Diverse sections of fantastic whitewater

Glenwood Springs Canyon


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glenwood springs canyon overview

The Glenwood Springs Canyon section of the Colorado River is composed of the three separately known sections of Barrel Springs, Shoshone and Grizzly Creek. Barrel Springs begins just below a large diversion dam and power plant. This is a short section that features either no water due to diversion or too much, creating one of the most turbulent sections in the state. To avoid Barrel Springs, put-in at the power plant and run the popular Shoshone and Grizzly Creek sections. Both sections have fantastic whitewater and are easily accessible for both commercial and self-guided white water rafting adventures.

Recommended Trips on Glenwood Springs Canyon– Upper Colorado River:

Trip Name: 1/4, Half & Full Day
Sections Included: Glenwood Springs Canyon
Outfitter: Defiance Rafting 
Learn More: raftdefiance.com ~ 970.404.3022

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

glenwood springs canyon sections

Upper Colorado River – Glenwood Springs Canyon Whitewater Rafting Details:

Difficulty: Class II-IV (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 6109′ to 5712′
Average Gradient: 49.6′ per mile

Access to Access

Hanging Lake to Shoshone Powerplant: 2.0 miles
Shoshone Powerplant to Grizzly Creek: 1.0 miles
Grizzly Creek to Two Rivers Park: 5.0 miles
Total Mileage: 8.0 miles

Notes: There is a large diversion dam just below Hanging Lake the denotes the start of the Barrel Springs section (between Hanging Lake and Shoshone Powerplant). If there is little or no water being released, this section is runnable class II-III. If there is water being released and/or this section is flowing particularly high, it is best to avoid it or scout if possible.



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 Upper Colorado River Self-Guided Boaters:

The Upper Colorado River through Glenwood Springs Canyon is in the White River National Forest and is managed by 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.
  • River Manager: US Forest Service – Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District
    125 West 5th Street, Po Box 720, Eagle, CO 81631
    970.328.6388 ~ www.fs.usda.gov/main/whiteriver

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

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