Idaho Springs

Idaho Springs, just a half hour from Denver, is the home of some of Colorado’s best rafting, and is easily accessed by our Idaho Springs outpost. Raft class III through V rapids on Clear Creek, paddling past the town of Idaho Springs and the site of Colorado’s first gold discovery.

Strike Gold with AVA

For a cliffside perspective of the Front Range, zipline or climb our Via Ferrata course from our Idaho Springs outpost, or compliment your rafting trip with an aerial adventure in a full day multi-adventure package! The area also offers numerous trails for hiking and biking, all within easy reach of the town’s famous hot springs–perfect for soaking your muscles after a day of exploration.

Explore Idaho Springs

Top Trips

Idaho Springs has become a hidden gem for mountain recreation. Its convenient location, dramatic scenery, and some of the best mountain experiences in Colorado make it easy to spend the entire day exploring the outdoors.

We offer whitewater rafting on the Clear Creek for all ages and ability levels, and thrilling Cliffside Zipline and Mount Blue Sky Via Ferrata trips. We additionally provide adventure packages, so you can maximize your time and participate in multiple adventure experiences!

Woman smiling while traversing AVA's Mount Blue Sky Via Ferrata course
Heart Pounding
Best for a Full Day of Thrills

Upper Clear Creek 1/2 Day + Via Ferrata

Spend your day venturing through the mountains on with this thrilling combo of activities! You’ll have the opportunity to challenge yourself on the water [...]

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group paddling between rocks on the Clear Creek, as one member raises paddle above his head
Exciting & Active
Best for Adventurers of All Ages

Gold Rush Rafting+ Zipline

 
Join us on one of our best family trips, and experience Colorado fun on the river and in the air. From our Idaho Springs [...]

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Exciting & Active
Most Popular - Great for Kids

Gold Rush Clear Creek Rafting Adventure

 
Splash down the Clear Creek mining valley on our 1/3 day Gold Rush trip. Just a short half-hour trip from Denver, this family-friendly rafting [...]

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Person on a Via Ferrata course.
Thrilling & Very Active
Best for Cliffside Thrills

Mount Blue Sky, Colorado Via Ferrata

Get your heart up on one of our most daring adventure trips! On our Mount Blue Sky Via Ferrata course, you will traverse the [...]

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Colorado Zipline Tours
Exciting & Active
Best for Families with Kids

Cliffside Zipline Half Day

Fly through the trees on our exciting 6-line zipline course in Idaho Springs. This trip includes features such as a dual race line, hanging [...]

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Steam locomotive on railroad track
Leisurely
Best for All Ages and Abilities

Georgetown Loop Train Ride

Only 45 minutes from Denver, Colorado in Idaho Springs, the Georgetown Loop Railroad offers an exciting and historical opportunity to experience Colorado history. Ride [...]

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Idaho Springs Whitewater Rafting

Clear Creek Rafting

Experience the best of Colorado rafting just a short 30-minute drive from Denver on Clear Creek. Our Idaho Springs outpost provides convenient access to exhilarating whitewater rafting experiences for all skill levels and ages.

As you embark on your Clear Creek rafting journey, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Idaho Springs and its mining valley. Navigate exciting rapids, while immersing yourself in Colorado’s beautiful and historic landscape. Be sure to take your eyes off the river just long enough to keep an eye out for local wildlife!

Clear Creek Trips

For a family-friendly introduction to rafting, our 1/3 day Clear Creek Gold Rush takes you on a milder journey through splashy whitewater, offering a thrilling adventure suitable for all ages. You’ll pass by the historic Argo Mine & Tunnel while navigating class III rapids.

For those seeking a more exhilarating experience, our Upper Clear Creek 1/2 day trip is the perfect choice with steeper technical sections of class IV rapids, or take it to the next level on our Lower Canyon 1/2 day trip, an introductory option to challenging class V whitewater. If you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for an intense and exciting adventure, our Phoenix trip is the ultimate option. This full-day advanced excursion covers 20 miles of non-stop thrills and unforgettable moments at every twist and turn!

Idaho Springs Ziplining

AVA Rafting & Zipline is located in the heart of Idaho Springs with our Cliffside Zipline course incorporated into the cliff side. On our course, you will experience a hanging bridge, log cross, and dual race lines!

