This Article originally appeared in the whattodo blog, “Top 10 Trivia & Tips for Rafting in Colorado”.



  1. Colorado is one of only two “headwater” states in the U.S., meaning all rivers flow out of the state while none flow in. The other is Hawaii. Plus, the Arkansas River is the most popular commercially rafted river in the United States. Two prime reasons to come to Colorado for a rafting trip – or fit one in while you’re here.
  2. All commercial rafting outfitters are licensed by the State of Colorado. These guys and gals know what they’re doing! All river raft guides go through a rigorous state-required guide certification program. Performance Tours exceeds the State of Colorado’s requirements for guides by doubling the minimum number of training hours.
  3. There are almost always lots of trip options for all ages and ability levels on a variety of Colorado’s most spectacular rivers. You’ll want to consider the skill level and interest of everyone in your trip when you make your reservation. If you group has drastically different preferences (i.e. one person wants whitewater and one person wants a relaxing float to take pictures), you might consider splitting the group up, which is often an option with a rafting company that offers many trips.
  4. Trips vary in length from 1 hour to 5 days. Pick a duration that suits your group. If you get fidgety sitting still or being wet for more than a couple hours, you might not want to sign up for a full day.
  5. Guests have the option of participating by paddling, having the guide row everyone in an oar boat, or going in a “paddle assist” boat which is a combination of the two. Consider the physical capability of participants, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself! Isn’t that why you’re doing it?
  6. Flows on the rivers are highest during the snowmelt season in June and will gradually decrease throughout the summer. What that usually means is earlier = more exciting.
  7. Even if it’s hot out, you might want a wetsuit! The temperature of the river is coldest in June and will warm up as the river levels subside and air temperatures warm the water. Almost everyone wears wetsuits, booties and splash jackets during the early season “high water” part of the summer – much of the river was snow only a short time ago!
  8. Everyone must wear a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device to participate, so even “non swimmers” can enjoy a trip on most mild to moderate sections of river.
  9. Wondering what to wear? Performance Tours recommends wearing comfortable, quick drying clothing. Dress like you are going to the beach or pool and avoid wearing cotton since it does not insulate when wet. Protective footwear is required and can be an old pair of sneakers, sandals with retention straps, or “wetshoes”. Crocs and flip flops are not allowed since they would fall off of your feet if you ended up in the river.
  10. What to bring? Always recommended: a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses (with a retention strap). A dry outfit to put on after the trip is over is also a good idea. (Don’t bring it in the raft, though!)

20 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Rafting with Performance Tours

20 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Rafting with Performance Tours


1. Performance Tours Rafting began in 1986. We celebrate 30 years of making memories on the river this year.

2. The company was started by Kevin & Mary Jo Foley in Breckenridge, CO in 1986. Rafting with Performance Tours

3.  The Foleys still run day to day operations to this day, and live in Summit County year round.

4. Some of our staff, locals and past guests lovingly refer to us as ‘PT’.

5. Performance Tours operates on the Arkansas River, Blue River, Clear Creek & the Upper Colorado.

6. We have two offices on the Arkansas River; one in Buena Vista and another in Canon City.

7. We have offices in Breckenridge and Frisco as well.

8. Buena Vista Rafting Trips: Browns Canyon, Mild & Scenic, Numbers & Narrows

Rafting with Performance Tours

9. Canon City Rafting Trips: Royal Gorge, Bighorn Sheep Canyon

10. Frisco Rafting Trips: Blue River, Upper Colorado, and Clear Creek.

11. We also have an informational office in Breckenridge – stop in while strolling down Main Street and we’ll answer all your whitewater questions.

Rafting with Performance Tours

12. The Arkansas River is one of America’s Top Whitewater Rafting destinations – and for good reason!

13. If you can’t make it to the Arkansas River, the Blue River is a convenient class 3 trip option in Summit County.

Rafting with Performance Tours

14. Performance Tours Rafting staff would love to recommend the perfect rafting trip for you and your group, or you can check out our handy trip comparison chart.

15. We offer significant group discounts, and every 14th person rafts free!

16. Speaking of discounts, we also offer whitewater specials for military personnel and their families, boy & girl scouts, and a rotating list of specials you can find here.

17. Performance Tours Rafting exceeds the State of Colorado’s requirements for guides by doubling the minimum number of training hours.

18. You’re invited to join us on our patio in Buena Vista at the base of Mt. Princeton for a game of cornhole after rafting the Upper Arkansas River.

Rafting with Performance Tours

19. We’ve got the best staff and guides around – some of which have been with the company for decades, like our Operations Manager Jim, and our Office Manager Ellen.

20. Still not convinced to join us on the river? Give us a chance to convince you to jump in our boats! 1.800.328.7238

Ribs & Rafting the Blue River

Ribs & Rafting the Blue River

Rafting the Blue River

 It’s a wonderful time of year to be in Colorado… the sun is shining, the rivers are rising, and the BBQ is on the grill! The 23rd Annual Frisco BBQ Challenge takes place from June 16 – 18th on Main Street in Frisco and is perfect timing for optimal rafting conditions on the Blue River. Whether you are taking a trip up from the Front Range, or you are a long-time local, you’re going to want to spend this weekend in Summit County.

Flows on the Blue River are dependent on water releases from Lake Dillon and raft-able conditions aren’t guaranteed every year. The typical season is from late May through early July and varies slightly from year to year.  We’ve had an exceptional water year in Colorado and are excited to be able to bring our guests whitewater rafting on the Blue River for the 2016 whitewater rafting season. The Blue river 1/2 day trip offers class 3 whitewater through beautiful alpine scenery. Blue River Whitewater Rafting trips depart daily from our Frisco office at 9am, 12pm and 3pm.

The Blue River is the perfect moderate level whitewater adventure for anyone in the Summit County area (Breckenridge, Frisco, Silverthorne, Copper Mountain, 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 surroundRibs & Rafting the Blue Rivered 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. 

Rafting the Blue River in Summit County is the perfect activity option for those attending the Frisco BBQ Challenge. Spend a few hours on the river in the morning and treat yourself to delicious BBQ in the afternoon!


For more information about the Frisco BBQ Challenge visit .

Fore more information about the Rafting the Blue River visit 

Summit County Rafting Special: Shop Today, Raft Tomorrow

Summit County Rafting Special;

Shop Today, Raft Tomorrow

Summit County Rafting Special

Performance Tours Rafting and the Silverthorne Outlets are giving summer shoppers another reason to smile this June. For every $100 spent at the Silverthorne Outlets, shoppers can earn $20 towards a whitewater rafting trip with Performance Tours Rafting.

From June 1 – 30th, Silverthorne Outlet shoppers can bring their receipts to the Colorado Welcome Center on Rainbow Drive to redeem for whitewater rafting vouchers. Guests can earn up to $60 towards a whitewater rafting adventure with Performance Tours with proof of purchases that total more than $300. Offer valid while supplies last.

For more information on this summit county rafting special visit the Welcome Center at 246 V Rainbow Drive in Silverthorne or for details.

Awesome Family Adventure

After researching rafting operators, Performance Tours seemed like a winner. They were fantastic! What a great choice. My whole bunch had a blast. Our guide, Zack, was the best, really fun but safe too.

Had a blast!!!

Performance Tours Whitewater Rafting was outstanding! Our guide was knowledgeable, and provided ample instructions on safety and rafting knowhow. It was an experience of a lifetime! Thanks Performance Tours!!!