Upper Colorado Whitewater Rafting River Trips

Upper Colorado River Rafting

The Little Gore Canyon: a fun introduction to Colorado rafting for families and seniors

Colorado River SummarySectionsRafting TripsMapsVideos & Photos

Upper Colorado River White Water Rafting Description:

Beginning its long journey high in Rocky Mountain National Park the upper Colorado River makes its way through the north-central part of the state. Flowing through meadows, valleys, and canyons, the river offers up everything from scenic floating opportunities to heart-pounding class V rapids challenging even the most experienced boaters.

Find the Colorado River in Colorado

• Difficulty: Class I-IV (What does this mean?)
• Season: May – August

High in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Rockies give birth to the legendary Colorado River. Downstream of the national park, the river grows clear and gently flowing. Our Colorado rafting trips are friendly and inviting to people of all ages. The character of the landscape along the Upper Colorado River varies from natural to rural where scenery includes ranch meadows, valleys, steep slopes and rugged cliffs.

Here, the Colorado River is a mild introduction to white water rafting for families with small children, senior citizens, or folks looking for a lazy Colorado vacation. Colorado rafting trips can be perfect for many groups looking for a scenic raft float.

Many people looking for serious white water mistakenly assume the Colorado River is the place to go for white water rafting in Colorado. Sections of the Colorado River in Utah and Arizona offer big white water rafting, but if you are looking for big excitement here in Colorado, consider checking out the Arkansas River, just south of this gentle jewel of a river.

We offer Full Day and 2 Day Colorado River rafting trips. We require a minimum group size of 10 people to start a new full day Upper Colorado River white water rafting trip. 2 day trips can be started on almost any date with a minimum of just four people. Wilderness Aware is a specialist in Multi Day Whitewater Rafting Trips on many Colorado Rivers.

The Upper Colorado River is located about 25 miles north of Vail, and just south of the town of Kremmling . It is convenient to all the Summit County and I-70 corridor Ski Areas of Keystone, Breckenridge, and Vail.

Return to Colorado State Map

Upper Colorado River Rafting Sections:

Gore Canyon
Class IV-V
Well known for its steep and technical drops, Gore Canyon is demanding and exhilarating. Wilderness Aware does not offer this section due to it’s technical nature. See the resources drop down for more info.

Little Gore Canyon
Class II-III
Gentle and mild stretch of river with abundant wildlife, fossilized dinosaur tracks and natural hot springs.

Lower Gore Canyon
Class II-III
Long section of gentling flowing water and the occasional mild rapid. Plenty of access provides the opportunity to tailor any length of trip. No commercial outfitters run this section; self-guided only.

Class II
Short section of mild white water where the Colorado joins 1-70 at Dotsero. No commercial outfitters run this section; self-guided only.

Glenwood Canyon
Class II-IV
Comprised of three distinct sections, Glenwood Canyon is a popular section packed with past-paced, demanding rapids and milder, bouncy white water. Wilderness Aware does not offer this section due to it’s location. See the resources drop down for more info.

South Canyon
Class II-III
Beginning in heart of Glenwood Springs, the South Canyon is an easygoing section of moderate white water. No commercial outfitters run this section; self-guided only.


Return to Colorado State Map

River Rafting Trips:

Class I-II
10 mi.
May 29-Sept 4
Age 4+
Class I-II
28 mi.
May 29-Sept 4
Age 4+

Upper Colorado River Rafting Map – Pumphouse Recreation Access Area to State Bridge!

This map gives an overview of the rafting sections of the Upper Colorado River, Colorado. All Upper Colorado River rafting trips originate at the BLM Pumphouse Recreation Area. Two-day trips continue through Little Gore Canyon to the State Bridge private river access. Click on the outlined section to see details including rapid names and other features. Printer friendly souvenir-quality low-resolution or high-resolution versions of this map are great to bring along when visiting us.

Upper Colorado River map

Pre-Trip Information Little Gore Canyon

The Upper Colorado River runs from the rural areas of northern Colorado into the more populated areas along the I-70 corridor. Towns near the Upper Colorado river include Kremmling, Dotsero and Glenwood Springs.


Colorado Rafting River Guide:

Colorado Rafting River Guide
Check out our detailed information about the rivers you can raft across Colorado.

What Our Guests Say:

When I made our reservation I knew we were going to have a fantastic time. Everything that happened today exceeded my expectations.
Mark E.
Matt was the most enthusiastic and exciting guide I have ever had… and I have done this a lot.
Carl M.
It was the best first experience in rafting. Ben was awesome!! Five stars!
Kirby S.
We’ve been with a lot of different rafting companies over the years and we have never used the same company twice but everyone on the trip agreed that your company is the best!
Lisa P.
Thanks for the great time on the river. You do a super job of taking care of your crews.
Jan P.
You are great to work with and your guides are fun to be around and well trained. Each experience I’ve had with you (3) has been excellent.
Dawn R.
From the enthusiastic greetings when we arrived at the office this am, all service was top notch.
John D.
We had an awesome time. I would definitely recommend your company!
Leona H.
Been rafting six times around the country. Best trip and guide so far.
James H.
The trip, your people, your facility never get old.
Fred P.
This was my first rafting experience and you guys made it awesome! Thank you so much!
Jamie L.
Good job, as usual. Our 5th or 6th trip with WA. Big fans of WA.
Tim S.
I love the staff!! Very entertaining and welcoming. This was a great rafting experience. I want to come back tomorrow and do it again!
Bailey W.
We booked our trip cold off the internet and found from the very beginning a very friendly and courteous staff that helped out and answered all our questions.
Carolyn W.
We had an awesome time! All staff we dealt with were very personable and helpful. I can’t imagine anything you could do to improve!
Rusty B.
I started rafting at WA in 1999 and have always had a good time. I highly recommend WA to anyone who wants to raft.
Marty E.
I have rafted with other companies before but I found your company and Mike, our guide, to be outstanding! I will be back!
Joe M.
Pete was great. Extremely friendly and he took great care of us and really put our group first. Our trip was relaxing and fun!
Erin L.
One of the best times of my life!
Dylnn R.
This was the highlight of our trip to Colorado!
Beth G.
Your internet advertising was great. People who answered the phone very helpful and the guides top notch. Seems like your manager has done a wonderful job. I see why you are a successful company.
Phil G.
Sarah was fantastic! Very knowledgeable and very fun! Best trip ever, even the low water! We will be back again!
Barbara L.
We feel we have found new friends in Wilderness Aware and plan on spending time in the future with you.
Susie S.
Very professional yet very informal approach—not an easy combination to sustain—nice team—office included.
Mark W.
This company is quality. Six years ago I did the same trip with Jack, Ian, and Kelly and the quality is as good today.
Chris G.
I would like to commend your staff on their great teamwork and enthusiasm. This was the highlight of our trip to Arizona.
Michele E.
I want to raft again and again and well you get the point…again.
Levi V.
We started rafting with you in 1988. This is our fourth trip. Will be back.
Jim L.
Appreciate your professional and fun staff! Will definitely return next year!
Dana Q.
Family friend always said Wilderness Aware Rafting was the best. I totally agree!
Angie D.
I work in safety – wish I could get all our regional safety folks to present their safety meetings with the same enthusiasm and professionalism.
Karla S.
Best time I’ve had on the river in the past 15 years!!!! Will return soon!!!
Dylan S.
Your staff and guides were so helpful and so much fun. My kids ranked that half-day trip as the highlight of our month long trip!
Patty G.
Frenchie was the best guide I’ve ever had! This is a great company and I will definitely be telling friends about it!
Jamin R.
We have rafted round the world and this is by far the best—best trained guides, best safety, best food, best fun. Thanks.
Jane H.
Very pleasant and enjoyable experience. Rafted four other times and this was the best.
Linda H.
The entire staff from reservations to first contact to trip guide was friendly and helpful. Our Scouts had an outstanding time!
Ken T.
Sarah, our guide, was the consummate professional.
Becky M.
I loved my experience at WA and will definitely be back with more people.
Cory D.
This trip surpassed all of my expectations.
Amy B.

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