Idaho Springs Via Ferrata

We also offer an exciting Mount Blue Sky Via Ferrata course at our Idaho Springs outpost. Climb high into the cliffside above the Chicago Creek and even swing on several lines of our zipline course. This unique assisted climbing adventure allows you to traverse the cliffside with the help of iron bars, rungs, and other features built into the mountainside.

Discover Idaho Springs

Rafters on the Arkansas River.

The Closest River to Idaho Springs

Clear Creek runs right through Idaho Springs, and we offer class III – V rafting along with other adventures at our conveniently located outpost in town.

clear creek rafting past the Idaho Springs waterwheel

The Closest Outpost to Idaho Springs

Our nearest outpost is located right in the town of Idaho Springs. Here, guests can also try out a zipline and Via Ferrata course.

Kid smiling while sitting in raft and holding paddle.

Beginners and Families

We recommend our 1/3 day Gold Rush trip! This whitewater experience will still take you on the best of Clear Creek, while providing a milder introduction to rafting through gentler class III rapids.

guide paddling rafters down more intense whitewater

Thrill-Seekers

For a more advanced trip, check out our Phoenix full day adventure. This trip covers 20 miles of exhilarating whitewater and includes a riverside barbeque lunch!

cheesy, gooey pizza

AVA's Favorite Restaurants

Here are a few of our favorite places to find some delicious grub or a post-paddle beer.

  • The Frothy Cup for coffee before your trip.
  • Tommyknocker Brewery
  • Smokin’ Yards BBQ
  • Beau Jo’s Pizza
  • Two Brothers Deli
  • Westound & Down Brewery / The Buffalo
view of the town of Idaho Springs from above and Rocky Mountains in the background

Historic Downtown Idaho Springs

Take a stroll through historic downtown Idaho Springs and explore its charming shops, galleries, and restaurants. Discover local artisans, browse unique boutiques, and sample delicious cuisine at one of the town’s eateries. Don’t miss attractions like the Argo Mill and Tunnel, where you can tour a historic gold mine and learn about Idaho Springs’ mining heritage.

lake near Idaho Springs with snow and greenery on the sloped bank

St. Mary's Glacier

Embark on a scenic hike to St. Mary’s Glacier, located just a short drive from Idaho Springs. This popular trail leads to a stunning alpine lake and glacier nestled amidst the Rocky Mountains. Enjoy breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, wildflower-filled meadows, and crystal-clear waters as you hike to the glacier. The trail offers a moderate challenge suitable for hikers of all skill levels.

frozen lake and rocks lining the bank

Hot Springs

Relax and rejuvenate at the Indian Hot Springs, located just outside of Idaho Springs. These natural hot springs offer a tranquil retreat with geothermal mineral water pools, soothing soaking tubs, and therapeutic steam caves. Whether you’re looking to unwind after a day of outdoor adventures or simply seeking relaxation amidst nature, the Indian Hot Springs provide a serene oasis for visitors to enjoy.

Group picture following zipline adventure.

Idaho Springs Location

Idaho Springs is situated in the scenic Clear Creek Canyon, nestled amidst the majestic Rocky Mountains. Its central location along Interstate 70, approximately 30 miles west of Denver, makes it easily accessible for visitors traveling from both the Denver metropolitan area and other mountain destinations

Next Colorado Vacation Idaho Springs

Idaho Springs History

Idaho Springs has a rich history dating back to the Colorado Gold Rush of the mid-19th century when gold was discovered in the area by George A. Jackson in 1859. This discovery led to a significant influx of prospectors and settlers, transforming Idaho Springs into a bustling mining town. The town thrived as a hub for gold and silver mining, with numerous mines operating in the surrounding mountains.

group paddling through splashier rapids

Best Time to Raft

The best time to raft the Clear Creek in Idaho Springs is May through August. Thrill seekers will enjoy the higher water in May and June, while everyone will enjoy an escape from the heat later in the summer.

two girls ziplining through the trees in Colorado

Idaho Springs Activites

Idaho Springs offers rafting, ziplining, and Via Ferrata adventures perfect for all ages 6 and up. Join us for a 1/3 day, half-day, or full-day adventure!

