Known as the most difficult stretch of rafting on the Colorado River and one of the wildest stretches in the state, Gore Canyon attracts extreme adrenaline seekers. Running from Kremmling to just upstream from Pumphouse Recreation Area, the stretch of whitewater known as Gore Canyon is highly regarded as the hardest whitewater Rafting trip in North America. This stretch of class V whitewater is thrilling, yet can be dangerous, and should only be paddled by more experienced rafters.

Whitewater rafting - intense

Because Gore Canyon is infamous for its challenging rapids, for those that do decide to conquer the whitewater, it is important to stay informed and prepare yourself for the adventure ahead.

About Gore Canyon rafting:

River: Colorado River

Location: Kremmling, Colorado

Rapids Classes: IV-V

Difficulty Level: Extreme

Length: 9.2 miles

Notable rapids: First Rapid, Applesauce, Gore Rapid, Scissors, Pyrite Falls, Tunnel Falls, Toilet Bowl, Kirshbaum’s Rapid

Flow: Check for current levels

The First Rapid is a milder class III rapid that most paddlers can navigate, yet this soon leads to the rest of the rapids, all class V. Applesauce and its intense  drop, might be the river’s most dangerous rapid.

for thrill seekers

The next rapid, Gore Rapid, also a class V, requires technical paddling and advanced skill to navigate especially as rafters will find a couple large holes prove to avoid. Scissors and Toilet Bowl require navigation around large holes, with Toilet Bowl being infamous for sucking rafts into. Tunnel falls boasts a 14 foot foot waterfall, and the wild ride ends with Kirshbaum, a long, technical class IV section.

A group of rafters take a steep drown in the Gore Canyon

Here are a couple steps to take to make sure you are all ready to go for this thrilling yet challenging adventure:

  1. When preparing for this trip, make sure you are fully aware of the physical fitness level necessary. You should be able to run a mile and swim 8-10 laps in a swimming pool back-to-back.
  2. You will also want to make sure you are a comfortable with and capable swimmer. Although whitewater can be dangerous for swimmers of all levels, you will want to be a strong swimmer to embark on this trip.
  3. Practice working together to refine your technique. This trip requires your crew to work together to ensure all paddle strokes are in sync.
  4. Pay attention to your guide at all times. Make sure you are easily able to follow your guide’s commands, as they will all be crucial.
  5. Understand the difficulty of this trip and prepare yourself mentally for the challenge of a lifetime.

rafting group through whitewater rapids

Regardless if this is your 10th whitewater trip or your 500th trip, make sure you are fully prepared and aware of all risks and hazards before your launch! Not sure if you’re ready for Gore Canyon yet? That’s okay! Check out all of our Rafting trips to find the perfect adventure for your level.