What to Know Before Going on a Colorado Rafting Trip


Going on a rafting trip is an exciting chance to experience the beauty of nature, to truly be in the environment navigating tumultuous waters. It can be an adrenaline pumping, dangerous experience at the beginning of the season, or fun “lazy river” adventure for the whole family where they can enjoy the amazing scenery. Regardless of the time you go, you’ll want to be fully equipped and knowledgeable about safety concerns or what to do in the scenario someone falls out. Rafting outfitters are required to give you a rundown of safety precautions, but it never hurts to be prepared, especially if you plan on bringing children. That said, in this article we’ll cover some crucial tips about Colorado rafting trips to ensure your water adventure is both exhilarating and safe.

Essential Things You Must Know Before Going to River Rafting

River rafting is a unique experience that plunges you into the heart of Colorado’s breathtaking scenery. Summer transforms the state into a haven for adventure seekers, with various scenic locations becoming popular destinations for thrilling river rafting trips. Whether you are embarking on this adventure with your family or a group of friends, this guide will equip you with essential insights and pointers to ensure an unforgettable journey.

Do not Overpack Your Luggage

Packing should not be a cause for stress. Before my initial rafting journey, I fretted over what to bring. Looking back, I realize I should have anticipated the excitement rather than dwelling on anxiety. Remember, you are going on an incredible adventure! You can consult a packing checklist. However, keep the packing simple and do not overanalyze.

Select All-Inclusive Rafting Trips

Choose all-inclusive whitewater rafting expeditions for a stress-free adventure. These comprehensive packages usually include gear, transportation, meals, and lodging at adventure resorts, ensuring a seamless experience. It is an ideal option for enjoying extended Colorado rafting trips without the hassle of organizing details yourself.

Go with Partner or Groups

You would only be paddling occasionally throughout the trip. Unlike the small rafts often used in single-day whitewater excursions where everyone paddles, multi-day trips offer a range of boat options. Depending on the trip, you can experience various types of boats throughout the day, each offering a different intensity level. Some days, you might opt for leisurely drifting on an oar raft, while other days, you might crave the thrill of navigating rapids solo in an inflatable kayak. The choice is yours to tailor your adventure experience.

Wear Proper Safety Gears

Prepare with the right gear for your rafting adventure. Safety and comfort are top priorities whenever you hit the water. Typically, essential equipment includes a life jacket, helmet, and suitable water shoes. In colder conditions or on chilly river runs, consider adding a wetsuit or drysuit to your gear list. Professional rafting companies guarantee that every participant is equipped appropriately for their expedition.

Wear Long Sleeves Clothes

Even in summer, consider wearing long sleeves and pants for sun protection. Raft guides often wear lightweight synthetic fabrics, fully covering themselves and their hoods. This protective gear prevents their skin from sunburn all day. These clothes are trusted for their effectiveness in keeping cold and safe under the sun with minimal effort. Pack a lightweight, UPF-protected long-sleeve shirt, quick-dry pants or a sarong to shield yourself during extended sunny river days. Feel free to soak up some sun for a tan, but ensure you have options to cover up when needed.

Don’t Ignore Instructions

Pay close attention to your guide, whether in paddle rafts or inflatable kayaks. Their expertise on the river is invaluable, guiding you through safe navigation of its twists, turns, and rapids. They provide essential advice on paddling techniques and teamwork. This advice is vital for a successful and enjoyable rafting experience.

Don’t Afraid of the Groover

When you mention a river trip, friends often inquire about using the groover (river toilet). Trust me, it is quite manageable. You will find clean toilet paper, privacy, and a bonus – the locations are usually far more scenic than your average home toilet.

Choose Resort Experiences

Embrace the adventure resort experience associated with numerous Colorado rafting trips, particularly in places like the Sierra Nevadas or for those planning Grand Canyon rafting expeditions. These resorts serve as convenient starting or ending points, providing comfortable base camps with amenities and various activities.


Venturing on Colorado rafting trips blend the excitement of navigating turbulent waters with the serenity of natural landscapes. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned rafter, these journeys guarantee an incredible adventure. Disconnecting from technology and routine for a few days leads to profound relaxation, offering a mental reset that lingers. The journey’s end inevitably arrives too soon, leaving you yearning for more. Consider booking a night at a hotel post-trip to be easily accustomed to everyday life and enjoy a refreshing shower before returning home.