Family Whitewater Rafting

family whitewater rafting in colorado


At Defiance Rafting, we think there’s nothing more awesome than introducing kiddos to the thrill of whitewater rafting. Our Happy Paddler program makes sure your little adventurer’s first time on the water is a positive, fun-filled experience.

The Happy Paddler program is available on our Half-Day Colorado rafting trips. All Happy Paddlers receive some sweet post-trip Happy Paddler swag to celebrate their adventure.

whitewater rafting with kids colorado

Our Best Family-Friendly Rafting Trips:

  • Scenic Canyon Half-Day Float
  • Roaring Fork Half Day
  • Glenwood Canyon Half Day
    • A paddler must weigh at least 50lbs to raft through the Shoshone rapids. Paddlers under 50lbs (but over 30lbs) will join us at Grizzly Creek, which is just below Shoshone rapids.
    • During high water, roughly May 15-June 15, this trip may be modified to avoid Shoshone Rapids or may have older age and experience requirements.
little girl smiling during a family whitewater rafting trip

When you’re thinking about the best family whitewater rafting trip for you and your family, know that we focus more on minimum weight than age. The minimum weight to participate in a float trip is 30 lbs. This is because the smallest personal flotation device (PFD), aka life jacket, that meets regulations for a commercial trip is sized for a 30 lb kiddo. At 50 lbs, participants are then big enough to use a larger PFD which meets commercial regulations on class III (+) rapids. However, at high-water, we do have some age restrictions on some of our trips depending on water level (typically early summer is runoff).

Class I/II rapids are great for family whitewater rafting trips, especially for those families with young children or those who want a more relaxing time on the river. Class II/III trips are perfect for those looking for a blend of action and relaxation. Class III/IV are for true adventure seekers.