Forecast of strong Arkansas River flows for summer season

August Rafting Adventures near Breckenridge

Whitewater rafting outfitters and enthusiasts have plenty of splash to look forward to this upcoming rafting season. The Arkansas River, one of the most popular whitewater destinations in America, is expected to deliver top-notch rafting conditions this summer.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) released its May forecast regarding the availability of water for the Arkansas River Voluntary Flow Management Program and projected a minimum of 10,000 acre feet of water will be available for recreational purposes. The Voluntary Flow Management program helps maintain flows of at least 700 cubic feet per second (cfs) from July 1 to Aug. 15, the peak of the summer vacation season. A minimum flow of 700 cfs guarantees fun flows, with plenty of splash for thrill-seekers and families alike.

“This is great news after a winter where much of the state experienced lower-than-average snowfall and snowpack,” said Rob White, park manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA).

Browns Canyon Rafting Colorado Family Rafting

Rafting through Browns Canyon National Monument in Buena Vista, CO with Performance Tours Rafting.

“Luckily, the Upper Arkansas River Valley and the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project area received some of the best snow in the state. This means there should be plenty of water for rafters, kayakers, anglers and all the people who enjoy the Arkansas River,” White said. “It should be a great summer on the river.”

The source of the Arkansas River begins 11,000 ft above sea level on the east side of Freemont Pass and flows about 50 miles south from its source to reach Buena Vista, CO. In 2017, more than 225,000 guests experienced the mild-to-wild rapids that stretch the length of the Upper Arkansas. Many of these guests were brought with Performance Tours Rafting, one of the largest and most experienced outfitters in Chaffee County.

Family-friendly float trip on the Mild & Scenic stretch of the Arkansas River.

Performance Tours Rafting, Breckenridge’s first rafting company, began in 1986 by Kevin and Mary Jo Foley. To this day, the Foley’s can be seen running day-to-day operations in one of our four offices and escaping to the river as often as possible. Though a lot has evolved in the past 32 years, a few things will never change; Our dedication to safety, pride in our crew and our love for the river.

Performance Tours Rafting offers a variety of rafting adventures, including half day, full day and overnight options in Buena Vista, CO. Beginning May 1, 2018, Performance Tours Rafting operates daily trips through the family-friendly class 3+ rapids of Browns Canyon National Monument, the ‘Mild & Scenic’ family float, and the adrenaline pumping class 4+ Numbers section on the Arkansas River.

As spring temperatures increase, snow begins to melt and the Arkansas River rises, creating optimal conditions for whitewater rafting. We hope you join us for what is sure to be the highlight of your summer!

Moms Raft for Free with PT

Moms Raft Free on Mother’s Day 2018

Make memories together this Mother’s Day with a Browns Canyon whitewater raft trip or a Mild & Scenic family float.

Moms raft for free when accompanied by two other family members or guests. If it’s just the two of you, we’ll extend a special two-for-one deal.

This offer is valid for Mother’s Day, May 13, 2018 only and may not be combined with other offers.

Give our office a call and mention this mother’s day special today!

800.328.7238

 

Promising Conditions for Upper Arkansas Rafting Season

Promising Conditions for Upper Arkansas Rafting Season

April 2018, – The recent snowfall in the Colorado high country is giving us plenty of reason to celebrate, and we’re not just talking about spring skiing. Soon the snow will be melting, and the rivers will begin to trickle into action around Colorado. As spring is reborn in the Rockies, our attention shifts from snow reports to river conditions.

The 2018 whitewater rafting season is beginning to take shape, and experts in Colorado are looking to snow pack reports to gauge what kind of river season to expect this summer. This past winter, most of Colorado experienced a sub-average snow year. As always, there was plenty of fun to be had on the mountain, and the same goes for the upcoming rafting season.

Upper Arkansas & Browns Canyon Conditions

The Upper Arkansas River Basin is one of the most popular whitewater rafting destinations in North America. Based on snowpack reports from the United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.), stretches of the Upper Arkansas River that flow through Chaffee County will likely have some of the best rafting in the Colorado. Specifically, Browns Canyon National Monument (class III), Numbers (class IV) and the Mild & Scenic (class II) sections of the river are excellent choices for those looking to experience the best of Colorado rafting this summer.

The source for Arkansas River lays at over 11,000 ft above sea level on the east side of Freemont Pass. The Ark flows about 50 miles south from its source to reach Buena Vista, CO, where thousands of guests flock to the shores of the Arkansas River each year to launch rafting and kayaking adventures. As of April 10, 2018, the Upper Arkansas River Basin is at 97% of the average snowpack.

“Last season was an exceptional water year for Colorado rivers,” says Kevin Foley, owner of Performance Tours Rafting, operating since 1986, “but this year holds promise too. The Upper Arkansas River basin has one of the strongest snowpacks in the state, meaning great river conditions for Chaffee County.”

Peak water, when the river experiences the biggest flows of the year, will likely be late May and early June – the most exciting time to raft in Browns Canyon National Monument and Numbers. In Browns Canyon, a family-friendly trip with exciting class 3+ rapids, guests can look forward to a memorable trip regardless of the time of year or conditions.

