the group and if answers vary, vote. This way, everyone is heard and everyone can agree on all decisions, which is a good way to start a group adventure.


  1. Choose the right outfit.

Dressing appropriately for your Colorado river rafting trip is very important, as with any other outdoor sports.

Other White Water Rafting Gear - Helmet, Life Jacket etc

Other White Water Rafting Gear – Helmet, Life Jacket etc

Since the rafts are going to collide with rocks and are likely to splash down in waterfalls, you are going to get wet and cold. With this in mind, you want to remain dry as much as possible and you want to be able to move around freely throughout the excursion. Choose a light layer of clothing that will keep your skin dry and will repel water. There are outfitters that provide life jackets but in case they don’t, it’s better for you to be prepared.

If you plan on wearing water shorts, that’s also great as long as it’s not too baggy. Do not wear anything that’s cotton during your Colorado river rafting adventure. Prepare for mud stains if you are rafting in August. As per the shoes, choose to wear water-repellant tennis shoes. They prove to work regardless of the weather. You can also wear trail sandals or sandals which have secure straps in them for safety purposes.

Lastly, wearing sunglasses if strongly advised for rafters joining a Colorado river rafting trip. When rafting during the day, sun’s light usually reflects off when it hits the water and can be blinding for the eyes at times. Sunglasses protect both of your eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun and can also be a shield against foreign objects and water splashing. Also use lip balm and sunscreen with SPF of at least 30.

Simply put, keep it simple and do not go overboard with your outfit for your Colorado river rafting trip. Keep in mind that less is more.


  1. Choose a seasoned guide.

How do you know if your guide is experienced? It’s very hard to tell but as with any other things you want to find out about, you can run a quick search online to know which the top-rated rafting companies are the perfect choice for your group. Choose a guide who knows what he’s doing and is fun to be with at the same time. Choose someone you’ll feel comfortable to be around with, especially if you’re venturing on a longer Colorado river rafting adventure.


  1. Be prepared.

Aside from quick-drying clothes, make sure to bring along a change of clothes, drinking water, and waterproof camera for your Colorado river rafting trip.


  1. Decide when to raft.

Water levels vary depending on the month that you’re going to go for Colorado river rafting. Ask a reliable rafting company about which months would it be best to go rafting depending on the difficulty level you want to explore.


Colorado River Rafting: River Ratings 101

Rivers are rated using the standardized International Scale of River Difficulty. It’s also important to note that the numbers or “class” can refer to a stretch of river or a rapid and that one river can fall under multiple class designations. But to give you an idea what does class mean in the context of river rafting, here are the definition for each class. Make sure to remember this for hopping for your next Colorado river rafting trip.


  1. Class I

Class I refers to fast-moving water accompanied by small waves and riffles. The risk in Class I is low but still, there’s a risk so be prepared and keep safety in mind at all times during your Colorado river rafting trip.


  1. Class II

In class II, you’ll encounter straightforward rapids with wide channels and presence of boulders, rocks, and other obstacles along the way. These can be easily seen and are avoidable. Risk is higher compared to Class I. Be ready. This is the class most first-timers choose if they don’t want to have a simple and plain rafting but are not prepared yet for too much of a Colorado river rafting adventure.


  1. Class III

The river is moderate with irregular waves that can be hard to avoid. Complex maneuvers are essential as the current is fast. Good boat control is of utmost importance especially in tight passages. Large waves or strainers are to be expected but they can be easily avoided. If you are going to a Colorado river rafting trip with a group who has tried rafting several times already, you can explore this class. Just take the necessary precautions to avoid injury.


  1. Class IV

    The rapids can be intense sometimes

    The rapids can be intense sometimes

The rapids in this class are intense and powerful but they are predictable. It requires precise boat handling since turbulent waters can be expected. Depending on the river you’re going to raft on, you may encounter unavoidable waves and constricted passages which demand fast maneuvers. Colorado river rafting is going to be a challenging trip if this is the class of the river that you’ll encounter.


