The section of the Colorado River that winds through Glenwood Canyon near Glenwood Springs, Colorado is home to some great white water rafting, thanks to ample Class III rapids.

Hard core kayakers and rafters flock here during the summer months to get their adrenaline fix, while visitors and tourists come for a slightly more relaxed, but equally fun vacation experience.

If you're wanting to get wet, then rapids with names like Pinball, Maneater and Tombstone will do the trick, and when you're not fighting the rapids and laughing it up with your fellow rafters, you have the soaring high cliffs of Glenwood Canyon to stare up at. They are seriously impressive!

Glenwood Springs Rafting
Credit: Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association

If you're lucky you may spot some eagles or mountain goats during the quiet parts of your rafting trip, which is a nice bonus. As is often the case, the raft guides here are over enthusiastic, but how could they not be, when they get to work on the river every day in summer?

This is family-friendly rafting as the Shoshone Rapids max out at Class III, which is enough to get you wet and have some fun, but not the kind of rapids that you should fear in terms of flipping rafts or getting injured. If it is a really hot summer day when you visit, you'll probably be begging to get wet, which is why most raft operators will also have some spots where they will let you jump out of the raft, or get out and have fun with some float toys like "bellyaks" - funky lie down kayaks, that you sort of belly surf on.

Whether you're up for a half day or full day of rafting, Glenwood Springs has plenty of activities to keep you busy. One of the better places to get your raft on is with Glenwood Canyon Resort, which is home to Rock Gardens Rafting. They have the full package on offer, where you can rent cabins, pull up in an RV or grab a tent campsite and enjoy riverside BBQs and dining at their popular "No Name Bar & Grill", right in Glenwood Canyon.

Glenwood Springs Rafting and Biking
Credit: Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association

Oh, and they happen to have zip lines on site too, which criss-cross the river - a ton of fun, especially if combined with a little ropes course action. After you're done the rafting and zipping around, Glenwood Springs also happens to be home to a fantastic riverside bike trail that goes on for miles and miles, so bring along your bike, or rent one, and check out the rest of town.


Accommodation costs at Glenwood Canyon Resort range from $28/night for camping to $200 or more for a comfortable family cabin. Cabins book up fast during peak summer times.

Rafting trips are very reasonable priced from $52 for a half day to $88 for a full day rafting trip, with zip lines and other combo tours available too. Most tours include a great grilled lunch in the cost of the tour.

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Glenwood Canyon - Rafting
Credit: Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association
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