Fantastic rafting nestled in a stunning, steep valley

Uncompahgre River


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uncompahgre river overview

As the water pours downs from the north side of the majestic and steep San Juan Mountains, it cuts through the rock creating the beautiful Uncompahgre River. As the river, which loosely translated means “red water lake”, flows past the towns of Ouray and Ridgway it transforms from a rocky, technical and steep pace to slower and more laid-back. With scenery that some say is reminiscent of Switzerland, the Uncompahgre is sure to make for an amazing river adventure in Colorado.

• Difficulty: Class II-IV+ (What does this mean?)
• Season: May – June

White Water Rafting Trips on the Uncompahgre River:

Trip Lengths: 1/4, 1/2 & Full Day
Outfitter: RIGS Fly Shop & Guide Service
Learn More: ~ 888.626.4460

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

uncompahgre river sections

Class IV-V 
Fast-paced and technical, this short section of river offers up fun and splashy holes with outstanding views of the mountains surrounding the small town of Ouray.

Class II-III
This mellow section of river is laid-back and mild, with the exception of the punchy double set of holes in the Ridgway whitewater park.

Below Ridgway Reservoir
Class II-III
Continuous with mild and exciting rapids. Access to this section of river is private and only outfitters with special permission are allowed to raft it.



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 Uncompahgre River Self-Guided Boaters:

  • Boating Permit Required: NO
  • Permit Details: No fee of any kind is required to float the river, but you do need to buy a pass to use the BLM managed and private access sites.
  • River Manager: U.S Bureau of Land Management – Uncompahgre Field Office
    2465 S. Townsend Ave, Montrose, CO 81401 ~ 970.240.5300

If shuttle service is available, information is listed under the specific section page.

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