The thrill of extreme sports is taken to a whole new level when you decide to take on white water rafting in Colorado. If you’re a true extreme sports enthusiast, then you’ve probably taken on Colorado’s ski slopes during the winter; but the summer takes it one step further. With its central location in the United States, there are twenty rivers that run through the state that call out to white water rafters from every corner of the earth. If you love the snow covered mountains of Colorado during the winter, you’ll be seeing those same mountains from a whole new angle; as you try to keep from being slammed against the face of them in the summer.
Rapids don’t sound extreme enough for you? Then you may want to take into account that even during the searing hot summer months, the rivers in Colorado are freezing. If the undercurrents aren’t enough to get your adrenaline going, then the mile-long rapids certainly will be. Luckily, white water rafting in Colorado can cater to extreme sports enthusiasts of all ages (and degrees of extreme). If water is what you are looking for, Colorado has plenty for everyone.
A Little Less Extreme
If you’re white water rafting in Colorado as part of an extreme sports family vacation, you probably want to take things a little easier so as not to frighten the little ones. If you’ve got novices with you, sticking to the southwestern part of the state will be the best choice. Here you can find plenty of places for the whole family to enjoy, such as Lake Fork. Located right near Lake City, Lake Fork will take your family through a winding canyon filled with incredible rapids that have unforgettable names. Some of the rapids you can expect to encounter are Crying Elephant Rock and Bat Cave. Other places to consider that even your smallest extreme sports seeker will enjoy are the Rio Grande River, Taylor River, and the Gunnison River. The Taylor and Gunnison Rivers offer more than just white water rafting; here you can take in wildlife along with the white water.
A Lot More Extreme
Since the state is so full of rivers, each has been assigned a class according to just how extreme it is. If “big water” is what you are looking for, Colorado’s class 3 to class 5 rivers are where you will get your heart-pounding, unforgettable thrill.
Want to add a little spook to your thrill? Start in Eureka, an old ghost town. Take in the haunting sights and then grab your raft and head to the Animas River. You’ll be thrown and twisted through Silverton and wave goodbye to Colorado as you end up in Farmington, New Mexico. The Gore Gorge is also sure to provide a thrill to your ride down the Colorado River. You’ll hit class 3, class 4, and class 5 waves as your journey continues and puts you right on the Utah state border.
If you’d like your trip to lead you to a place where you can spend the rest of the day playing, then the Arkansas River (which also happens to be the most popular river in Colorado) is just the ticket. If you enjoy scenery as much as you enjoy extreme sports, then what you see as you wind through Royal Gorge will definitely take your breath away. From here you end up in Salida; Colorado’s most prevalent spot to play.
A Little Practice?
If you’d like to test your skills before white water rafting in Colorado, then a water park would be a good first stop. Unlike other water parks filled with splashing fountains and plastic slides, Colorado’s water parks are filled with white water. Clipped waters and rock structures that have been rounded out for safety allow extreme sports adventurers to find out what they are capable of before diving head first into white water rafting. Many water parks are open the entire year, including Vail, Salida, Aspen, Pueblo, and Buena Vista. All of these areas allow you to experience white water rafting in Colorado without any of the inherent dangers.