Rocky Mountain Whitewater Rafting

Frequently Asked Questions


When choosing a trip for you and your group, be realistic about everyone’s abilities as rafting in Colorado is at higher altitudes. Anyone in your group that has any medical conditions, physical limitations, is pregnant or is seriously overweight, should consult a physician before attempting a raft trip. For safety reasons, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone we perceive to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol or deem unfit for a raft trip. We also reserve the right to alter your scheduled trip without notice or allowance for refund.

Due to the inherent risks involved in rafting in Colorado, all participants are required to sign an assumption of risk/release of liability waiver. All persons under the age of 18 require the completion of the waiver by a parent of legal guardian. Although we are fully licensed and insured, you participate in river rafting AT YOUR OWN RISK.

  • Quick drying clothes and/or swimsuit
  • Tennis shoes or sandals with back strap (NO flip-flops or Crocs)
  • Fleece, polypropylene or wool clothing and socks (NO Cotton)
  • Sunglasses with strap
  • Sunscreen
  • Bottled Water
  • Waterproof Disposable Camera
  • Hat
  • Dry clothing and a towel for after the trip
  • Professional guides
  • All whitewater & safety equipment
  • Transportation for your trip
  • Wetsuits, booties & splash jackets
  • The time of your life
Reservations are suggested as trips fill up fast, especially on weekends and around the 4th of July. We will try to accommodate any walk-in guests on a space available basis. A 50% deposit guarantees your spot and full payment is due 10 days prior to your trip date. Groups of 10 or more receive a 10% discount, 20 or more a 15% discount, and 30 or more a 20% discount!

We are located in Idaho Springs, only 30 minutes away from downtown Denver and the closest rafting to Summit County, home to Keystone, Breckenridge and Copper Mountain resorts.

Visit our Directions and Locations Page for more details.[/icon_list_item]

Class II and lower – Our minimum age is 4.
Class III – Our minimum age is 5.
Class IV and higher – Our minimum age is 14.

These minimum ages can change throughout the season for safety reasons due to the river level and intensity of the trip. We do not make exceptions based on a child’s height, weight or swimming ability.

Please see our Colorado Whitewater Rafting Trips page for more detailed information on the trip you would like. All meet 15 minutes before their trip time for check-in.
We have group lockers available to keep your belongings during your trip. We encourage you to keep your valuables in your locked car. We will hold onto your car keys for you during your trip.
A full refund will be issued, less a $10 per person processing fee, if canceled more than 3 days prior to the departure of the trip. Cancellations within 3 days of the departure of the trip will not receive any refund.

Any changes made to a trip departure time, date, or river section will result in a $5 per person processing fee and will be subject to availability. There will be no changes allowed once within 1 day of the departure of the trip.

All trips depart as scheduled regardless of weather conditions. It is your responsibility to be at your trips designated outpost 15 minutes prior to your trip time. Please account for traffic, road construction, weather conditions, etc. There are no exceptions to this policy!

Yes, but no reputable outfitter should guarantee a safe trip. At Rocky Mountain Whitewater Rafting, our guides try to keep all guests in the boat and get them out of the water as quickly as possible in the event of a whitewater swim. It is always possible, when dealing with natural and sometimes changing elements river are part of the adventure and excitement. Before every trip, your Trip Leader will conduct a thorough safety orientation to inform you on what to do in the event you encounter any situations during your trip.
No. All guests are provided with a US Coast Guard approved PFD (personal floatation device, or life jacket) and is and is designed to keep you afloat should you find yourself out of the raft. Swimming ability is recommended for all class IV trips and all trips during high water.
If you think your guide has made a difference on your trip, then a gratuity is greatly appreciated. How you would tip in a restaurant is guide to tipping your river guide.
Class I – Easy – Moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obvious obstructions all easily missed. Risk to swimmers is low and self-rescue is easy.

Class II – Novice – Straight forward rapids with clear and wide channels. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and waves are easily. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance is seldom needed.

Class III – Beginner – Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid. Complex maneuvers and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required. Large waves, strong eddies and powerful current effects may be present. Scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare and self-rescue is likely.

Class IV – Intermediate – Intense, powerful and predictable rapids that require precise boat handling. Large, unavoidable waves and holes and constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers. Rapids may require “must make” moves. Scouting may be necessary the first time down. Swimmers risk is moderate to high. Group assistance for rescue is important as self-rescue is difficult.

Class V – Advanced – Extremely long, obstructed, or violent rapids. Drops may contain large waves and holes, steep chutes with demanding routes and few eddies. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. Swims are hazardous and group rescue is often difficult.

Class VI – Extreme – These runs have almost never been attempted. High level of difficulty and danger and rescue may be impossible. The consequences of errors are very severe. For teams of experts, only at favorable water levels, and with a high degree of planning. Not impossible but very improbable.