“Browns Canyon is a different experience each time you run it,” says Steve Ulrich, a veteran raft guide who has boated in Browns Canyon for ten years, “It all depends on river conditions, time of the season, weather, and the folks you’re paddling with. No matter what, you are going to have a great time on the river. That’s what it’s all about.”

Thanks to the voluntary flow program in the Upper Arkansas Basin, raft-able flows are expected through mid-August for Chaffee County. The goal of the flow program is to provide fun recreational flows to the valley and encourage whitewater enthusiasts to paddle and play on the Arkansas River.

Lower Arkansas & Royal Gorge Conditions

Cañon City, CO is approximately 100 miles downstream from the source of the Arkansas River. The Lower Arkansas River Basin, which includes the Royal Gorge (class IV-V) and Bighorn Sheep Canyon (class III+) will experience a similar season. Flows will be most exciting in June, with the family friendly sections of the river consistently fun throughout the season.

“The Royal Gorge area should hit its peak flow for the season in early June,” says Kevin Foley, who operates a whitewater rafting outpost in Cañon City, “Which will be the most exciting time to experience the legendary whitewater rapids of the Royal Gorge.”

Whitewater rafting is a quintessential summer activity. Guests experience the quiet beauty of Colorado scenery with an occasional wildlife sighting along the river banks, while paddling through rapids with a professional guide. Performance Tours Rafting offers trips for all ages and abilities, including mellow family float tours for children 4 years+, moderate family-friendly rapids touring through Browns Canyon National Monument, and technical class 4+ rapids that will challenge even seasoned paddlers.

“We’re in a good place for the 2018 rafting season,” says Foley, who has rafting locations in Breckenridge, Frisco, Buena Vista, and Cañon City, “We don’t expect it to be a big water year for Colorado rivers, but we do anticipate a fun, family-friendly season with plenty of splash all summer long.”

Save 25% on May Raft Trips + Early Season Tips

Rafting in May: Less people on the river, more wildlife activity, and early season savings!

Book your May raft trip before April 30 and save 25%. Offer valid on available class 2 & 3 trips, including Browns Canyon National Monument, Bighorn Sheep Canyon and Mild & Scenic.

May in Colorado can be a bit tricky for planning outdoor adventures. Some days it’s 65 and sunny and some days it might be snowing. Here are a few tips and tricks for planning an early season rafting trip in Colorado. 

Watch the Weather

Weather in Colorado varies minute-by-minute and sometimes mile-by-mile. When it is raining or snowing in Summit County, it could be sunny and dry in  Browns Canyon National Monument. If it’s damp in Buena Vista, CO, it might be 75 degrees at the Royal Gorge. You just never know! If you’re worried about the forecast, give us a call. There are a few things we can do to make your early season experience more comfortable.

Get the Gear

Opt for the wetsuit, splash jacket, and bootie rentals. You can also bring additional layers made from quick-dry outdoor materials like wool, fleece, micro fleece, polyester, and waterproof jackets.

Check Conditions

River flows in May can be very different from one day to the next. Early May might have lower water levels as the mountain snowpack hasn’t had much of a chance to melt. Late May usually has very exciting flows, as warmer temps have transformed the snow melt into splashy whitewater. Give us a call to check conditions.

Have Fun!

Rafting is fun in every season. Pack your sense of adventure, a great attitude, and jump in the boat with one of our professional whitewater guides.

 

Don’t Miss the Boat on Big Savings!

 

Don't Miss the Boat on Big Savings with performance tours rafting the best rafting company in Colorado

It pays to plan ahead

Performance Tours Rafting offers pre-season discounts for early birds and pro-active planners. Start planning your Colorado rafting trip early and save on your summer river trip with the best rafting company in Colorado!

Book online before March 15 and save 30% off your reservation.

Use discount code Holiday30 at check-out to apply your discount.

Performance Tours Rafting offers Colorado raft trips for every ability and experience level. Browse our selection of tours below, or give us a call with any questions while you plan your trip!

Easy Raft Trip BreckenridgeOur mild and scenic trip is an excellent option for those wanting relaxing flat water, small scale rapids, and beautiful mountain scenery. This is a great trip for families with younger children.

Minimum Age: 4 years old and 30 lbs
Cost: $57 youth/ $67 adult
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM, 2PM
Approximate time on the river: 1.5 hours

Book the Mild & Scenic Half Day

The Mild & Scenic trip is our most popular mellow trip for families with young children.

Our mild and scenic trip is an excellent option for those wanting relaxing flat water, small scale rapids, and beautiful mountain scenery. This is a great trip for families with younger children and includes a river side lunch. Lunch is a sandwich buffet with fresh meats and cheeses, a variety of vegetables, condiments, chips, fruit, snacks and more.

Minimum Age: 4 years old and 30 lbs
Cost: $92 youth/ $102 adult
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM
Approximate time on the river: 4+ hours

Book the Mild & Scenic Full Day

Easy Arkansas River Float TripThe Ruby Ripple Arkansas River float trip is an excellent alternative for those looking for a quick float trip with relaxing flat water and mountain scenery. This is a great trip for families with younger children.

