Active Lifestyle

Whitewater Thrills at Royal Gorge

June 28, 2017 • Fenny Peiffer

Water rafting

Adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers craving a taste of adventure guaranteed to take their breath away will find it on the whitewater terrain of Royal Gorge. It’s time to cross it off the bucket list, and grab a paddle because with names like Sledgehammer, and Boat Eater, these exhilarating rapids are not for the faint of heart. Located an hour from Colorado Springs, and two hours from Denver, this stretch of the Arkansas River is a spectacular destination for outdoor enthusiasts to get friends together and let nature take care of the rest.

Royal Gorge is designed for hardcore whitewater adventurers with class III-V rapids taking them on a wild ride through Colorado’s incredible scenery, with views of the area’s wildlife from the peregrine falcon to the majestic black bear. The gorge sits 1,000 feet below awe-inspiring cliffs, and spans nearly 1,000 feet in width, passing through the historic Royal Gorge Railroad, and Royal Gorge Bridge for 10 miles of sheer excitement. For those preferring a more low key rafting experience, Big Horn Sheep Canyon is ideal for beginners, and families with grade II-III rapids to navigate through passages at a lesser intensity. Whichever rafting immersion one chooses, the spirit of the wild flows through every wave, and around every corner.

The spring season kickstarts one of Colorado’s most anticipated outdoor sports activities, and early reservations are encouraged as tours fill up fast. Certified rafting guides are equipped to take visitors on the adventure of a lifetime, but whitewater rafting at any level of expertise does require a healthy constitution, and the ability to swim. Visitors are advised to be ready to maneuver a paddle and to be prepared for an exciting challenge. Life jackets and helmets are standard attire, sunblock is a necessity, and if it can’t get wet don’t wear it! Rafters will be soaking in the scenery quite literally, and getting closer to nature than they ever thought possible. Tour groups like Royal Gorge Rafting and Zipline Tours offer half day or full day trips that stop for a hearty, and delicious lunch before heading back out on the water. Whitewater rafting takes outdoor recreation to an entirely new level, and anyone who’s experienced it for themselves knows the serious endorphin boost that keeps them going back for more.

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