  1. Class V

Class V is characterized by extremely long and very violent rapids that feature unavoidable waves and demanding high level of fitness. Colorado river rafting at this class is high risk so don’t attempt if it’s your first time.


  1. Class VI

This class is the most extreme, unpredictable and most dangerous of all classes. It’s only for expert rafters because if you get in trouble, there may be no way to rescue you. Colorado river rafting at this class is impossible for novice.


Top Water Rafting Companies for Your Colorado River Rafting

For your Colorado river rafting, there are variety of water rafting companies that offer varying services, whether you are a novice or an experienced water rafter. Rafting trips vary in length and price. Take note also that all rafting trips will be subjected to the weather conditions.

Here are some of the trusted and reliable water rafting companies you can choose from for your Colorado river rafting adventure.


  1. Wilderness Aware Rafting

Wilderness Aware Rafting in Buena Vista, CO is proud of their professional staff, reliable facilities and superb equipment in white water rafting. They offer Colorado river rafting for a day, multi-day rafting, and group rafting. You can find out more by visiting their website at


  1. Glenwood Canyon Rafting, Inc.

Glenwood Canyon Rafting, Inc. in Glenwood Springs, CO offers Colorado river rafting trips and adventure packages ranging from half-day to full day. They also have raft trips to Shoshone. You can book trips in advanced by visiting their website


  1. Performance Tours Whitewater Rafting

    Performance Tours Whitewater Rafting

    Performance Tours Whitewater Rafting

Performance Tours Whitewater Rafting take pride for being the recipient of the Certificate of Excellence Award for several years running by Trip Advisor. They were rated 5 out of 5 every year, which is the highest possible rating. They’ve been in the business for 29 years and they offer Colorado river rafting trips at a price where you get your money’s worth. You can reserve online by visiting their website at


  1. Whitewater Adventure Outfitters

Whitewater Adventure Outfitters offer Colorado river rafting trips for the family. They also offer overnight trips and special packages or rafting combos which prove to be big savings and are popular among both tourist and local rafters. They have been in the business for 20 years and they take pride for their professional and skilled guides. Know them more online at


  1. Bluesky Adventures

Blue Sky Adventures are experts in the Colorado river rafting trips since they started way back in 1975! Their mission is “to enrich people’s lives by providing a safe, professional, and outstanding Colorado rafting experience for all ages and ability levels.” They offer half day and full day rafting trips not only in Colorado river but also in Shoshone rapids. Give their site a visit to learn more at


  1. RiverRunners, The Whitewater Professionals

RiverRunners offer rafting trips depending on the rafters’ skills. They have Colorado river rafting trips for beginners, which covers rivers under class II to IV. They also offer advanced rafting trips, which covers rivers under IV to V. They have multi-day rafting trips, too. Book your rafting trip of choice at


  1. Royal Gorge Rafting and Zipline Tours

The Royal Gorge is a world renowned Colorado river rafting location. The company offers trips in river classes IV to V also in Sunshine Falls, Sledgehammer and the Narrow. The company believes that despite the challenge, Royal Gorge river is suitable for first time rafters seeking challenge as long as they are in good physical condition. Check out their other rafting trips at


Your Colorado River Rafting Guide Knows Best

Colorado river rafting is a one-of-a-kind adventure. Regardless of what river class it is that you are aiming for, you have to keep in mind that your safety is what the guides think of first. Depending on your guide’s capabilities and the conditions of the weather and the river, you may or may not be allowed to raft. They’re the best person to learn from so be attentive and listen to the techniques and tips that they’re going to teach you, to ensure your safety while rafting in different rivers in Colorado.


Go Now For Colorado River Rafting

So what are you waiting for? Give any of the websites above a visit so you can get a feel of what Colorado river rafting is all about. Once you see the photos of rafters in action, you’ll realize that Colorado river rafting should definitely be in your bucket list.

Visit the Trip and Tour category to explore more travel tours, tour companies and adventure trips available and fit your interests!