The Best Colorado River Rafting Recipes for Seriously Satisfying Eats

Going on a Colorado whitewater river rafting adventure? Awesome. You need to eat well to have a good time – and these recipes are easy and will keep you satisfied. Enjoy!

Hard work paddling on the river builds up an appetite!

If you’ve ever spent copious amounts of time in the water doing recreational activities, you know exactly how hungry you’ll be when you get out of the water. There’s nothing worse than being stuck with food that doesn’t hit the spot. Satisfy everyone’s cravings and avoid hunger issues while Colorado river rafting with some of our favorite recipes. No one expects a party of rafters to go the whole day without eating! Stops will occur and mouths will need to be fed.

About 87 million adults participated in watercraft activities in 2014, and those numbers are expected to rise. How many of those people do you think skipped breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
Our guess is zero (unless they were marooned at sea). And for good reason: The average person usually burns a minimum of 350 calories an hour while whitewater rafting. That’s a lot of energy being burned in your body that needs to be replaced throughout the day.

Whether you’re an experienced camper or just looking to break into the scene, we want you to have the best recipes and food ready to go for any breaks in the trip. Don’t plan a rafting trip without having delicious food ideas ready to keep your energy up and your spirits high.

River Recipes

Since breakfast is provided at our headquarters with any of our trips, let’s jump into the other meals.

Albacore Salad
– Bring as much canned tuna as you need and drain it. Add the drained tuna into a bowl.
– Add as many onions, carrots, and celery as you’d like to the bowl.
– Include a few capers to bring out the flavor.
– Add your favorite flavored mayonnaise to bring the mix together.
– For some starch, make sure you have chips, bread, or any other bread-based foods to add to the mix or use as a base.

Albacore salad makes a great light lunch or snack to help you make it to dinner. If you plan on having a large amount of food for a big group, this salad is great as a side dish.

Pesto Pasta
– Boil water and add your linguine. Drain the linguine after your pasta is soft.
– Mix in your homemade or store bought pesto.
– Add feta, parmesan, and romano cheese. Trust us, the cheese completes this dish.
– Sprinkle in pepper and black olives for color and fresh taste.

Pesto pasta is one of our favorite choices because there’s a vegetarian version that’s also easy to make for anyone with dietary restrictions. If you bring some chicken to grill, this pasta will go great with it.

Turkey And Waffles
– Toast Belgian waffles over an open fire.
– Fry your turkey slices or turkey chunks in a frying pan.
– Cover your waffles with the turkey and pour gravy over the top.

This recipe works great for any meal at any time. You might not want to add another bread item, so serve this with vegetables or fruit.

Chili-Corn Stew
– Open up a large can of chili (or vegetarian chili if you prefer) and dump it in your pot.
– If your can of chili doesn’t include beans, add some red kidney, pinto, or black beans.
– Add a can of corn kernels to the mix.
– Dice some onions and sprinkle them into the pot.
– Mix and stir until hot and bubbling.
– Finish it off by sprinkling cheese on top. Variety is good, so we recommend cheddar, pepper jack, or Monterey (or make it interesting and use all three).
– Serve with tortillas or tortilla chips.

This is an incredibly simple recipe to make and doesn’t take much time or effort. Chili-corn stew is a great meal for an exhausting first day, or save it for a long day when you are more tired than usual.

Campfire Salmon
– Have the right amount of salmon filets to feed your party.
– Season the salmon with sea salt, cracked black pepper, and some garlic.
– If you have the space in your supplies, also consider bringing along some dijon mustard to spread on the salmon.
– Wrap the salmon in aluminum foil and place over the fire.
– Cook for six to eight minutes, or until the fish is fully cooked.

If you have some favorite vegetables you brought along, this is a wonderful meal for them to act as a side dish. Just cook them over the fire with the salmon.

Walking Tacos
– Brown ground beef and drain it.
– Add taco seasoning and a little bit of water to the beef, and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
– Hand out a lunch size bags of Doritos or Fritos (or similar brands) to each person.
– Open the bags and add some of the meat.
– Sprinkle shredded taco cheese on top.
– Set up a small table of an assortment of taco toppings for each person to customize their “taco”: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, jalapeño slices, and sour cream, just to name the usual suspects

Some of you may be familiar with walking tacos from schools and sporting events. They are easy to make, and a whole lot of fun, making them a great outdoor recipe too.

Colorado Whitewater Rafting

You’ve taken in the fine point of this article – how to have great food – so as long as your other preparations are complete, you’re ready for the best time of your life.
Colorado offers the very best waters to traverse in a raft. Beautiful landscapes and excitement await you no matter which river you choose.

There’s no need to pack granola bars and trail mix. You love the outdoors and require much more energy than something a small bird wants. Be prepared to cook up or distribute a hearty healthy meal for your rafting party and yourself.

Whether the rafting trip lasts half of a day or an entire week, you deserve more than just edible food to shove in your mouth – make it taste awesome, too.

We want to be the ones to help introduce the wonderful world of rafting to you or keep up your favorite hobby of braving the fun rivers of the Colorado.

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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.
I would like to commend your staff on their great teamwork and enthusiasm. This was the highlight of our trip to Arizona.
Michele E.
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.
Thanks for the great time on the river. You do a super job of taking care of your crews.
Jan P.
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I work in safety – wish I could get all our regional safety folks to present their safety meetings with the same enthusiasm and professionalism.
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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.
We had an awesome time. I would definitely recommend your company!
Leona H.
We started rafting with you in 1988. This is our fourth trip. Will be back.
Jim L.
This trip surpassed all of my expectations.
Amy B.
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.
I want to raft again and again and well you get the point…again.
Levi V.
Matt was the most enthusiastic and exciting guide I have ever had… and I have done this a lot.
Carl M.
We feel we have found new friends in Wilderness Aware and plan on spending time in the future with you.
Susie S.
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.
Appreciate your professional and fun staff! Will definitely return next year!
Dana Q.
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.
Been rafting six times around the country. Best trip and guide so far.
James H.
This was the highlight of our trip to Colorado!
Beth G.
The trip, your people, your facility never get old.
Fred P.
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.
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.
Best time I’ve had on the river in the past 15 years!!!! Will return soon!!!
Dylan S.
Very pleasant and enjoyable experience. Rafted four other times and this was the best.
Linda H.
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.
It was the best first experience in rafting. Ben was awesome!! Five stars!
Kirby S.
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.
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 have rafted with other companies before but I found your company and Mike, our guide, to be outstanding! I will be back!
Joe M.
From the enthusiastic greetings when we arrived at the office this am, all service was top notch.
John D.
This was my first rafting experience and you guys made it awesome! Thank you so much!
Jamie L.
One of the best times of my life!
Dylnn R.
Sarah was fantastic! Very knowledgeable and very fun! Best trip ever, even the low water! We will be back again!
Barbara L.
Family friend always said Wilderness Aware Rafting was the best. I totally agree!
Angie D.
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.
Very professional yet very informal approach—not an easy combination to sustain—nice team—office included.
Mark W.
I loved my experience at WA and will definitely be back with more people.
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