With so many awesome looking options out there for rafting, it’s hard to decide which trip to choose. Which class? Full day, half day or overnight excursion? Which river? In order to help you sort it all out, here are some steps you can take to pick your perfect rafting trip in Colorado.

Location, location, location

One of the easiest ways to narrow down your search is to look at where you will be driving from on your day on the river.

Browns Canyon Rafting Colorado


One of the most common areas to stay in Colorado in the summer is Breckenridge.  AVA’s Buena Vista and Kremmling outposts are just over an hour from Breckenridge and are both beautiful, scenic mountain drives to the outposts. Also, if you can catch the Blue River in it’s prime, it’s the only commercially rafted river in Summit County.


If you happen to be a weekend warrior trying to make a quick escape to the mountains or are visiting the mile-high city for business or pleasure, our Idaho Springs outpost is a great option. At just over 30 minutes west of the Denver area, you won’t have to travel far for an adventure.

Colorado Springs

Venturing through Garden of the Gods in the morning and looking to navigate some whitewater in the afternoon?  You have multiple options if you’re staying in Colorado Springs.  AVA’s Buena Vista outpost is just under two hours west of the springs and is home to the famous National Monument, Browns Canyon.

Other Locations

Durango: Animas River

Ft. Collins: Poudre River

Glenwood Springs: Shoshone

Are you coming with children?

If you are traveling with children, the rafting trip you might pick would be different than one a group of adults. Some locations provide all levels of whitewater, while others are the milder scenic floats.

For the smallest Adventurers

Make your way to Kremmling, Colorado to take on the Colorado River Class II rapids.  Children as young as two years old over 30 pounds are welcome aboard, and the scenic float will entertain a wide range of kids.  The whole family will have a great time gazing at the expansive scenery and even taking on the rapids in an inflatable kayak or on a stand up paddle board.

For those 6 and older

For children 6 years old and over 50 pounds, Clear Creek hosts the Class III Gold Rush trip. This trip will leave kids laughing and splashing through rapids without being too intense for elementary age kids.

7+? We’ve got the perfect adventure.

A small step up on Class III whitewater is the Browns Canyon trip in Buena Vista. This trip through a national monument will thrill older guests as well as the kids. Enjoy either a full-day or half-day out on the Arkansas with your family.

Colorado Rafting with Kids

Are you a thrill seeker?

Though we’re past the peak water season for 2018, that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning your action-packed adventure for next year.  AVA runs two Class V sections of whitewater.  Head to Idaho Springs to challenge yourself in the Lower Canyon section on Clear Creek, or make your way over to Buena Vista for the intense rapids of Pine Creek on the Arkansas River.

Looking to do an overnight?

Make a weekend out of it and spend a few days on the river with your trusty crew of guides.  The Arkansas River and Colorado River both host two and three day overnight rafting excursions which are perfect for those who are on the hunt for a true Colorado experience.

Check out the current deals AVA Rafting & Zipline is offering, or call an adventure specialist today to set your weekend up to be one to remember.