Rafting Safety

AVA Whitewater Rafting Safety Standards

If you ask us, whitewater rafting is the best adventure in Colorado and a must-do activity that will leave you wanting more. AVA Rafting has been a premier rafting outfitter since 1998, and we’ve always prided ourselves in the superior level of training our guides must go through. There are inherent risks with any outdoor activity, including rafting, but we prioritize safety on our trips, which is why we require 3 times more training than the state of Colorado requires for commercial raft guides.

What to Know about Safety

Rafting Browns Canyon Class III Rapids

Safety Orientation

Before you embark on any adventure with us, whether on the water or aerial, you’ll receive a detailed safety orientation. It’s important that you pay careful attention so that you can respond in any situation that might arise. You’ll be enjoying your tour in a natural environment where the situation can change quickly, so it’s important that you know what to do.

Raft and equipment, including safety helmets and lifejackets.

Proper Equipment

When you show up for your adventure, you’ll be given safety equipment that matches your tour. This equipment may include a helmet, a personal flotation device (PFD), a wetsuit or splash top, a harness for aerial tours, and more. It’s important to make sure that your equipment fits properly and that you’re wearing that right way. Your guide will help you get fitted and answer any questions you have about your gear.

Whitewater Rafting Guide Training

At AVA, our guides go through 3 times the state-required training for whitewater rafting. All of our guides are first aid and CPR certified and go through continued education even if they have been guided for a decade or more. On average, our guides have 8 years of experience.

Crew carrying a raft toward the river.

Shoreline Safety

Our certified bus drivers at AVA take very good care of our guests on the road and the river. You can find them at the shore with a safety rope to help any swimmer in need of getting to the side of the river. They work with the safety kayakers and rafting guides closely to help guests at any time.

Inflatable Kayak Whitewater Rafting in Colorado

Safety Kayakers

We also have safety kayakers on our class IV & V whitewater rafting trips. During high water, we will have safety kayakers on class III trips as well. The safety kayaker provides an additional line of safety as guides and guests move through rapids, and their potential for swimming in the river increases.

Advanced Whitewater Rafting Tours

River Level And Age Requirements

We take safety very seriously, and reserve the right to cancel a trip or increase age minimums depending on the water flows at that time. We love rafting more than anyone, but we will not go out on the river during conditions that are seen as unfit for certain ages or potentially anyone.

Is Rafting Safe?

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Don't just take our word for it

Bill A.2023-07-04

Decided in this spot for some fun on a summer vacation in Brekenridge.

The drive from Breck was about 90 min. For meal plans after plan for about 30 in... Read More »

Becky D.2023-07-08

Rafting on Browns Canyon (class II/III rapids) was a highlight of our vacation in Colorado. We took a 9 yr old kiddo and the level of difficulty and length... Read More »

Catch A W.2023-07-27

Great experience with enthusiastic employees. Zip line was in the trees and not off the highway. We felt very safe! Our guides Paris and Ernie where... Read More »

Abraham Moralez2023-08-12

I can go on and on about how GREAT this experience was.. I was supposed to go on a different rafting and zip lining experience somewhere else in Colorado but was unable to make it.. I was near by for vacation and I knew I had to go back to do it. I searched for “Denver Rafting” and found AVA with very good reviews and had to look into it! I originally wanted to do the “Gauntlet” as my first rafting experience but instead changed my mind and got the “mountain zip lining and 1/2 day numbers” experience. From the moment I arrived to the moment I left I had smiles, content in my heart and pictures to last a LIFETIME! Jess and Robert were such amazing guides for the zip lining trip and helped everyone especially me since it was my first time to get us in the mindset that no matter what we were safe! Even had the opportunity to race Robert on the fastest line and well experience always wins…throughout the whole experience they were very informative and just very fun to be around!! By far the Rafting was the best part.. Chris was just so helped for everyone on the raft the whole time, no matter if we had people fall out of the raft or even had to rescue a “swimmer” he was ALWAYS Calm, Cool and Collected! After having this experience, I will definitely tell everyone I know that they NEED to have this as well. With all the help throughout the whole process there will be no way that don’t have a GREAT time.

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Jason Scott2022-07-27

We had an absolute blast as always! Shawn and the other AVA guides were amazing. We rode with Shawn and he made the whole trip memorable for our family! He was very knowledgeable and had a ton of facts about the river and all the wildlife in the area. The Browns Canyon is a perfect family trip with enough adventure for all ages. We'll definitely be back!
Thanks for everything Shawn and AVA!!!

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My family had a great trip with AVA! We did mountainside zip lining course near Granite, CO. Our guides Tripp and Jess were amazing! Safety first, but fun was a close second. The lines are through the trees with beautiful views of the Arkansas River and Collegiate Peaks. 6 lines took us over 2 hours to complete. There is a bit of a climb to the first line, but after that it’s easy going!

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