Minimum Age: 4 years old and 30 lbs
Cost: $44 youth/ $44 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 11:45AM
Approximate time on the river: 1 hour

Book the Ruby Ripple 1/3 Day

Photo - Family Fun Rafting on Browns CanyonColorado's most popular whitewater trip, offering everything you're looking for in a fun and exciting rafting adventure! Plenty of thrilling moderate level whitewater and exciting rapids, with picturesque 14,000' peaks & spectacular canyon scenery through a newly designated National Monument. Lots of thrills and laughter as you paddle through Pinball, Zoomflume, Bigdrop, Staircase, Punchbowl and more! This wet n' wild adventure is great for first timers and seasoned rafters alike, and will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime!

Minimum Age: 6 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $57 youth/ $67 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM, 12:30PM, 2PM
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours
 

Book a Browns Canyon Half Day Trip

Browns Canyon Rafting BreckenridgeColorado's most popular full day trip through a newly designated National Monument! Your adventure begins beneath the spectacular Collegiate Peaks and takes you through Browns Canyon National Monument where you'll encounter exciting rapids such as Pinball, Zoomflume, Big Drop, Staircase and Devil's Punchbowl, before blasting through the infamous Seidel's Suckhole. These are just a few of the thrilling rapids that make this fantastic whitewater stretch one that shouldn't be missed. This is a great trip for rafters of all experience levels. Includes a delicious riverside lunch.

Minimum Age: 6 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $57 youth/ $67 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM, 12:30PM, 2PM
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours

Book a Browns Canyon Full Day Trip

Browns Canyon Raft Trip from BreckenridgeA full service whitewater rafting trip from Summit County, CO! The "Summit Deluxe" combines lunch, spectacular rafting, and transportation from Summit County. We'll do the driving, provide a delicious lunch at our base and take you down America's favorite stretch of whitewater through an amazing National Monument Area! Fun and exciting class III+ moderate level whitewater, majestic 14,000' peaks and a convenient mid morning departure time.

Minimum Age: 6 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $95 youth/ $105 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Pick-Up Time: 10 - 10:30AM (depending on location)
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours

Book a Browns Canyon 3/4 Day with transportation

Rafting near BreckenridgeThis is the perfect moderate level whitewater adventure for anyone in the Summit County area (Breckenridge, Copper, Keystone, Dillon) looking for the thrill of whitewater rafting while taking in the spectacular alpine scenery beneath The Eagles Nest Wilderness Area. You'll be surrounded by breathtaking mountain views while challenging the fast-running rapids through Boulder Canyon. Lots of excitement, relaxation and fun in the sun! A great trip for rafters of all experience levels. Located 15 minutes from Breckenridge.

Minimum Age: 6 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $59 youth/ $67 adult
River: Blue River
Office: Frisco, CO
Meet Time: 8:30AM, 11:30AM, 2:30PM
Approximate time on the river: 1.5 hours

Book a Blue River Half Day Trip

Arkansas River moderate raft tripsBighorn Sheep Canyon offers lots of exciting moderate level whitewater and spectacular scenery in the magnificent Royal Gorge area. Your experienced guide will get you paddling like pros (hopefully) through 3 rocks, 5 points, Spike Buck, Double Dip, Sharks Tooth and many more, just above the awe inspiring Royal Gorge. Lots of thrills, laughter, and summertime fun, while floating through an incredible canyon that Colorado's largest Bighorn Sheep herd call home leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime!

Minimum Age: 7 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $53 youth/ $63 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Canon City, CO
Meet Time: 9:30AM, 1PM
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours

Book a Bighorn Sheep Canyon Half Day

rafting arkansas river bighorn canyonBighorn Sheep Canyon offers lots of exciting moderate level whitewater and spectacular scenery in the magnificent Royal Gorge area. Your experienced guide will get you paddling like pros (hopefully) through Three Rocks, Five Points, Spikebuck, Doubledip and many more. Lots of thrills, laughter and summertime fun while your adventure takes you through an incredible canyon that Colorado's largest Bighorn Sheep herd call home leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime! The full day trip includes a riverside lunch on the Arkansas River.

Minimum Age: 7 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $92 youth/ $102 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Canon City, CO
Meet Time: 9:30AM
Approximate time on the river: 4 - 4.5 hours

Book your Bighorn Sheep Canyon Full Day trip

Extreme whitewater rafting near BreckenridgeAction packed whitewater from the moment you hit the river! The Numbers can best be described as steep, narrow and technical, with rigorous paddling required from the onset! This is a great adrenaline pumping river trip for anyone in good physical condition looking for an exciting, scenic and challenging whitewater adventure!

Minimum Age: 16 years (14 years at lower flows)
Cost: $75 adult only
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9AM, 12:15PM
Approximate time on the river: 1.5 hours

Book a Numbers Half Day Trip

Wild whitewater rafting near breckenridgeAction packed whitewater from the moment you hit the river! The Numbers can best be described as steep, narrow and technical, with rigorous paddling required from the onset! This is a great adrenaline pumping river trip for anyone in good physical condition looking for an exciting, scenic, and challenging whitewater adventure! Our full day trip stops alongside the river for a delicious lunch and covers twice as much river as the 1/2 day trip.

