Grand County Guide: Colorado Whitewater Rafting Trips

Two women in orange kayaks paddle across Grand Lake with mountains in the background.

Pack up the raft, strap on your life jackets and grab some paddles. Grand County is home to some of the best whitewater rafting and kayaking in Colorado, making it a great way to explore the diverse Western landscapes and lively mountain towns. To help you plan your next aquatic adventure, here are six whitewater rafting trips in Colorado, along three different rivers.

Note: If you’re new to whitewater rafting, we highly recommend getting in touch with a local raft guide for an expert-led trip down the river.

Colorado Whitewater Rafting Trips & Routes

Once you’ve got your raft ready (or secured your rental), check out these routes for your big trip:

Gore Canyon to PumphouseColorado River9.5 milesClass IV-V
Pumphouse to RadiumColorado River4 milesClass I-III
Radium to Rancho Del RioColorado River5 milesClass II-III
Green Mountain Reservoir to Spring Creek RoadLower Blue River3.8 milesClass II-III
Spring Creek Road to Colorado & Blue River ConfluenceLower Blue River10 milesClass II-III
Tabernash to GranbyFraser River9.4 milesClass III-IV

*Always make sure to check the current flow rate and river conditions before heading out on a whitewater rafting adventure.

1. Gore Canyon to Pumphouse

River: Colorado River | Distance: 9.5 miles | Difficulty: Class IV-V

One of the most difficult yet well-known routes in Colorado travels through the towering Gore Canyon. Spanning nearly 10 miles and taking approximately five hours to complete, the Gore Canyon to Pumphouse whitewater rafting route begins at the confluence of the Colorado River and Blue River near Kremmling. Only experienced rafters should attempt this route which features Class IV and V whitewater rapids for the majority of the trip. For a more detailed description of the route, see the Whitewater Guidebook.

Put In: 40.043201 ,-106.396004

Take Out: 39.989399 ,-106.509003

2. Pumphouse To Radium

River: Colorado River | Distance: 4 miles | Difficulty: Class I-III

Starting at the Pumphouse Recreation Site, this 4-mile trip is a great option for families and beginner-to-intermediate rafters. This scenic section of the Upper Colorado River passes through Little Gore Canyon and features Class I-III whitewater rapids that are gentle enough for a leisurely floating trip. The take out is 4 miles down at the Radium Recreation Site. Or you can continue the trip toward Rancho del Rio and beyond.

Put In: Pumphouse Recreation Site

Take Out: Radium Recreation Site

3. Radium to Rancho Del Rio

River: Colorado River | Distance: 5 miles | Difficulty: Class II-III

Slightly more difficult, the Radium to Rancho del Rio rafting route is also well-suited for beginner-to-intermediate rafters. Put in at the Radium Recreation Site and travel downstream for 5 miles. Boaters will pass through Red Gorge Canyon and eventually reach Rancho del Rio at the end of this approximately three-hour rafting trip.

Put In: Radium Recreation Site

Take Out: Rancho del Rio

4. Green Mountain Reservoir to Spring Creek Road

River: Lower Blue River | Distance: 3.8 miles | Difficulty: Class II-III

With fewer crowds than the Colorado River, the Blue River offers excellent whitewater rafting. The Green Mountain Reservoir to Spring Creek Road route features mild Class III whitewater rapids for beginner-to-intermediate level rafters. The first take-out point is at Spring Creek Road (Road 10), or you can continue the trip to the end of the Blue River.

Put In: 39.878100 ,-106.334000

Take Out: 39.922400 ,-106.348000

5. Spring Creek Road to Colorado & Blue River Confluence

River: Lower Blue River | Distance: 10 miles | Difficulty: Class II-III

Start at the Spring Creek Road access point for a longer river-rafting route ending near Kremmling. This 10-mile Colorado rafting trip features Class I-III whitewater rapids that are less technical compared to other rivers in Colorado. This rafting trip is exciting for beginners and mellower for experts. The take-out point is at the confluence of the Blue River and the Colorado River.

Put In: 39.922400 ,-106.348000

Take Out: 40.043201 ,-106.396004

6. Tabernash to Granby

River: Fraser River | Distance: 9.4 miles | Difficulty: Class III-IV

The rafting route from Tabernash to Granby along the Fraser River is best used by intermediate-to-advanced rafters. The 9.4-mile route starts in Tabernash and passes through the picturesque Fraser Canyon and nearby towns in Grand County. The trip will take a full afternoon and requires rafters to navigate difficult Class III-IV whitewater rapids.

Put In: 39.998700 ,-105.843000

Take Out: 40.081500 ,-105.929000

Local Raft Guides

Guided whitewater-rafting trips allow you to get all the thrills of boating with an expert aboard. Outfitters can be found throughout the state and offer safety training, equipment and river expertise for a smooth launch. Get in touch with these local guides to start planning your adventure:

Local Raft-Gear Outfitters

Traveling from afar or waiting to invest in a raft of your own? No problem — there are plenty of spots to rent all the gear you need for a private rafting trip. Get in touch with these outfitters to find a vessel and equipment:

Find More Adventures on the Water

Looking for more Colorado river trips and other aquatic adventures? Check out these resources: