Colorado Whitewater Rafting Road Trip
No summer is complete without a road trip! Whether you live in the Front Range and are looking for a weekend getaway or planning a trip to the Rocky Mountains, we have the perfect 3-day Colorado whitewater rafting road trip.
Performance Tours Rafting, Breckenridge’s first rafting company, has four offices in the central Colorado mountains on the Arkansas River and Blue River. Our river outposts are within a few hours drive from each other. Making for a convenient, multi-stop rafting road trip!
Day 1: Summit County, Blue River
First, head west from Denver on I-70 towards Summit County, a.k.a. Colorado’s Playground! Between popular resort destinations like Breckenridge, Frisco, Keystone, and Dillon, there are ample lodging and camping options for all budgets. Plan to spend a night and a half-day exploring Summit County’s boundless recreation opportunities – including whitewater rafting on the Blue River.
The Blue River is a family-friendly stretch of class 3 whitewater, running north of Silverthorne. Trips depart 3 times a day at Performance Tours’ Frisco office – located inside Pioneer Sports – at 9 am 12 pm, and 3 pm.
The Blue River rafting season depends on the winter snowpack, but typically it runs for several weeks in June. This summer, thanks to an incredible winter of snowfall, we anticipate being able to raft the Blue into mid-July.
Day 2: Buena Vista, Arkansas River – Browns Canyon National Monument
Hit the road and head south to Buena Vista, CO – one of the most popular whitewater rafting destinations in the country! Drive south through Breckenridge, where Performance Tours has a small shop and guests can schedule a raft trip in person. Continue through Fairplay, CO – a.k.a. the real South Park. The drive is about 1 hour and 15 minutes. You’ll be welcomed to Chaffee County with stunning views of the Collegiate Peaks.
Performance Tours Rafting offers 3 trip options for all ages and abilities on the Arkansas River. Browns Canyon National Monument is the most popular – and for good reason! Its moderate class 3+ rapids and spectacular scenery make it the perfect Colorado adventure. There are 3 tour options for the half-day raft trip through Browns Canyon: 10 am, 1 pm, and 2:30 pm. On the other hand, if you’re up for a longer adventure, the full-day Browns Canyon trip departs at 10 am and includes a delicious riverside lunch.
Those looking for more adrenaline opt for the Numbers, a high-energy class 4+ whitewater trip. However, if a relaxing family float trip is more your speed, the Mild & Scenic trip is a great option for families with children 4 years and up.
Camping is plentiful around Salida, CO, a community south of Buena Vista on the Arkansas River. This area is known for its whitewater park and mountain biking trails.
Day 3: Cañon City, Arkansas River – the Royal Gorge
Follow the Arkansas River south to Cañon City, CO, where Performance Tours has its Royal Gorge rafting office. The Royal Gorge area offers legendary whitewater rafting through a breathtaking canyon and beneath North America’s highest suspension bridge.
End the Colorado whitewater rafting road trip with the ultimate advanced whitewater challenge! The Royal Gorge whitewater rafting trip offers class 4+rapids and is perfect for those in good physical condition looking for “Big Water.”
If you’re not up for non-stop paddling through the Royal Gorge, Performance Tours offers a family-friendly option. For example, Bighorn Sheep Canyon offers lots of exciting moderate-level class 3 whitewater & spectacular scenery. Keep an eye out for bighorn sheep. The largest herd in Colorado calls the canyon home! Certainly, you will find thrills, laughter, and summertime fun, while floating through the incredible canyon.
To sum it up, no matter if you’re a seasoned whitewater enthusiast or you’ve never picked up a paddle, Performance Tours will give you an adventure you’ll remember for years to come.