Half-Day vs. Full-Day Colorado River Whitewater Rafting
With the variety of Colorado River whitewater rafting trips Defiance Rafting offers, we understand that choosing the best adventure for you and your group can be overwhelming. At Defiance Rafting, our trips are either categorized as half-day (2-3 hours on the river) or full-day (5+ hours on the river) experiences.
The lengths of the trips aren’t the only differences between them, however! On our full-day trips, you’ll see more of the varied scenery in the region, while the Colorado River half-day rafting trips are packed with the best of the Glenwood Canyon. Read on to learn more about how to choose the best Colorado River rafting trip for you!
Colorado River Half-Day Rafting Trips vs. Full-Day: How to Choose
Colorado River Half-Day Rafting Trips
Our most popular trip is the Glenwood Canyon Half-Day Rafting Trip, which we call our “all-arounder.” This gives you a sample platter from Class III whitewater to a scenic class I-II cruise through the Glenwood Canyon. This trip is fantastic during the dog days of summer when the air is hot, and the water has a pleasant bathtub temperature. Because this trip is our “all-arounder,” it accommodates a wide range of ages and abilities and is an excellent introduction to whitewater rafting.
The main requirement for this trip is that participants weigh a minimum of 50 lbs for the Shoshone Rapids section so that they can wear our type V PFD (personal flotation device, i.e., life jacket). What is loved about the Glenwood Canyon Half-Day are the stunning views offered through the Canyon after the rapids and the deep swimming holes for those wanting to take a plunge into the Colorado River.
This might not be extreme enough for some, but it is an ideal way to spend 2 – 3 hours out on the river and see a 13-mile stretch of the Colorado River. As a bonus, add an inflatable kayak (i.e., duckie) to your outing for an added water adventure. It’s also a great addition during the back half of summer when the water is lower and warmer!
There are times when all you want to do is kick back and relax and absorb the moment. For this type of speed, our Scenic Canyon Float on the Colorado River or Roaring Fork Half-Day is an ideal way to take it all in, from the walls of the Glenwood Canyon to the views of Mountain Sopris on the Roaring Fork River. These are great trips to pack a cooler, snap scenic pictures, and look for wildlife. If on the Scenic Canyon Float, you might be able to pull over at the natural hot springs along the river and chat with the locals. Both trips are suitable for all ages and allow our little Happy Paddlers (as small as 30 lbs) the opportunity to get out on the water and start adventuring.
While both trips offer a slow pace with class I-II rapids, there are a few considerations to consider before booking. To begin, both trips are available during the early season (May-June); however, once July rolls around, the water on the Roaring Fork starts to get lower, and that particular trip may not be available in the mid to later summer months. Because of the Shoshone power plant, the Colorado River maintains more water, making the Scenic Canyon Float great all season and into leaf-peeping time. Adding inflatable kayaks to either of these trips is a way to add some extra adventure to this laid-back cruise.
Full-Day Whitewater Rafting Trips
If you have a full day to commit to Colorado river rafting, you might consider spending the day on our Colorado River Full-Day. Of all the ways to spend the day, few are better than spending them on the water. Our Colorado Full Day starts on class III Shoshone Rapids section of the Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon. The full-day trip enjoys a catered buffet-style riverside lunch at our private take-out along the Colorado River. It also includes the option of hopping into an inflatable kayak for the afternoon adventure through South Canyon. What we love about the afternoon on the full-day trips is being the captain of your own vessel and looking for eagles and their nests along the river. Full-day trips are fantastic for families and friends and are typically small-group-oriented, which allows for a more intimate river experience. Because you are out on the river for a full day, the best time for a full-day trip is June through Labor Day, when the air and water are warmer.
With so many options, it can be hard to choose, but we hope this helps narrow down the choices for a few of the best whitewater rafting trips in Colorado. The best decision you can make is to book your Colorado River rafting trip with Defiance, and we’ll take care of the rest!