• 2019 Travel Guide Cover Shot: (C) Hayley Helligas
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    Glenwood Canyon kayaking

Kayaking & White Water Rafting in Colorado

Rafting in Colorado, Glenwood Springs specifically, you’ll notice this sport is one of the town’s top summertime activities. The Colorado River as it travels through Glenwood Canyon is among the state’s most spectacular and dramatic settings for a river rafting trip. Bound by cliffs on either side, the river tumbles and glides its way through the canyon to Glenwood Springs. Along the way, rafters are in for an exciting ride. Highlights include paddling Class IV and V rapids, stopping at riverside hot springs and floating the flats where there are plenty of places to swim and splash.

Though skilled boaters can navigate their own rafts and access the river from boat launches in Glenwood Canyon, most visitors choose to take a guided rafting trip, led by an experienced guide who not only knows how to “read” the river but can entertain guests with stories about the area. Outfitters offer a variety of half-day or full day trips, and many rafting companies also combine rafting with other adventures like cycling, zip lining or kayaking.

Colorado River Kayaking

Glenwood Springs also has a thriving kayaking culture thanks in large part to the Glenwood Whitewater Activity Area. Nearly every day from spring through fall, paddling enthusiasts gather at the in-river attraction to practice and demonstrate their boating maneuvers on the standing wave.

Kayakers and rafters can also access the Colorado River from the boat launches located at the rest areas in Glenwood Canyon. The Grizzly Creek put-in is the most popular. The Colorado River offers kayakers everything from smooth water for practicing rolls and other maneuvers to Class III and IV rapids for maximum thrills. Colder than the Colorado, the Roaring Fork River provides river runners shallower water and a different set of challenges.

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