Rafting is considered a medium-risk activity. There are occasions, such as getting fitted for a life jacket, riding in a shuttle vehicle, and sitting in a raft, where social distancing cannot be practically maintained. But Defiance has taken steps to mitigate known risks by implementing protocols in accordance with agency guidelines and industry best practices. You can learn more about Defiance’s COVID-19 protocols here.
Pretty much anyone can go rafting, though we have a few rules about where they go. Unfortunately, kiddos under 30 lbs aren’t allowed on commercial raft trips – they’re too small for the required life jackets and aren’t able to self-rescue in the event they fall out of the raft. Kiddos under 50 pounds aren’t allowed to raft through the Shoshone Rapids. Beyond that, we don’t recommend that you go rafting if you’re pregnant, in ill-health, suffer from heart disease, or anti-fun. We offer trips suitable for all ability and comfort levels, and the last thing we want to do is put you in a situation you’re uncomfortable with. In official lawyer-speak: Participants must be able to understand and follow instructions given by guides. Participants must be able to fit into our life jackets and be in good health. If you are pregnant, have a history of heart trouble, or other medical concerns please consult your doctor before participating. As with any outdoor adventure experience, some inherent risk is involved. You will need to sign an Assumption of Risk Waiver prior to your trip.
We will not allow persons impaired by alcohol or drugs to participate in any of our trips. No refund will be provided.
We start our season in mid-April and run trips into September and even October. If you’re looking to experience big water, we recommend rafting in early to mid-June, though you should know that the Forest Service closes Shoshone to commercial rafters once the river is flowing more than 6000 cfs (cubic feet per second).
The water temperature varies as the snow melts. The average temperature ranges from 48°F to 65°F.
Colorado has a standard rating for whitewater rapids. These vary depending on fluctuating water levels.
Class I – Easy. No significant waves or obstacles.
Class II – Novice. Playful riffles, regular waves, clear passages, and wide channels.
Class III – Intermediate. Moderately difficult rapids with larger irregular waves, narrow channels. Avoidance of obstacles is required.
Class IV – Difficult. Intense, powerful rapids requiring precise maneuvering, in turbulent waters.
Class V – Extremely difficult. Continuous rapids. Large, waves and holes with a steep gradient.
Depends on who’s going rafting and what kind of experience you’re looking for. Class I/II rapids are great for 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. Whether you are interested in the most popular Glenwood Canyon half-day rafting trip, our mellow and scenic half-day float, our full-day rafting trip, or any of our other awesome Colorado rafting trips, our staff is skilled at helping you choose the best river adventure.
Safety is tops. We only use the highest quality equipment and our staff is fully trained to State of Colorado outfitter and guide standards, including CPR, First Aid, and swiftwater rescue techniques. That said, as with any outdoor adventure experience, some inherent risk is involved.
A swimsuit or lightweight shorts and shirt work best. Avoid cotton – it doesn’t dry well. For your safety, bare feet and flip-flops are not allowed. Footwear must tie or strap securely on the heels of your feet. We provide splash jackets, wetsuits, and neoprene booties if you’re concerned about getting too cold. We also suggest wearing a hat, sunglasses with a cord, sunscreen, and bringing water. Please leave your towels and change of clothes in your car for after the trip.
You can so long as you’re ok with it getting wet or sinking to the bottom of the river. But don’t worry if that does happen, we have professional photographers perfectly positioned to capture the look on your face when we punch through the rapids.
Advance reservations are highly recommended. However, we are happy to make last-minute bookings as space allows. If it’s inside 24 hours before you’d like to go rafting, give us a call at 970-404-3022.
We require payment at the time of your reservation to guarantee your space. Reservations made more than 7 days from the day of your experience can be secured with a 50% deposit; with the balance being collected the day of your experience. Payment can also be split among parties within a reservation. This can be done at the time of booking your experience online or by calling our office. Group reservation policies differ; please call our office.
We have a 24-hour cancellation policy. If you cancel outside of 24 hours prior to your scheduled trip time you will receive a full refund. Cancellations within 24 hours of your scheduled trip time are subject to a partial refund; no shows or same-day cancellations are nonrefundable. Group cancellation policies differ; please call our office or email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Please arrive at least 45 minutes prior to your trip time. Before participating, you will need to check in at the Boathouse, confirm signature of our Assumption of Risk Waiver, and grab any trip essentials. Our professional staff will fit you with a lifejacket then provide a safety briefing.
We don’t let the rain keep us from having fun. Heck, we’ve rafted in the snow a few times. That was chilly.
Our guides work hard to provide you with a memorable experience. While gratuities are not expected, they are appreciated!