Throughout Colorado the opportunities for business and leisure groups to experience the state by water are abundant. Whitewater rafting, one of the states most popular recreations, offers visitors a unique perspective of the area around them and an adventure like no other. By it’s own nature, whitewater rafting is a group activity! Whether floating Class I rapids as a beginner in late summer or taking on the challenge of Class V spring runoff action, there is something for everyone in nearly every region of the state. A whitewater rafting trip is perfect for business meeting participants, as a spouse program and is tops on most leisure group plans.
Floating the mighty waters of the Colorado River is a popular option for those in and around the Central and Western Rockies including Vail and Beaver Creek, Steamboat Springs, Glenwood Springs, and Grand Junction. As with most rivers, the level of difficulty varies depending on the section and time of year. The great Gunnison River, a tributary of the Colorado, offers many sections of calm waters as well as challenge in less populated areas where one can truly experience the wilderness by raft, with it’s most striking sections within the high steep walls of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Nearby towns include Gunnison, Paonia and Hotchkiss of the North Fork Valley, and Grand Junction, where it meets the Colorado River. The famous Arkansas River, a major tributary of the Mississippi, winds from Pueblo and near Colorado Springs in the Front Range through Salida in the mountains. Browns Canyon, near Salida, is a pleasing section of the Arkansas offering Class III rapids and dramatic views of the surrounding rock formations. The San Miguel, a tributary of the Dolores River, runs near Telluride, with mild to wild sections. The San Juan and Piedra Rivers provide rafting and tubing adventures for those in the Pagosa Springs area, and scenic raft trips along the Animas River are available for those in the Durango area. There are outfits in the towns and cities that lie along all of these rivers providing information, gear, and transportation. Many also provide a barbecue lunch or meal at the completion of your journey.
The typical Colorado rafting season is May 1st through September 30th, however snow pack, runoff, and weather may alter this slightly. Some rafting is also available in certain areas other times of the year as well.