Before river rafting, thrill seekers that needed to be splashed to have fun were limited to those engaging in dolphin wrestling and Gallagher shows. Celebrate watery wiles with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 toward any half-day, full-day, deluxe, or overnight rafting tour from American Adventure Expeditions. Depending on which trip you choose, difficulty levels range from beginner and intermediate to advanced. American Adventure Expeditions recommends that you bring a swimsuit, quick-drying shorts (not cotton), heel-strap sandals or tennis shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat, as well as dry clothes and a towel for after your trip. Wetsuits, river shoes, and splash jackets are available for an additional fee.
American Adventure Expedition's intrepid guides share their love of the Colorado wilderness with adventurers of all sorts, leading a variety of scenic and thrill-seeking Arkansas River tours. Beginner and intermediate adventurers can choose between the Brown's Canyon and Bighorn Sheep Canyon tours, each of which will glide rafters through a mix of serene river stretches and rapids with such names as Zoom Flume, Big Drop, and Kamikaze (each up to an $84 value for a full day and up to $49 for a half day). While the Brown's Canyon option shows off a remote canyon with remarkable scenery, Bighorn Sheep Canyon treks through the waters of a high-desert setting, catching glimpses of bighorn sheep and rock formations that resemble Colorado congressmen. For full-day tours, paddlers can expect to span 17 miles, and half-day tours track 10 miles down the canyon. Both tours are suitable for families, groups, first-timers, or sentient life vests.
Experienced rapid razzers can elect for a more challenging route with the Royal Gorge or Numbers full- or half-day trips. The Royal Gorge tour, an American Adventure Expeditions exclusive, cuts down Bighorn Sheep Canyon into the Royal Gorge, where granite walls rise over 1,000 feet into the air on either side (up to $99 for full day, up to $64 for half day, adults only). Rafters can expect big waves, fast drops, and river nymphs armed with Super Soakers while they rip through rapids like Sunshine Falls, Boat Eater, and Wall Slammer. Tight channels and steep drops make for nonstop action on The Numbers trip, which is one of the most difficult branches of commercially rafted river in Colorado (up to $104 for a full day, up to $66 for a half day, adults only).
While most full-day tours leave in the morning and last about six hours (depending on the tour), half-day tours provide a less lengthy down-river jaunt, departing two or three times a day and lasting about three hours (depending on the tour). Certified river guides lead all tours, including the lengthier overnight trips ($275, adults only), and deluxe tours, also discounted by today's deal (up to $69 per person). All trips depart from either Buena Vista or Cañon City locations.
American Adventure Expeditions
With diverse backgrounds ranging from studying extraterrestrial fluvial geomorphology to being born in the jungle of Chitwan National Forest in Nepal, American Adventure Expeditions’ certified guides shepherd rafters of all experience levels down sections of the Arkansas River, navigating rapids of varying intensity and trip lengths. Half-day, full-day, and overnight trips plunge into world-class runs such as The Numbers, an advanced route with powerful Class IV rapids gushing through tight passages and down steep drops, or the more family-friendly Class II and III waters found within Brown’s Canyon for mild bumps and splashing contests with ill-tempered salmon.
Guides also pair up aquatic excursions with other extreme thrills such as mountain biking and zipline tours for combo adventures, or skip the water entirely during land-based adventures such as the Royal Gorge Route Railroad train tour. Additionally, two outposts sit along the river, and offer snacks, restrooms, and picnic areas.