Scattered among the majestic Rockies are multiple ski towns which give the Colorado high country its legendary renown. Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Keystone, and Beaver Creek may all bring about visions of epic powder and world class amenities, but one ski resort town stands above these others. I’m of course talking about Vail. While Vail has earned its rightful reputation as one of the most epic mountains in Colorado, did you know there’s also world class rafting available on the Eagle River in Vail? Located in Vail proper, and only 20 minutes from Avon, the Eagle River is one of the best kept rafting secrets in Colorado.
The Eagle River features trips for all skill levels across two sections of the river. The Lower Eagle is a beginner/intermediate section with Class III rapids. This section has a minimum age requirement of 6 years old with a minimum weight of 50 lbs, and is ideal for any beginners looking for their first taste of rafting. With varying rapid types from small holes to splashy wave trains, the Lower Eagle is the ideal section for beginners in Eagle.
For advanced and veteran river rafters, the Eagle River has one of the better offerings in the state: The Dowd Chute. With a minimum age of 16, these Class IV & V Advanced rapids are guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping. Located just minutes from both Vail and Beaver Creek, the section of the Eagle known as Dowd Junction will provide you with the most aggressive parts of the entirety of the Eagle River. The way the banks of this river constrict creates the “Chute” that your raft will blast through. Please be aware that this is a very physically demanding trip, and good physical condition is recommended.
Regardless of your skill level, the Eagle River has some excellent rafting opportunities in the central Vail area to fit your desires.