Minimum Age: 16 years (14 years at lower flows)
Cost: $115 adult only
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9AM
Approximate time on the river: 4-4.5 hours

Book a Numbers Full Day Trip

Rafting Royal GorgeLots of continuous whitewater and thundering rapids, including Sunshine Falls, Sledgehammer, Wall Slammer and many others make this one of the most exhilarating half day trips offered anywhere. The river winds beneath the Royal Gorge bridge providing spectacular scenery and an action-packed ride you won't forget!

Minimum Age: 16 years (14 years at lower flows)
Cost: $75 adult only
Office: Canon City, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM, 1PM
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours

Book a Royal Gorge Half Day Trip

Lots of adrenaline-pumping, continuous, action-packed rapids through this magnificent canyon will excite even the most experienced whitewater enthusiasts. Experience the thrill of Sunshine Falls, Sledgehammer, Squeeze Box, Boat Eater and many more as the river takes you beneath the world's highest suspension bridge. This is the ultimate advanced whitewater challenge for those in good physical condition. looking for "Big Water." Includes a delicious riverside lunch.

Minimum Age: 16 years (14 years at lower flows)
Cost: $75 adult only
Office: Canon City, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM, 1PM
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours

Book a Royal Gorge Full Day Trip

 

The Ultimate Buena Vista Adventure Weekend

The Ultimate Buena Vista Adventure. Where to camp, play, dine and drink in Buena Vista, CO. Performance Tours Rafting Best Rafting Company in Buena Vista

Where to Camp, Play, Dine & Drink in Buena Vista, CO

‘Buena Vista’ is Spanish for ‘beautiful view. Though the spelling might look like the Spanish pronunciation, it’s actually pronounced by locals as ‘Byoo-na Vista’. Some affectionately refer to town as ‘Bewnie’ or simply ‘BV’. The origins of the town’s name are true to it’s Spanish translation – there is no shortage of beautiful views in Buena Vista, CO. From river banks to mountain peaks, and canyons to craggy rocks BV’s stunning landscapes will take your breath away.

Performance Tours Rafting has been running rafting trips in Buena Vista, CO since 1987. Over the last 3 decades, we’ve discovered the best places to camp, the most fun activities, and the greatest food and drinks in the area. We’ve put our heads together to build the ultimate Buena Vista, CO adventure weekend for our guests.

Camp

Buena Vista is an incredible Colorado camping destination. In summer, the average daily high temperature hovers in the upper 80’s with ample sunshine and comfortable weather. Depending on how adventurous you are, there’s almost no limit to camping opportunities, especially when you plan in advance. The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area offers 6 campgrounds, that all lay on the Arkansas River. Some of our favorite developed sites are Railroad Bridge Campground and Ruby Mountain Campground. Both campgrounds have clean facilities, roomy tent sites, picnic tables, fire pits, and spectacular views. If you’re on our Browns Canyon National Monument trip, we’ll float past Ruby Mountain Campground within the first mile. The take-out for our Numbers half day trip is at Railroad Bridge

The Ultimate Buena Vista Adventure, Where to camp, play, dine and drink in Buena Vista, numbers rafting best rafting company in Buena Vista, COPlay

Some people consider Buena Vista the whitewater capital of Coloarado, and the Arkansas River is the main attraction. Whitewater rafting is the most fun way to experience the excitement and beauty of the ‘Ark’. Performance Tours Rafting has been running rafting trips in Buena Vista since 1987. We don’t like to brag, but we’re the best around. We offer trips for all abilities, including mild family float trips, exciting and moderate class 3, and wild class 4+.

If you feel like exploring on land for a day, we recommend an adventure in Four Mile Recreation Area. 100,000 miles of public land, located just outside of town. Four Mile is a mecca for all things recreation: camping, fishing, climbing, off-roading, biking, and hiking. There’s a few established campgrounds nearby, but if you’re okay with primitive camping (read: no bathroom facilities) there’s endless possibilities for dispersed, free campsites in Four Mile Recreation Area.

Buena Vista is tucked up against the Sawatch Range, providing stunning mountain views and ample hiking. With 12 ‘fourteeners’ in Chaffee County, peak baggers will want to carefully plan which summit to tackle. Before you hike, be sure to swing by The Trailhead for gear and advice from locals with first-hand experience.

After days packed full of whitewater rafting, exploring public lands, and tackling 14ers you deserve some rest and relaxation. Before or after one of our rafting adventures take some time to enjoy, Mount Princeton Hotsprings at a discounted rate. Discounted admission tickets are available to guests who have rafted with us, or who have an upcoming reservation.

Dine & Drink

Paddling builds up an appetite. Our guides are happy to share their favorite places to fill up after an exciting raft trip. Buena Vista has so many great options for food and drinks! If you’re craving a classic burger and milkshake, you won’t want to skip K’s Dairy Delite. For those with dietary restrictions or if you prefer to eat on the healthier side, House Rock Kitchen offers an extensive menu with many customizable options and a killer outdoor patio. If breweries are your thing, the Eddyline Brewery has an awesome taproom and restaurant in town to quench your thirst and quiet your appetite. Craving something different? Ask your raft guide for a recommendation!

There’s no shortage of options for activities, accommodations and dining in Buena Vista. Join us this summer for the ultimate adventure weekend in Buena Vista, CO!

