Colorado River Kayak Tour
It's hard not to smile.
About this tour.
Do you like being in control? Or you’re at that point during your vacation when some physical separation would do the group some good? Hop in an inflatable kayak (aka, duckie) and join us for a guided Glenwood Springs kayaking tour on the Colorado River. This Colorado River kayaking tour takes you through the beautiful lower Glenwood Canyon, the community of Glenwood Springs, and – when the river is running fast – the red rocks of South Canyon. On your guided half-day tour, you’ll navigate Horseshoe Bend, check out the natural hot springs that flow into the river, paddle the Glenwood Springs Play Wave, and top your experience off with South Canyon Rapid. Single and double inflatable kayaks are available.
Trip length is about 2.5 hours.
Check-in 45 minutes before departure.
Departs daily from mid-June through September.
Kayakers must weigh at least 50 lbs.
Paddlers must be able to self-rescue.
Prior experience is recommended but not required.
Life jacket, helmet, transportation, and optional use of wetsuit, river booties, and splash jacket/pants.
Who can go on a raft trip?
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 are anti-fun. We offer trips suitable for all abilities 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 have 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 before your trip.
We will not allow persons impaired by alcohol or drugs to participate in our trips. No refund will be provided.
When is the best time of the season to go rafting?
We start our season mid-April and run trips into September and even October. If you want to experience big water, we recommend rafting early to mid-June. However, you should know that the Forest Service closes Shoshone to commercial rafters once the river flows more than 6000 CFS (cubic feet per second).
What is the water temperature?
The water temperature varies as the snow melts. The average temperature ranges from 48°F to 65°F.
How do you rate the difficulty of the rapids?
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, and 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.
Which raft trip is best for us?
It 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 seeking 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.
How safe is it?
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.
What should I wear and bring?
A swimsuit or lightweight shorts and a 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.
Can I bring my camera?
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.
Can I reserve my own boat?
Yes. Defiance offers customizable Private Rafting Trips from two to six hours. We also offer inflatable kayaks (duckies) on our Full Day trips and guided Kayak (Duckie) Adventures. Rentals and a private shuttle are also available through Defiance River Outfitters.
Do you offer group discounts?
We offer discounts on groups of eight or more people. Please call 970-404-3022 for details.
Do I need a reservation?
Reservations are highly recommended. However, we are happy to make last-minute bookings as space allows. If it’s within 24 hours before you’d like to go rafting, call us at 970-404-3022.
What is your reservation policy?
We require payment at the time of your reservation to guarantee your space. Reservations made more than seven days before 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 when booking your experience online or by calling our office. Group reservation policies differ; please call our office.
What is your cancellation policy?
We have a 24-hour cancellation policy. You will receive a full refund if you cancel 24 hours before your scheduled trip time. 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.
When do I need to arrive?
Please arrive at least 45 minutes before your trip time. Before participating, you will need to check in at the Boathouse, confirm the signature of our Assumption of Risk Waiver, and grab any trip essentials. Our professional staff will fit you with a lifejacket and then provide a safety briefing.
What if it rains?
We don’t let the rain keep us from having fun. Heck, we’ve rafted in the snow a few times. That was chilly.
Should I tip my guide?
Our guides work hard to provide you with a memorable experience. While gratuities are not expected, they are appreciated!