Itinerary: Rafting Weekend in Colorado

Two people paddling kayaks on a lake with trees in the background.

Winding through Grand County you’ll find miles of rivers that are prime for both thrilling whitewater rafting and leisurely river tubing. Plan your next Colorado getaway with our three-day rafting itinerary filled with thrilling rapids, scenic views and unforgettable moments.

Day 1

Arrive in Grand County, Colorado and rest up for a weekend full of whitewater adventure. Book a stay at Muddy Creek Cabins in Kremmling which features magnificent views of the Kremmling Cliffs. After settling in, visit the nearby Colorado hot springs for a peaceful mineral soak. The Hot Sulphur Resort & Spa is just a 25 minute drive away and will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.  

Return to your cabin for the night and cook dinner on the provided grill or head into town for a local dining experience. Relax on your front porch or at your private picnic table before resting up for a big river rafting weekend.

Day 2

Wake up early and prepare to experience the best of Colorado whitewater rafting. There are two options to choose from depending on preference and skill level. The first option is for experienced rafters only - the infamous Gore Canyon river rafting route is a technical trip featuring Class IV and V whitewater rapids that will get your adrenaline rushing. A second option for beginner-intermediate rafters or those looking for a more leisurely route, features four miles of Class II-III whitewater rapids and starts at the Pumphouse Recreation Site.

Option 1: Gore Canyon to Pumphouse

Drive to the put-in at the confluence of the Colorado River and Blue River. Follow Trough Road (CO HWY-1) west and turn right after half a mile to reach the put-in. For the first four miles, navigate Class I-III rapids, and then suit up just before the first major rapid at mile 4.5. From here, the whitewater rapids remain at Class IV and V until you reach the Pumphouse Recreation Site at mile 9.5. The trip takes approximately five hours.

For a more detailed description of the route, see the Whitewater Guidebook.

Option 2: Pumphouse to Radium

The put-in for this rafting trip along the Upper Colorado River is located at the Pumphouse Recreation Site which features three boat launches and various other amenities. The 4-mile trip ends at the Radium Recreation Site. This is a popular river rafting route that takes about two hours to complete and is a great option for families.

After a day on the mighty Colorado River, setup camp and enjoy the scenery at either the Radium or Pumphouse campgrounds. Both locations have fire rings, so make sure to pack some firewood and food to refuel for another day of rafting!

Day 3

The final day of your whitewater rafting getaway in Grand County includes a more mellow float down the Colorado River. Take this time to enjoy the canyons, forests and wildlife.

Option 1: Pumphouse to Radium

If you traveled through Gore Canyon on Day 2 and stayed at the Pumphouse campgrounds, head out on the Pumphouse to Radium route for an easy half-day of rafting.

Option 2: Radium to Rancho Del Rio

For those that traveled the Pumphouse to Radium route on Day 2, raft the Radium to Rancho Del Rio route which also features Class II-III rapids. This route takes approximately three hours and ends at Rancho Del Rio, a ranch featuring outdoor recreation opportunities, lodging, a convenience store and restaurant.

Shuttle Service & Guided Tours

Shuttle service is available to transport your vehicle from the put-in point to the take-out point when you rent gear from AVA or Colorado River Rentals.

New to rafting or prefer the expertise of a guide? Explore Colorado’s whitewaters with one of the numerous outfitters that offer guided river rafting trips. Shuttle service is included for all trips.

Get More Inspiration for Your Next Colorado Rafting Trip

With new inspiration for an ultimate whitewater rafting weekend, start planning your trip to Grand County this summer! And follow our five tricks and tips before heading out on the water.