Whitewater Rafting River Rating System

Whitewater Rafting River Classification

All rivers are placed on a class scale to determine the level of difficulty and classification of whitewater. The class system is rated from 1 – 6, with 1 being extremely mild and 6 considered “un-raftable” for commercial trips. We find that most Colorado whitewater rafting guests enjoy the more moderate levels of whitewater, though we offer rafting trip options for all ages and abilities.

 

Colorado whitewater rafting river rating

From easy to advanced, Performance Tours Rafting offers raft trips for beginners and expert whitewater enthusiasts. View our raft trip comparison chart or click through the trip options below. We’ve been bringing our guests rafting for 32 years, so feel free to give us a call with any questions. We look forward to seeing you on the river!

Easy Colorado Raft Trips

Easy Raft Trip BreckenridgeOur mild and scenic trip is an excellent option for those wanting relaxing flat water, small scale rapids, and beautiful mountain scenery. This is a great trip for families with younger children.

Minimum Age: 4 years old and 30 lbs
Cost: $57 youth/ $67 adult
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM, 2PM
Approximate time on the river: 1.5 hours

Book the Mild & Scenic Half Day

The Mild & Scenic trip is our most popular mellow trip for families with young children.

Our mild and scenic trip is an excellent option for those wanting relaxing flat water, small scale rapids, and beautiful mountain scenery. This is a great trip for families with younger children and includes a river side lunch. Lunch is a sandwich buffet with fresh meats and cheeses, a variety of vegetables, condiments, chips, fruit, snacks and more.

Minimum Age: 4 years old and 30 lbs
Cost: $92 youth/ $102 adult
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM
Approximate time on the river: 4+ hours

Book the Mild & Scenic Full Day

Easy Arkansas River Float TripThe Ruby Ripple Arkansas River float trip is an excellent alternative for those looking for a quick float trip with relaxing flat water and mountain scenery. This is a great trip for families with younger children.

Minimum Age: 4 years old and 30 lbs
Cost: $44 youth/ $44 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 11:45AM
Approximate time on the river: 1 hour

Book the Ruby Ripple 1/3 Day

Moderate Colorado Raft Trips

Photo - Family Fun Rafting on Browns CanyonColorado's most popular whitewater trip, offering everything you're looking for in a fun and exciting rafting adventure! Plenty of thrilling moderate level whitewater and exciting rapids, with picturesque 14,000' peaks & spectacular canyon scenery through a newly designated National Monument. Lots of thrills and laughter as you paddle through Pinball, Zoomflume, Bigdrop, Staircase, Punchbowl and more! This wet n' wild adventure is great for first timers and seasoned rafters alike, and will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime!

Minimum Age: 6 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $57 youth/ $67 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM, 12:30PM, 2PM
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours
 

Book a Browns Canyon Half Day Trip

Browns Canyon Rafting BreckenridgeColorado's most popular full day trip through a newly designated National Monument! Your adventure begins beneath the spectacular Collegiate Peaks and takes you through Browns Canyon National Monument where you'll encounter exciting rapids such as Pinball, Zoomflume, Big Drop, Staircase and Devil's Punchbowl, before blasting through the infamous Seidel's Suckhole. These are just a few of the thrilling rapids that make this fantastic whitewater stretch one that shouldn't be missed. This is a great trip for rafters of all experience levels. Includes a delicious riverside lunch.

Minimum Age: 6 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $57 youth/ $67 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM, 12:30PM, 2PM
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours

Book a Browns Canyon Full Day Trip

Browns Canyon Raft Trip from BreckenridgeA full service whitewater rafting trip from Summit County, CO! The "Summit Deluxe" combines lunch, spectacular rafting, and transportation from Summit County. We'll do the driving, provide a delicious lunch at our base and take you down America's favorite stretch of whitewater through an amazing National Monument Area! Fun and exciting class III+ moderate level whitewater, majestic 14,000' peaks and a convenient mid morning departure time.

Minimum Age: 6 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $95 youth/ $105 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Pick-Up Time: 10 - 10:30AM (depending on location)
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours

Book a Browns Canyon 3/4 Day with transportation

Rafting near BreckenridgeThis is the perfect moderate level whitewater adventure for anyone in the Summit County area (Breckenridge, Copper, Keystone, Dillon) looking for the thrill of whitewater rafting while taking in the spectacular alpine scenery beneath The Eagles Nest Wilderness Area. You'll be surrounded by breathtaking mountain views while challenging the fast-running rapids through Boulder Canyon. Lots of excitement, relaxation and fun in the sun! A great trip for rafters of all experience levels. Located 15 minutes from Breckenridge.

Minimum Age: 6 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $59 youth/ $67 adult
River: Blue River
Office: Frisco, CO
Meet Time: 8:30AM, 11:30AM, 2:30PM
Approximate time on the river: 1.5 hours

Book a Blue River Half Day Trip

Arkansas River moderate raft tripsBighorn Sheep Canyon offers lots of exciting moderate level whitewater and spectacular scenery in the magnificent Royal Gorge area. Your experienced guide will get you paddling like pros (hopefully) through 3 rocks, 5 points, Spike Buck, Double Dip, Sharks Tooth and many more, just above the awe inspiring Royal Gorge. Lots of thrills, laughter, and summertime fun, while floating through an incredible canyon that Colorado's largest Bighorn Sheep herd call home leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime!

