- Vail whitewater rafting takes you through colorful gorges and scenic canyons
- The Eagle River has Class II to IV rapids and lovely views
- One of the most popular whitewater rafting destinations is the Colorado River
- Rent a kayak for $35 to $60 and a raft for $130 to $200
Vail whitewater rafting provides a fun and thrilling activity for the whole family. While moving through colorful gorges and scenic canyons, you’ll be enjoying some of the most exciting rapids of any of Colorado’s many rivers.
Where to go Whitewater Rafting
Whitewater enthusiasts love the Eagle River for some great Vail river rafting as it offers Class II to IV rapids, and even Class IV to V at the Dowd Chute. There is 60 miles of water to choose from, as well as lovely views of beautiful canyons and forests. For experienced rafters, the Lower Eagle provides challenging Class III and Class IV waters.
The Colorado River is popular with families because of the wide choice of whitewater rapids that fit any number of skill levels. Along its tumbling stretch there are Class I, II and III waters. For those who like excitement, the Shoshone section has some continuous Class III rapids, and then for the most difficult run of all (a Class V for experts only) you can move through the Gore Canyon run for 9 miles with a 120-feet-a-mile drop.
Here is where serious Vail whitewater paddlers get their thrills. The Piney River is not for beginners. This river starts high in the Gore Range and is a scenic run, if you can concentrate on the scenery while braving Class V waters. This section is 19 miles of some very challenging rafting.
Rentals & Fees
For kayaks and rafts for your whitewater trip, you can find outfitters in and around Vail who can rent you the equipment you need. Single kayaks go for about $35 to $50, double kayaks are between $45 and $60 and rafts are about $130 to $200 depending on the size.
Hire a Guide
Whitewater rafting is one water activity where you really have to know what you’re doing. Being familiar with the rapids you’re about to encounter is important, too. The best way to experience Colorado rapids is to hire a whitewater rafting company to take you down those rough and wild waters. You can get half-day, full-day or multi-day trips. Check out the listings on this page to find an outfitter that will give you an adventure of a lifetime.