Rafting in Glenwood Canyon

If you are a thrill seeker or mountain gazer, look no further than an exciting whitewater rafting experience residing within the beautiful and awe-inspiring Glenwood Canyon. Situated just just east from the picturesque town of Glenwood Springs, CO – and marking the beginning of Defiance Rafting’s Glenwood Canyon Half Day experience – is an exhilarating stretch of class III-IV known as the Shoshone Rapids. The Shoshone rapids will draw your undivided attention as you go through rapids with names like Tombstone and Maneater. 

If you are looking for more of a beginner trip or for more chill and less thrill, after the first several miles you run into the Grizzly Creek put-in – where Defiance puts in for its Scenic Canyon Half-Day Float.  There, the rapids take on a noticeably mellower attitude and you are allowed to take in all the beauty that Glenwood Canyon has to offer. It should be noted that for the extreme thrill seeker, Grizzly Creek can be used as a take-out where you can get out and go to the top of the rapid section to lap the rapids multiple times. Defiance’s Double Shoshone Half Day provides such an example. Private boaters can also take advantage of the bike path that follows the river, allowing for a person with one car and a bike to shuttle with ease. 

While the rapids after Grizzly Creek may not be as intense after the Shoshone stretch, you will be entertained by the ensuing scenery and ample opportunities to hop out of the raft and swim in the Colorado River. The striking 1000+ foot canyon walls will fill you with wonder as you see Rocky Mountain BigHorn Sheep jump from rock to rock, mule deer coming down for a drink from the Colorado River, or maybe even a black bear! 

On the Glenwood Canyon Half Day and Scenic Canyon Half Day Float, you will also go around Horseshoe Bend, a section of river that pulls away from the highway that meanders through Glenwood Canyon. Keep your eyes on the canyon wall through this stretch, aptly named for the rivers horseshoe shape (as you might have guessed), for a feature called the Liberty Bell, a cut-out in the canyon wall that looks like the liberty bell in Philadelphia, crack and all! After Horseshoe Bend, just before town and at lower water levels, you have the opportunity to stop and dip your toes in natural sulphur hot springs on the left bank of the Colorado River. From there you will finish your trip in the town of Glenwood Springs, home to fine dining, adventure, and breath-taking views of Mr. Sopris in the distance.