Minimum Age: 7 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $53 youth/ $63 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Canon City, CO
Meet Time: 9:30AM, 1PM
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours

Book a Bighorn Sheep Canyon Half Day

rafting arkansas river bighorn canyonBighorn Sheep Canyon offers lots of exciting moderate level whitewater and spectacular scenery in the magnificent Royal Gorge area. Your experienced guide will get you paddling like pros (hopefully) through Three Rocks, Five Points, Spikebuck, Doubledip and many more. Lots of thrills, laughter and summertime fun while your adventure takes you through an incredible canyon that Colorado's largest Bighorn Sheep herd call home leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime! The full day trip includes a riverside lunch on the Arkansas River.

Minimum Age: 7 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $92 youth/ $102 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Canon City, CO
Meet Time: 9:30AM
Approximate time on the river: 4 - 4.5 hours

Book your Bighorn Sheep Canyon Full Day trip

Wild Colorado Raft Trips

Extreme whitewater rafting near BreckenridgeAction packed whitewater from the moment you hit the river! The Numbers can best be described as steep, narrow and technical, with rigorous paddling required from the onset! This is a great adrenaline pumping river trip for anyone in good physical condition looking for an exciting, scenic and challenging whitewater adventure!

Minimum Age: 16 years (14 years at lower flows)
Cost: $75 adult only
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9AM, 12:15PM
Approximate time on the river: 1.5 hours

Book a Numbers Half Day Trip

Wild whitewater rafting near breckenridgeAction packed whitewater from the moment you hit the river! The Numbers can best be described as steep, narrow and technical, with rigorous paddling required from the onset! This is a great adrenaline pumping river trip for anyone in good physical condition looking for an exciting, scenic, and challenging whitewater adventure! Our full day trip stops alongside the river for a delicious lunch and covers twice as much river as the 1/2 day trip.

Minimum Age: 16 years (14 years at lower flows)
Cost: $115 adult only
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9AM
Approximate time on the river: 4-4.5 hours

Book a Numbers Full Day Trip

Rafting Royal GorgeLots of continuous whitewater and thundering rapids, including Sunshine Falls, Sledgehammer, Wall Slammer and many others make this one of the most exhilarating half day trips offered anywhere. The river winds beneath the Royal Gorge bridge providing spectacular scenery and an action-packed ride you won't forget!

Minimum Age: 16 years (14 years at lower flows)
Cost: $75 adult only
Office: Canon City, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM, 1PM
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours

Book a Royal Gorge Half Day Trip

Lots of adrenaline-pumping, continuous, action-packed rapids through this magnificent canyon will excite even the most experienced whitewater enthusiasts. Experience the thrill of Sunshine Falls, Sledgehammer, Squeeze Box, Boat Eater and many more as the river takes you beneath the world's highest suspension bridge. This is the ultimate advanced whitewater challenge for those in good physical condition. looking for "Big Water." Includes a delicious riverside lunch.

Minimum Age: 16 years (14 years at lower flows)
Cost: $75 adult only
Office: Canon City, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM, 1PM
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours

Book a Royal Gorge Full Day Trip

 

The Best Time for Colorado Rafting

Browns Canyon Raft Trip from Breckenridge The Best time for colorado rafting

Q – What is the best time of year for Colorado rafting?

A – Depends on the river!

 

We get this one a lot. At Performance Tours Rafting, we are all about making your whitewater rafting adventure the best experience possible. To determine when the best time for Colorado rafting is, we consider a few key factors: river conditions, experience, guest ages, and occasionally the weather.

Colorado’s whitewater rafting season runs from late April through mid September. We recommend guests looking for the ultimate Colorado whitewater rafting experience to book a trip from June – August, though early and late season conditions can still be a ton of fun!

Guests who are looking for an exhilarating experience will want to join us in May/ June for peak runoff. Peak runoff, also known as high water, usually occurs in late May through June, and the water levels gradually subside throughout the course of the summer. During peak runoff, we often raise the minimum ages on certain trips to ensure guest safety.

The flows will vary from year to year based on snowpack and weather. The most popular and busiest time of the year for Colorado rafting is July, so if you want to avoid the crowds, we recommend jumping in the boat toward the beginning of the summer.  The water levels for rafting are generally very good through mid to late August due to a flow program on the Arkansas River that provides a minimum flow for rafting.

Please remember snowpacks and river conditions will vary from year-to-year and some trips may not be available depending on conditions and flow.

 

Arkansas River — Buena Vista, CO  *peak runoff late May/early June
Browns Canyon National Monument (Class 3): May – August  
Numbers (Class 4+): June – early August
Mild & Scenic (Class 1-2): May – August
Arkansas River — Canon City, CO   *peak runoff late May/early June
Royal Gorge (Class 4+): June – August
Bighorn Sheep Canyon (Class 3+): May – August
Blue River — Summit County, CO
Blue River (Class 3): June

 

Take a look at our raft trip comparison chart to get familiar with your Colorado whitewater rafting options.

 

Save 30% off 2018 Raft Trips!

Browns Canyon family friendly rafting save 30% off 2018 raft trips with performance tours rafting

Book before December 31 and save 30% off 2018 raft trips with Performance Tours Rafting.