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group smiling as they conquer the rapids
Maximum Adrenaline
Best for Adrenaline Junkies

The Gauntlet- Pine Creek & Numbers

Experience the wildest rafting offered on the Arkansas River in Colorado.  On this full day rafting adventure, you’ll have the opportunity to navigate the [...]

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Group of rafts paddling through Brown's Canyon on the Arkansas River
Thrilling & Very Active
Best for a Day of Excitement

Browns Canyon Rafting + Via Ferrata

Excitement and scenery await on your Browns Canyon + Via Ferrata full-day adventure. Climb into the Rocky Mountains and rush the rapids of the [...]

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Person ziplining through Colorado fall foliage
Thrilling & Very Active
Best for a Full Day of Family Fun

Browns Canyon Half Day + Zipline Package

This multi-adventure package will keep you energized and smiling the entire day, as you fly through the trees on our Mountaintop Zipline course and [...]

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Rock climbing in the Colorado Mountains.
Heart Pounding
Best for a Full Day of Thrills

The Numbers 1/2 Day + Via Ferrata

This adventure will get your heart rate up and keep it up as you embark on our Numbers + Via Ferrata full-day excursion. This [...]

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Woman on zipline in Colorado.
Wild & High Exertion
Best for Thrill Seekers

The Numbers Half Day + Zipline

Experience an action-packed day with two of Colorado’s best summer activities. Soar between trees on our Mountaintop Zipline course and then splash your way [...]

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Woman preparing to begin her rock climbing adventure.
Exciting & Active
Best for a Full Day of Excitement

Browns Canyon Half Day + Rock Climb

Rock climber with a spotter.
Heart Pounding
Best for Thrill Seekers

The Numbers Half Day + Rock Climb

Experience an action-packed day with two of Colorado’s best mountain activities! On this multi-adventure package, you’ll have the opportunity to raft the iconic Arkansas [...]

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A thrilling moment captured as a raft plunges down a steep drop, surrounded by cascading whitewater.
Exciting & Active
Best for the ultimate Colorado experience

24 Hours in Browns Canyon

Experience Colorado’s best overnight whitewater rafting. This trip provides a unique way to explore the most popular stretch of whitewater rafting in the country [...]

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A view of the Denver Colorado city skyline with snow-capped mountains in the background pointed west.

Denver

Denver, CO

Denver, Colorado provides the perfect opportunity to explore cultural attractions, markets, festivals, museums, and urban excitement, while maintaining easy access to the best of Colorado’s outdoors. The Mile High City offers opportunities to listen to live music and enjoy food from diverse restaurants and breweries. Cheer for the Rockies at Coors Field, explore the 16th Street Mall and Union Station, check out the Denver Botanic Gardens, and relax at one of the city’s numerous parks and green areas. The nearby area also includes Colorado’s iconic Red Rocks amphitheater, as well as Golden, Colorado: Colorado’s first capital and the home of Coors brewing.

Denver’s central location in Colorado also makes it easy to access mountain adventures without excessive travel time. Drive 30 minutes from the city, and you will find opportunities for Whitewater Rafting, biking, hiking, and wildlife spotting. Denver is the perfect vacation for those wanting to experience the best of a vibrant city yet still explore Colorado’s natural beauty and scenery.

Garden of the Gods' red rock formations with Pike's Peak in the distance.

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Springs has long been known as a “must-see” on Colorado travelers’ lists – and not just for all the great outdoor adventure and whitewater rafting near Colorado Springs. Located East of the Pike National Forest, near Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, Old Colorado City, Cave of the Winds among other notable attractions, the area offers numerous opportunities to hike and explore the outdoors of central Colorado.

Pike’s Peak is one of Colorado’s many 14ers, yet one of the most accessible, as visitors can hike, bike, or drive to the top, and the National Landmark of Garden of the Gods provides stunning views of the area’s rock formations and landmarks, framing Pikes Peak in the background. National Geographic also notes Colorado Spring’s Broadmoor Seven Falls on their list of international waterfalls for their stunning scenery and views.

As Colorado’s second largest city and home to three colleges, Colorado Springs also hosts historical and cultural attractions. Visitors can explore the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, the Money Museum or the The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Colorado Springs also headquarters the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center and offers tours for the public.

