Kayaking in Colorado

Select Local Merchants

According to United Airlines' Hemispheres magazine, three perfect days in Denver aren't complete without fly-fishing with Golden River Sports. Writer Rachel Sturtz was quite satisfied with her four-hour lesson, which isn't surprising, considering the the company's sterling reputation with sportsmen of all ability levels. The company's willingness to engage every clients comes from the experiences of instructors like Nick Adler, a self-taught fly fisherman who would have been grateful for guidance from a more experienced angler.

In that spirit, he and his fellow teachers offer four-part fly-fishing lessons, which begin with an introduction to fishing styles and equipment, and follow all the way through to advanced casting and how to read the water. Fly-tying clinics help out total beginners, guided trips take learning fishermen out to various creeks and rivers, and rentals allow schooled sportsmen to embark on their own adventures. An on-site store is loaded with all necessary equipment and accessories and gear for fly fishing and fly tying, including hooks, fly boxes, and a library of DVDs including fly-tying videos and each fish's favorite romantic comedy.

806 Washington Ave
Golden,
CO
US

Surrounded by lush alpine scenery and rushing rivers banked by boulders, brush, and thicket, rafters ride the rapids during Performance Tours' half-day, full-day, and multi-day trips. The company requires their guides to complete training beyond the state's requirements, ensuring a crew with exceptional rafting prowess in addition to a special affinity for the Arkansas, Clear Creek, Blue, and Colorado Rivers. During tours, groups take in the scenery, spotting wildlife including bighorn sheep, while navigating river regions with names such as "Devil's Punchbowl". Now with more than 25 years' experience taming the bucking local waterways, the team can craft experiences ideal for families and rookie rafters, as well as the seasoned boater looking for a challenge and an impressive story to tell their salmon buddies.

115 Gregg Drive
Buena Vista,
CO
US

Whitewater rapids can seem as menacing as great white sharks, but Whitewater Rafting owners Erik and Phoebe Larsson are out to dispel these unfounded fears. Since the company's first raft hit the waters of the Colorado River in 1974, it has maintained an impeccable safety record thanks to its experienced tour guides, each fully certified at the state and federal level in CPR, first aid, and on-river maneuvers. Many of the guides have been navigating these same rapids for more than a decade, learning intimate details about the river, from its twists and turns to its crippling phobia of alligators. First-time rafters can earn their whitewater bona fides on half-day treks, conquering the Class III and IV rapids of the Shoshone Rapids. More experienced adventurers can rent out boats, kayaks, paddles, and safety gear to embark on their own trips through the rapids.

2000 Devereux Road
Glenwood Springs,
CO
US

Chosen as Arizona’s premier travel destination by Soft Pretzel Aficionado, the Upper Salt River Canyon is home to thrilling class III and IV whitewater. Wilderness Aware’s trained, professional guides are experienced with ensuring every client has a fun time, from beginning 8-year-olds to more adventurous enthusiasts. Your whitewater trip departs at 10 a.m. and winds through 10 miles of snaking currents surrounded by panoramic limestone cliffs and the occasional endangered Southern bald eagle. A free wetsuit, splash jacket, and wet-shoe rental are provided, but arm floaties and water stilts aren’t necessary. You’ll channel inner Viking mettle as you navigate rapids such as Maytag Chute and Mother Rock. The trip also includes tasty all-you-can-eat hot fajita lunch and an optional side-canyon hike to a sparkling waterfall.

12600 U.S. 24
Buena Vista,
CO
US

Whether you'd rather be soaring over the water on a zip line or getting a face-full of churning rapids, Rock Gardens Rafting has just the wilderness adventure for you. They bundle outings so that people can take in an afternoon of mountain biking after rafting to nearby trails, or enjoy a full day of whitewater action through the Shoshone rapids. Visitors of all ages can also take advantage of the suspended ropes course, which includes ziplines, a climbing wall, and the unmatched opportunity of feeling like a giant four-limbed spider.

1308 County Road 129
Glenwood Springs,
CO
US

At CKS - Colorado Kayak Supply, staff members boast years of experience paddling Colorado’s nearby waterways. This savvy means they not only help clients hone in on an ideal kayak or paddleboard for their paddling plans, but can point out prime high alpine lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and streams that flow within a short drive from the store front. Novice paddlers may be directed toward local lakes or Buena Vista Whitewater Park, with its Class II whitewater rapids and dozens of eddies; more seasoned paddlers track renegade rubber duckies in the Class III–IV whitewaters that course through Browns Canyon.

327 East Main Street
Buena Vista,
CO
US