River Trips in Colorado | AVA Rafting
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RIVERS IN COLORADO

Join us for world-class rafting trips on the best rivers Colorado has to offer. Whitewater rafting in Colorado is an experience not to be missed. Our trips offer the experience of a lifetime and Colorado has the most diverse whitewater rafting in the country.

We offer rafting trips on rivers throughout the state of Colorado so you can plan a rafting trip from any part of the state. Come experience the best river rafting Colorado has to offer with one of the most respected companies in the west! Make your vacation truly unforgettable. Check out the most popular rivers, where they are located and who they are best suited for.

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THE ARKANSAS RIVER


Where is the Arkansas River located?

The Arkansas River runs through Buena Vista Colorado, and continues south through Salida and all the way into Arkansas. The Arkansas is the most commercially rafted river in the United States and for good reason, it is beautiful, fun and great for all experience levels. We run trips from north of Buena Vista all the way south just before you get to Salida.

Best time to raft on the Arkansas River

The best time to raft the Arkansas River is between April and September. However, anytime between end of May and early July there can be an influx of water (high water) which can lead to increased age minimums. This is a great time to raft for thrill seekers, but might not be the best time for that family trip with younger kids.

Rafting levels on the Arkansas River

The Arkansas River offers rafting on class III through class V rapids. Class IV and V rapids always have an age minimum of 15+, while class III is typically 7, but during high water usually goes up to 12 or even 15. Experience level does not determine the class level, however if you are planning to raft class IV or V we recommend being a strong swimmer, and living an active lifestyle that will allow you to paddle consistently throughout your trip.

Who can go rafting on the Arkansas River?

Class III rafting through Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River is great for families with children 7+. Experienced rafters love this stretch because of its beauty and fun exciting rapids, but the rapids are spread out which means it is less risky than the class IV and V options on the Ark. Pine Creek (V) and the Numbers (IV) are great for those looking for a thrilling and nonstop rapid experience.

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Clear Creek

Clear Creek River Rafting Guide

Where is Clear Creek located?

Clear Creek runs through a beautiful canyon in Idaho Springs, Colorado. Clear Creek offers the closest rafting to the city of Denver as it is only 30 to 45 minutes west of the city. Clear Creek is a narrow river that offers a variety of of rafting levels through the beautiful Clear Creek Canyon.

Best time to raft on Clear Creek?

The best time to raft the Arkansas River is between May and August. Rafting season can fluctuate from year to year, and sometimes the season can start in early may while other years it may not be closer to June. As for the end of the season, the more snow we get and the slower it melts means we will have a longer season. Anytime between end of May and early July can bring an influx of water (high water) which can lead to increased age minimums. This is a great time to raft for thrill seekers, but might not be the best time for that family trip with younger kids.

Rafting levels on Clear Creek

Clear Creek offers rafting on class III through class V rapids. Class IV and V rapids always have an age minimum of 15+, while class III is typically 7, but during high water usually goes up to 12 or even 15. Experience level does not determine the class level, however if you are planning to raft class IV or V, we recommend being a strong swimmer, and living an active lifestyle that will allow you to paddle consistently throughout your trip. Class III trip are great for everyone!

Who can go rafting on Clear Creek?

Class III rafting on the Gold Rush section of Clear Creek is great for families with children 7+. It is also a great trip for all ages who are looking for a fun splashy rafting trip with less risk than a class IV or V. Upper Clear Creek is the class IV section and if offered to those 15+. This section will have large rapids and require guests to paddle hard but there will be breaks between sections. The lower canyon section is full of class V rapids.

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THE COLORADO RIVER

Colorado River Rafting Guide

Where is the Colorado River located?

The Colorado River flows southwest 1,450 miles from Colorado to Mexico, but the section we raft is the Upper Colorado River starting in northern Colorado near Steamboat Springs. From Summit County, you can arrive to the Upper Colorado by driving just one hour north with views of the beautiful Gore Range along the way.

Best time to raft on the Colorado River?

The best time to go rafting on the Upper Colorado River is between May and November. You heard us right, we raft on the Colorado through the month of October because the water levels typically stay consistent the entire summer. Rafting in late spring, summer, or fall all have different benefits. Spring and fall have less crowds and less heat, while the summer is ideal for a full day float trip and to catch some rays.

Rafting levels on the Colorado River?

The Colorado River offers class II rafting. You will enjoy small splashy rapids through the Little Gore Canyon, as well as a cliff jump spot, hot spring, and unbelievable views. If you have mixed levels, the Upper Colorado rafting is great for those looking for a float trip, while those wanting something more exciting can paddleboard or kayak alongside for more of a challenge. This level of rafting is great for anyone age 2+.

Who can go rafting on the Colorado River?

Class II rafting on the Upper Colorado River is great for families with children 2+. We can this our float trip because you spend most of the time floating through the beautiful Gore Range while taking on a few small rapids along the way. It you are looking for something more challenging you can paddle hard for hours with our stand up paddle boards and inflatable kayaks. This is a great option for groups with mixed levels.

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THE BLUE RIVER

The Blue River Rafting Guide

Where is the Blue River Located?

The Blue River is located about 30 minutes from Breckenridge in Silverthorne Colorado. From I-70, you can get to the rafting location in just 10 minutes, so this river is very convenient for those staying in Summit County.

Best time to raft on the Blue River?

The best time to go rafting on the Blue River is typically in June. The Blue River has a short season that can start in late May and go through mid July, but it all depends on the Dillon Reservoir water level as well as the snowpack from that year. If there is plenty of water the Blue River season can go from May through July, but if you are planning a trip well in advanced we would recommend mid June to be safe.

Rafting levels on the Blue River?

The Blue River offers class III rafting. You will enjoy splashy rapids throughout most of the trip that takes anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours depending on the water levels. This is a great trip for those looking to stay close to Summit County, take in unbelievable views, and test the waters on whitewater rafting.

Who can go rafting on the Blue River?

The Blue River Express rafting trip is great for anyone age 5+. However, during an influx of water the age minimum can go up. This is a 1/3 day trip, so it is great for anyone tring to pack a lot of different activities into a shorter vacation or those who only want to spend a couple of hours rafting.

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All AVA River Trips

Flowing in the southwest corner of Colorado near the town of Durango, the Animas River features trips for those just looking to get their feet wet, up to outdoor enthusiasts looking to push their limits.
The Dolores River is known for some of the best overnight rafting trips in the country. You'll find this river nestled in the canyon of remote desert land in southwest Colorado near Mesa Verde National Park.
Located near Vail, Colorado, the Eagle River offers classic whitewater rafting for all ages and desired experiences. Whether you are looking for family-friendly fun or adrenaline pumping adventure, the Eagle River has the trip for you.
The Poudre River runs mighty through the northern Colorado town of Fort Collins. Known as Colorado's only designated "wild and scenic" river, the Poudre River offers incredible views as it winds through Rocky Mountain National Park.
The Salt River of Arizona, affectionately known as the "Little Grand Canyon", flows through desert land in the central part of the state. The views and wildlife sightings make Salt River rafting one for the books.

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Whitewater Rafting River Trips Near Your Destination

Not sure which river is right for you? Keep scrolling to see the river near your Colorado destination.

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