White water in the heart of the city

Urban Denver


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urban denver overview

The South Platte breathes life into the city of Denver, and creates the only urban white water rafting section in the state. On this mild water section, float past the city landmarks of Sports Authority Field at Mile High and Elitch Gardens amusement park, while traveling past one city park after another. This section also takes you through a couple of different whitewater play parks, including Confluence Park, creating fun and bouncy distractions amidst the hustle and bustle of city life.

Recommended White Water Rafting Trips on Urban Denver – South Platte River:

Trip Name: 1/4 & Half Day
Sections Included: Urban Denver
Outfitter: CityWild
Learn More: www.citywild.org ~ 303.477.7238

Wilderness Aware Rafting does not operate trips on the South Platte River. Information regarding the South Platte 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!

urban denver sections

South Platte River – Urban Denver Whitewater Rafting Details:

Difficulty: Class II-III (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 5364′ to 5143′
Average Gradient: 12.3′ per mile

Access to Access

Chatfield/C-470 to Union Ave. Whitewater Park: 5.5 miles
Union Ave. Whitewater Park to Grant-Frontier Park: 3.6 miles
Grant-Frontier Park to Confluence Park: 6.4 miles
Confluence Park to Globeville Landing Park: 2.5 miles
Total Mileage: 18.0 miles



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 South Platte River Self-Guided Boaters:

The South Platte River is in the Pike National Forest and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

  • Boating Permit Required: NO
  • Permit Details: No fee of any kind is required to float the river within the National Forest on public lands.
  • Parking along the South Plate River is limited to designated parking areas and day use fee areas ($7 cash or check) only.
  • US Forest Service – South Platte Ranger District
    30403 King’s Valley Dr, Suite 2-115 Conifer, CO 80433
    Monday – Friday 8 AM to 4:30 PM
    www.fs.usda.gov/goto/psicc/sopl ~ 303.275.5610

At this time, we are not aware of a shuttle service on the South Platte River.
Please contact the South Platte Ranger District for general river information.

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