Ability & Rafting
How to pick your Colorado Rafting Trip!
What’s the Right Trip for Me?
Beginner Whitewater Rafting Trip: Ages 3 and above, all abilities
Intermediate Whitewater Rafting Trip: Ages 6 and above, all abilities
Advanced Whitewater Rafting Trip: Adult Beginner-Intermediate Rafting Trip, Active Lifestyle, Ages 15+
Advanced + Whitewater Rafting Trip: Active and Adventurous Lifestyle, Ages 15+
FUN FACT: 61% of the people who rafting Pine Creek in 2010 went with AVA. There are 11 companies that run Pine Creek commercially, but none even come close to our experience!
What do the difficulty ratings mean?
- Class I & II- the perfect rafting trip for younger children who do not meet the requirements (6 years or 50 lbs) for Class III whitewater rafting trips in Colorado. We offer a scenic float trip on the Colorado River. This mellow rafting trip allows you to experience the beauty of Colorado canyons and mountains from the river! There are small, regular waves, clear passages, and few obstacles on this rafting trip. These Colorado rafting trips do not have any significant whitewater.
- Class III- (Beginner Whitewater Rafting level): exciting trips for beginners ages 6 and above. This is a wet and fun trip for most anyone! These rafting trips have irregular waves, often with irregular channels, and require maneuvering to avoid obstacles. We have several trips to accommodate just about any family and make anyone’s Colorado rafting trip a memorable one, including trips on the Arkansas River, Clear Creek, Eagle River, and Blue River. You do not have to have any experience to raft a Class III whitewater rafting trip.
- Class IV-(Intermediate-Advanced Whitewater Rafting) a great starting point for those who are in good physical condition, are good swimmers, and are looking for adventure! This rafting trip has varying age requirements, depending on the trip and on water levels. Rafting trips at this level are considered complex with significant obstacles that require precise maneuvering. We have Class IV rafting trips on the Arkansas River, Clear Creek, and the Eagle River.
- Class V- (Advanced Whitewater Rafting) is considered extremely difficult, and requires a minimum age of at least 15 years. These rafting trips have long, continuous rapids, often following each other without interruption. This rafting trip is for those who are in good physical condition, comfortable in the water, and looking for an adventurous rafting experience while visiting Colorado. Our Class V trips are on the Arkansas River, Clear Creek and the Colorado River.
- Class VI- it is not recommended to commercially run as it involves a serious risk of injury. We do not run Class VI whitewater.
CLASS I & II COLORADO RAFTING TRIPS
- Minimum 3 yrs/ 30 lbs.
- No previous experience necessary
UPPER COLORADO FLOAT – FULL DAY COLORADO RAFTING
This is a relaxing day on the gently flowing Colorado River. There will be time to sunbathe, swim, and enjoy the day. For an additional fee inflatable kayaks are available for your pleasure. A guide will accompany your group but you’ll be able to tell your friends that you paddled the Colorado!=
CLASS II & III COLORADO RAFTING TRIPS
- Minimum 6 Years Old and 50 lb.
- Beginner Whitewater Rafting – No Previous Experience Necessary
CLEAR CREEK BEGINNER – 1/3 DAY COLORADO RAFTING
Clear Creek is a great option for guests that want to raft near the Denver, Colorado area. Idaho Springs is approximately 30 miles west of Denver. This trip provides a great introduction to the whitewater rafting experience. Approximately 1 ½ hours on the river.
GRANITE GORGE – 1/3 DAY COLORADO RAFTING
This beautiful and remote gorge rafting trip begins in the tiny mountain town of Granite, Colorado. The Granite Gorge trip on the Arkansas River is a true introduction to whitewater rafting in a mountain setting. Approximately one hour of river time.
BROWN’S CANYON EXPRESS – ¾ DAY COLORADO RAFTING
Raft the nation’s favorite stretch of river, the famous Brown’s Canyon on the Arkansas River in Colorado. Rafting through this granite canyon surrounded by 14,000-ft mountain peaks is an experience you will never forget. This Colorado rafting trip will take you through exhilarating whitewater rapids with calm stretches in between. Fun for all ages and experience levels.
