Mellow and peaceful

New Castle to Palisade


Search Our Trips:



Trip Length

Difficulty Level

new castle to palisade overview

A wide and peaceful section of the Lower Colorado River with few small rapids. Without the distraction of big rapids be prepared for the presence I-70. Look out for Bald Eagles and Blue Herons. Do not plan to run the Big Sur to Palisade portion due to two big dams.

Recommended Trips on the New Castle to Palisade Section – Lower Colorado River:

Trip Name: Jet Boat Tours
Sections Included: Sections of New Castle to Palisade
Outfitter: Jet Boat Colorado
Learn More: ~ 970.644.1121

Wilderness Aware Rafting does not operate trips on the Lower Colorado River. Information regarding the Lower Colorado River on this website is strictly informational. Please click here for a complete list of trips that we offer, or use the search filter to the left. Thanks!

Lower Colorado River map

new castle to palisade sections

Lower Colorado River – New Castle to Palisade Whitewater Rafting Details:

Difficulty: Class I-II (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 5539′ to 4783′
Average Gradient: 11.6′ per mile

Access to Access

New Castle to Silt: 8.5 miles
Silt to Rifle: 6.5 miles
Rifle to Rulison: 10.0 miles
Rulison to Debeque: 20.0 miles
Debeque to Big Sur: 12.0 miles
Big Sur to River Bend Park: 8.0 miles
Total Mileage: 65.0 miles

Notes: Due to the high mileage of this section, we recommend you check two flow gauges, the first below Glenwood Springs, CO and the second near Cameo, CO.
Also, do not plan on running the section between Big Sur and Palisade as there are two large diversion dams.



What people are saying

  • Lydia filled us with confidence. She was skilled and knowledgeable and explained each set of rapids so we knew what to expect. She was great company and we had the best experience. She was brilliant.

    Dwight W. Rafter
  • I cannot wait to come back! Also loved how funny all the guides were. It was the most I’ve seen my sister laugh in a long time! Thank you so much for this amazing experience.

    Lexi R. Rafter
  • I spent several days researching various rafting options and after speaking w/your team was sold. We were not disappointed-the trip is spectacular and our guide Sean was informative, lively professional and entertaining.

    Lauren C. Rafter


Information for Lower Colorado River Self-Guided Boaters:

The Lower Colorado River (New Castle to Palisade) is managed by the Bureau of Land Management out of Silt, CO.

  • Boating Permit Required: NO
  • Permit Details: No fee of any kind is required to float the river.
  • River Manager: U.S Bureau of Land Management – Colorado River Valley Field Office
    2300 River Frontage Road, Silt, CO 81652
    970.876.9000 ~

Please contact the river manager (above) for information on shuttles.

Lower Colorado River map

stuff we are proud of

Start typing and press Enter to search