Grand County Guide: Colorado Whitewater Rafting Trips
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 Pumphouse||Colorado River||9.5 miles||Class IV-V|
|Pumphouse to Radium||Colorado River||4 miles||Class I-III|
|Radium to Rancho Del Rio||Colorado River||5 miles||Class II-III|
|Green Mountain Reservoir to Spring Creek Road||Lower Blue River||3.8 miles||Class II-III|
|Spring Creek Road to Colorado & Blue River Confluence||Lower Blue River||10 miles||Class II-III|
|Tabernash to Granby||Fraser River||9.4 miles||Class 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
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.
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:
- Liquid Descent (Kremmling)
- Mountain Paddlers (Grand Lake)
- AVA Rafting & Zipline (Kremmling)
- Mad Adventures (Kremmling)
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: