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Pack up the raft, strap on your life jackets and grab some paddles. Grand County, Colorado is home to some of the best whitewater rafting and kayaking, making it one of the top ways to explore our diverse landscape and lively mountain towns. To help you plan your next adventure on the water, here are six river rafting routes along three different rivers to explore.
Distance: 9.5 miles | Difficulty: Class IV-V
One of the most difficult yet well-known routes in Colorado travels through towering Gore Canyon. At nearly 10 miles and taking 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
Distance: 4 miles | Difficulty: Class I-III
Starting at the Pumphouse Recreation Site, this four-mile trip is a great option for families and beginner-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 four 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
Distance: 5 miles | Difficulty: Class II-III
Slightly more difficult, the Radium to Rancho del Rio rafting route is also well-suited for beginner-intermediate rafters. Put in at the Radium Recreation Site and travel downstream for five miles. Rafters will pass through Red Gorge Canyon and eventually reach Rancho del Rio at the end of this three-hour trip.
Put In: Radium Recreation Site
Take Out: Rancho del Rio
Distance: 3.8 miles | Difficulty: Class II-III
With fewer crowds than the Colorado River, the Blue River offers some of the best whitewater rafting in the area. The Green Mountain Reservoir to Spring Creek Road route features mild Class III whitewater rapids for beginner-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
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 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 more mellow 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
Distance: 9.4 miles | Difficulty: Class III-IV
The Tabernash to Granby rafting route along the Fraser River is best used by intermediate-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
Always make sure to check the current flow rate and river conditions before heading out on a whitewater rafting adventure. Plus, check out our five tips and tricks to help you prepare.