Save 30% on 2018 whitewater rafting trips booked before December 31. 

 

Tired of giving boring presents or collecting trinkets and ‘treasures’? Shared experiences create memories that will out-shine “stuff” any day of the week. Give your loved ones something to look forward to, talk about, and remember for years to come! Give the gift of a memorable adventure this holiday season. Performance Tours Rafting offers a variety of whitewater rafting and river float trips for all ages and abilities. We’ve been bringing guests on Colorado river adventures since 1986 and love to be the highlight of your summer. Book online and enter the promo code Holiday30 at check-out to apply this special holiday discount.

Call to purchase a 2018 raft trip gift certificate and let them choose!

800.328.7238

 

Plan the perfect Colorado Raft Trip!

Our most popular whitewater rafting adventure is a trip through Browns Canyon National Monument in Buena Vista, CO. This stretch of river has class 3 rapids, and is ideal for family and groups with children over 7 years old. There’s a reason this is the #1 whitewater rafting destination in North America! Performance Tours Rafting also offers mellow family float trips through a Mild & Scenic stretch of the Arkansas River. Want to get your adrenaline pumping? Join Performance Tours for a wet and wild experience through class 4 & 5 rapids in Numbers near Buena Vista, CO or the world famous Royal Gorge near Canon City, CO. Looking for something a bit closer to Summit County? The Blue River is a class 3 trip option just north of Silverthorne, and is the perfect balance of splashy whitewater and gorgeous Colorado scenery. No matter which trip you choose for your 2018 raft trip – you won’t be disappointed when you choose Performance Tours Rafting.
Easy Raft Trip BreckenridgeOur mild and scenic trip is an excellent option for those wanting relaxing flat water, small scale rapids, and beautiful mountain scenery. This is a great trip for families with younger children.

Minimum Age: 4 years old and 30 lbs
Cost: $57 youth/ $67 adult
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM, 2PM
Approximate time on the river: 1.5 hours

Book the Mild & Scenic Half Day

The Mild & Scenic trip is our most popular mellow trip for families with young children.

Our mild and scenic trip is an excellent option for those wanting relaxing flat water, small scale rapids, and beautiful mountain scenery. This is a great trip for families with younger children and includes a river side lunch. Lunch is a sandwich buffet with fresh meats and cheeses, a variety of vegetables, condiments, chips, fruit, snacks and more.

Minimum Age: 4 years old and 30 lbs
Cost: $92 youth/ $102 adult
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM
Approximate time on the river: 4+ hours

Book the Mild & Scenic Full Day

Easy Arkansas River Float TripThe Ruby Ripple Arkansas River float trip is an excellent alternative for those looking for a quick float trip with relaxing flat water and mountain scenery. This is a great trip for families with younger children.

Minimum Age: 4 years old and 30 lbs
Cost: $44 youth/ $44 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 11:45AM
Approximate time on the river: 1 hour

Book the Ruby Ripple 1/3 Day

Photo - Family Fun Rafting on Browns CanyonColorado's most popular whitewater trip, offering everything you're looking for in a fun and exciting rafting adventure! Plenty of thrilling moderate level whitewater and exciting rapids, with picturesque 14,000' peaks & spectacular canyon scenery through a newly designated National Monument. Lots of thrills and laughter as you paddle through Pinball, Zoomflume, Bigdrop, Staircase, Punchbowl and more! This wet n' wild adventure is great for first timers and seasoned rafters alike, and will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime!

Minimum Age: 6 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $57 youth/ $67 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM, 12:30PM, 2PM
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours
 

Book a Browns Canyon Half Day Trip

Browns Canyon Rafting BreckenridgeColorado's most popular full day trip through a newly designated National Monument! Your adventure begins beneath the spectacular Collegiate Peaks and takes you through Browns Canyon National Monument where you'll encounter exciting rapids such as Pinball, Zoomflume, Big Drop, Staircase and Devil's Punchbowl, before blasting through the infamous Seidel's Suckhole. These are just a few of the thrilling rapids that make this fantastic whitewater stretch one that shouldn't be missed. This is a great trip for rafters of all experience levels. Includes a delicious riverside lunch.

Minimum Age: 6 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $57 youth/ $67 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM, 12:30PM, 2PM
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours

Book a Browns Canyon Full Day Trip

Browns Canyon Raft Trip from BreckenridgeA full service whitewater rafting trip from Summit County, CO! The "Summit Deluxe" combines lunch, spectacular rafting, and transportation from Summit County. We'll do the driving, provide a delicious lunch at our base and take you down America's favorite stretch of whitewater through an amazing National Monument Area! Fun and exciting class III+ moderate level whitewater, majestic 14,000' peaks and a convenient mid morning departure time.

Minimum Age: 6 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $95 youth/ $105 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Pick-Up Time: 10 - 10:30AM (depending on location)
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours

Book a Browns Canyon 3/4 Day with transportation

Rafting near BreckenridgeThis is the perfect moderate level whitewater adventure for anyone in the Summit County area (Breckenridge, Copper, Keystone, Dillon) looking for the thrill of whitewater rafting while taking in the spectacular alpine scenery beneath The Eagles Nest Wilderness Area. You'll be surrounded by breathtaking mountain views while challenging the fast-running rapids through Boulder Canyon. Lots of excitement, relaxation and fun in the sun! A great trip for rafters of all experience levels. Located 15 minutes from Breckenridge.

Minimum Age: 6 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $59 youth/ $67 adult
River: Blue River
Office: Frisco, CO
Meet Time: 8:30AM, 11:30AM, 2:30PM
Approximate time on the river: 1.5 hours

Book a Blue River Half Day Trip

Arkansas River moderate raft tripsBighorn Sheep Canyon offers lots of exciting moderate level whitewater and spectacular scenery in the magnificent Royal Gorge area. Your experienced guide will get you paddling like pros (hopefully) through 3 rocks, 5 points, Spike Buck, Double Dip, Sharks Tooth and many more, just above the awe inspiring Royal Gorge. Lots of thrills, laughter, and summertime fun, while floating through an incredible canyon that Colorado's largest Bighorn Sheep herd call home leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime!

Minimum Age: 7 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $53 youth/ $63 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Canon City, CO
Meet Time: 9:30AM, 1PM
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours

Book a Bighorn Sheep Canyon Half Day

rafting arkansas river bighorn canyonBighorn Sheep Canyon offers lots of exciting moderate level whitewater and spectacular scenery in the magnificent Royal Gorge area. Your experienced guide will get you paddling like pros (hopefully) through Three Rocks, Five Points, Spikebuck, Doubledip and many more. Lots of thrills, laughter and summertime fun while your adventure takes you through an incredible canyon that Colorado's largest Bighorn Sheep herd call home leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime! The full day trip includes a riverside lunch on the Arkansas River.

Minimum Age: 7 years and 50 lbs
Cost: $92 youth/ $102 adult
River: Arkansas River
Office: Canon City, CO
Meet Time: 9:30AM
Approximate time on the river: 4 - 4.5 hours

Book your Bighorn Sheep Canyon Full Day trip

Extreme whitewater rafting near BreckenridgeAction packed whitewater from the moment you hit the river! The Numbers can best be described as steep, narrow and technical, with rigorous paddling required from the onset! This is a great adrenaline pumping river trip for anyone in good physical condition looking for an exciting, scenic and challenging whitewater adventure!

Minimum Age: 16 years (14 years at lower flows)
Cost: $75 adult only
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9AM, 12:15PM
Approximate time on the river: 1.5 hours

Book a Numbers Half Day Trip

Wild whitewater rafting near breckenridgeAction packed whitewater from the moment you hit the river! The Numbers can best be described as steep, narrow and technical, with rigorous paddling required from the onset! This is a great adrenaline pumping river trip for anyone in good physical condition looking for an exciting, scenic, and challenging whitewater adventure! Our full day trip stops alongside the river for a delicious lunch and covers twice as much river as the 1/2 day trip.

Minimum Age: 16 years (14 years at lower flows)
Cost: $115 adult only
Office: Buena Vista, CO
Meet Times: 9AM
Approximate time on the river: 4-4.5 hours

Book a Numbers Full Day Trip

Rafting Royal GorgeLots of continuous whitewater and thundering rapids, including Sunshine Falls, Sledgehammer, Wall Slammer and many others make this one of the most exhilarating half day trips offered anywhere. The river winds beneath the Royal Gorge bridge providing spectacular scenery and an action-packed ride you won't forget!

Minimum Age: 16 years (14 years at lower flows)
Cost: $75 adult only
Office: Canon City, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM, 1PM
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours

Book a Royal Gorge Half Day Trip

Lots of adrenaline-pumping, continuous, action-packed rapids through this magnificent canyon will excite even the most experienced whitewater enthusiasts. Experience the thrill of Sunshine Falls, Sledgehammer, Squeeze Box, Boat Eater and many more as the river takes you beneath the world's highest suspension bridge. This is the ultimate advanced whitewater challenge for those in good physical condition. looking for "Big Water." Includes a delicious riverside lunch.

Minimum Age: 16 years (14 years at lower flows)
Cost: $75 adult only
Office: Canon City, CO
Meet Times: 9:30AM, 1PM
Approximate time on the river: 2 hours

Book a Royal Gorge Full Day Trip

Vote Performance Tours for Best Rafting Company

Best Rafting Company in Breckenridge

Thank you for choosing Performance Tours Rafting! -Kevin & Mary Jo Foley

Best Rafting Company Summit County

As a local, family-run business we are extremely grateful for our guests, guides, friends and family that have made the last 31 years possible. We wouldn’t be the company we are today without each of our amazing guides, staff members and of course – the guests that make it all possible. Thank You!

 

Each year, The Summit Daily hosts a “Best of Summit” campaign to recognize the best businesses in Summit County. There are various categories including: Arts & Entertainment, Community, Food, Outdoors, Services, Shopping and Weddings. Winners are decided based on a voting system, which is why we are asking for your help!

Performance Tours Rafting has been voted “Best Rafting Company” in Summit County 7 times – including last year – and we would LOVE to make it 8. Please vote for Performance Tours Rafting for Best Rafting Company, under the Outdoor Category for the 2017 Best of Summit. Voting is from August 15 – September 15.

Vote Now!