Blue River near Breckenridge, Colorado.

Breckenridge

Breckenridge, CO 80424

The magic of summer in the mountains comes alive in Breckenridge, Colorado. Located within Summit County, Breckenridge offers skiing and snowboarding, alongside plenty of opportunities for winter sports, yet the temperate summer weather and high alpine environment transform Breckenridge into a mecca for summer adventure. Breckenridge, Colorado is the place to visit if you are looking for a hip mountain town with access to the best outdoor adventures the Colorado mountains have to offer. Best of all, you’ll find Whitewater Rafting trips near Breckenridge on 4 different rivers!

In summer, Breckenridge hosts several festivals, a vibrant downtown arts scene, and numerous high alpine adventures. Its downtown Main Street includes numerous restaurants, bars, and shops, and people flock from across Summit County and Colorado to try Breckenridge’s diverse food scene. The town also offers cultural and arts opportunities, including open galleries, arts classes, and multiple museums. Whether you’re looking to explore the mountains, the town’s rich history, or its unique food scene, Breckenridge has a plethora of diverse adventure opportunities for all!

View of lake and flowers on the bank in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Estes Park

Estes Park, CO

Surrounded by Rocky Mountain National Park and only an hour and a half outside of Denver, Estes Park boasts a variety of outdoor activities and attractions with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. Most notably, Rocky Mountain National Park offers hiking and wildlife spotting, and visitors can drive the Trail Ridge Road from Estes to Grand Lake with views of the park and the Continental Divide Trail. In the warmer months, opportunities also abound for Whitewater Rafting, Rock Climbing, and Stand-up Paddleboarding.

The town of Estes additionally hosts Lake Estes, with opportunities for boating, fishing, or relaxing. After your outdoor adventure, be sure to check out one of Estes’s restaurants, breweries, or distilleries, or visit a festival or outdoor concert.

Image of the Colorado mountains at dusk.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses some of the nation’s best peaks, lakes, wildflowers, reservoirs, and wildlife and includes a portion of the Continental Divide Trail. With over 300 miles of trail systems, Rocky Mountain National Park has incredible hikes for all levels from flatter scenic walks to multi-day back packing trips. Landscapes in the park vary greatly and include towering mountains, alpine tundra, crystal clear lakes, meadows, and evergreens, and provide the ecosystem for multiple endangered species.

Rocky Mountain National Park offers wilderness camping under the stars, and there are additional accommodations in the surrounding communities of Grand Lake and Estes Park. Although hiking may be the most common past time, it is not the only adventure you can find in the Rocky Mountain National Park area. From our Kremmling outpost, 40 minutes from the park, we offer Whitewater Rafting and Fly Fishing trips on the scenic Upper Colorado River, along with SUP and Inflatable Kayak trips and rentals.

Vail Valley in the summertime.

Vail

Vail

Locals and guests in this quaint little town are spoiled with gorgeous surroundings and all the amenities of a bigger city. Winter brings skiing and boarding, yet summer offers endless sunny days and a chance to explore Colorado’s mountains and great outdoors. The White River National Forest and Gore Range surround the area, creating opportunities for hiking, biking and exploring the area’s trails.

The town of Vail has much to offer itself, including a variety of lodging and dining options, along with arts and culture opportunities. Catch a show at the outdoor Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, check out Vail’s festival schedule, or stroll around the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens!

Clear Creek rafting trip.

Clear Creek

Clear Creek

Clear Creek runs from Loveland Pass through Golden and The Front Range and eventually joins up with the South Platte River. This river flows through Clear Creek Canyon in the Rocky Mountains directly west of Denver, following alongside I-70 and through the town of Idaho Springs, where the first gold was found in the late 1850s during the Colorado gold rush.

Located in an old mining valley in the Colorado Rockies, its proximity to Denver, Boulder, Summit County and Winter Park makes Clear Creek rafting an easily accessible favorite for locals and travelers alike. Conveniently located only 30 minutes from Denver, our Idaho Springs outpost allows easy access to one of Colorado’s most well known rivers. Clear Creek runs through Idaho Spring’s historic mining valley, providing opportunities for scenic views and potential wildlife spotting, while flowing through fun and floaty rapids.