BROWN’S CANYON SIZZLER – FULL DAY COLORADO RAFTING
Approximately 24 miles of amazing Colorado whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River. This full day trip is packed with adventure! Beginning with a scenic float trip into the canyon, an awesome lunch served up by your guides on the bank of the river, and an incredible journey through the many rapids downstream. This Colorado rafting experience has been designed for the enjoyment of the entire family!
24-HOURS IN BROWN’S CANYON – OVERNIGHT COLORADO RAFTING
This is an excellent weekend getaway! You’ll arrive mid-afternoon the first day, and raft into Brown’s Canyon where you will camp and have dinner. Your guides are there to set up your campsite and spend the evening enjoying the outdoor Colorado life. In the morning you’ll be served a delicious breakfast and get back on the river rafting through Class III whitewater. We’ll have you back to your car around noon the second day. All necessary provisions are provided except sleeping bags.
CLASS III & IV COLORADO RAFTING TRIPS
- Intermediate Whitewater Rafting – No Previous Rafting Experience Necessary.
- Good physical condition recommended, Active Lifestyle
CLEAR CREEK INTERMEDIATE – 1/2 DAY COLORADO RAFTING
Minimum Age 15
Located just 30 miles west of Denver, get ready for some intense whitewater rafting on Clear Creek. Starting high in a Colorado canyon, there’s just enough time to warm up before dropping into the first Class IV rapid. For your convenience, this Colorado rafting trip is available with three departure times each day.
THE NUMBERS FULL OR ½ DAY COLORADO RAFTING
Minimum Age 15
Just see if you can keep track of which of the 8 rapids you’re actually flying through as you raft down this section of the famous Arkansas River in Colorado.
The rapids on this northern stretch of the Arkansas River are simply numbered, rather than named. Our full day rafting trip includes a delicious lunch prepared and served on the river bank by your guides.
THE WYLDRIDE! – 1/2 DAY COLORADO RAFTING
Minimum Age 15
Two of you plus a guide will be rafting the waves, rapids, and holes in a mini nine-foot raft! As you can imagine, this Colorado rafting trip will be bigger, better, and wetter than the rest!
CLASS V COLORADO RAFTING TRIPS
- Advanced Whitewater Rafting
- Good physical condition recommended
- Active/Aggressive Lifestyle
PINE CREEK (THE GAUNTLET) – FULL OR ½ DAY RAFTING
Minimum Age 15
This section of whitewater is the most advanced section on the Arkansas River in Colorado. Here you’ll encounter the most continuous rapids in Colorado and the only Class V rafting run on the Arkansas. We challenge you to come run “The Gauntlet” (Pine Creek and The Numbers) as a full day rafting trip.
CLEAR CREEK ADVANCED – ½ DAY RAFTING
Minimum age 15
For serious paddlers only! Enjoy one of the most continuous sections of whitewater in Colorado, only 30 minutes from Denver. Our advanced trip takes you through the Lower Canyon of Clear Creek. You will rush through impressive scenery and even more impressive gradient that drops 150 feet/mile through the canyon. The trip starts off with a bang with the infamous Beavers, two steep drops that are sure to get your attention, just seconds after learning how to paddle. In the canyon, the excitement is non-stop through rapids like Guide Ejector, Hell’s Corner, and Corkscrew. Paddling experience recommended, good physical fitness level required.
GORE CANYON – FULL DAY COLORADO RAFTING
Minimum Age 15
Swim Tests Required
Colorado’s ultimate challenge in commercial whitewater rafting is only for serious paddlers in excellent physical condition, with a sense of adventure. This remote wilderness canyon on the Colorado River has the steepest gradient drop per mile, including a vertical waterfall. There is no other rafting experience in the state of Colorado that compares!