Blue Sky Adventures Canyon Bikes

Colorado River Rafting: Little Boats = Big Fun

Late summer is the best time to be on the Western Slope of Colorado. As much of the country swelters under oppressive heat, traffic and the ‘dog days’ of summer, Glenwood Springs thrives with cool nights, warm days, and blue skies over the river.

At Blue Sky Adventures, we invite you and your family, or a couple of friends, to squeeze in that perfect summer vacation into our perfect summer days. Come out on the river with us to beat the heat and make memories with the people you love! The Colorado River is still flowing strong, despite a challenging season for many rivers in the state.

It’s true that this year has been a dry one for Colorado. Wildfires have been a very real threat due to the drought conditions, and with historically low snowpack this year, many river basins did not reach their normal peaks and dropped fast. Favorite stretches of the Arkansas River near Colorado Springs, or on Clear Creek near Denver have struggled to maintain sufficient water levels to support recreational use.

But there is good news for anyone hoping to get a last minute white water rafting trip this summer. All our trips on the Colorado River run through Glenwood Canyon, including the Shoshone Rapids, and we are a dam controlled stretch of river, which basically means we are guaranteed to have water all year long. With warmer water temps and less intense rapids, it is the perfect time for a first-timer, or anyone who has younger kiddos.

Worried you won’t find enough adventure here? With Blue Sky, it is easy to level up the excitement by downsizing the boat. Not sure what that looks like? Here’s a quick breakdown of the different types of boats available to you on a Blue Sky trip and how they affect your experience on the river.

The Smaller the Boat, the Bigger the Rapids

The Smaller the Boat, the Bigger the Rapids

  1. Our standard rafting trip uses a 16’ hypalon raft with a guide sitting in the back of the boat on what is known as a ‘stern frame.’ The guide has two large oars for steering and control, and all the guests use paddles to give the boat some ‘umph’ through the bigger waves. The larger craft makes for splashy, safe fun for all.
    Trips- Half Day Adventure, Half Day MildDouble Shoshone
  2. Our 13’ rafts are used for adventures like the Double Shoshone Deluxe. On this smaller, nimble craft, the guide usually steps down from using a stern frame to a more traditional ‘paddle guiding’ setup. The boat is shorter and narrower, and without the oars for extra power, the guests are challenged to be the engine and keep the raft moving through the rapids.
    Trips: Double Shoshone Deluxe
  3. Need even more excitement? The 10’ Hyside ‘Mini-max’ is the new rage for whitewater enthusiasts across the Rocky Mountain States. For small groups- no more than four per boat – guests really get a chance to feel the power of the river as they ride waves often bigger than the boat itself!
    Trip: Mini-Max Adventure
  4. While all three of the above options are available for running through Shoshone, if you and your crew want to get a whole new perspective on the rest of Glenwood Canyon, think about getting into a ‘ducky’ after the big rapids are over. Duckies are small single or double seat inflatable kayaks. They let guests splash through smaller rapids on their own and explore the current throughout the trip.
    Trip: Raft & Kayak Adventure
  5. If you or someone in your group has some river experience already and just lacks the gear, we also offer daily and overnight rentals for various stretches of river in the area (Raft & Kayak Rentals).

We know that any time spent on the river is time well-spent, and we can help you customize your next rafting trip to meet the interest and abilities of everyone in your crew. So don’t be afraid to bring the novice and the adventure hound up into the mountains for a white water rafting adventure on the Colorado River.

We’ll be rafting well into October, so give us a call today or check us out online, as we look forward to getting you on the river.

Happy Boating!