Tuck your foot into a toe hold, grip your paddle as though your life depended on it, and dig into the whitewater as your guide shouts orders from behind. Feel the spray of the river as your raft navigates the rapids and your adrenaline spirals to new levels.

River rafting has become a ‘must-do’ activity for anyone visiting The Royal Gorge Region. Not only is it electrifying, it’s an excellent way to experience the insane scenery of Colorado’s most famous landmark.

For a big adventure, go early in the season, when snow runoff is at its peak. Late May to early July offers Class IV and V rapids that will serve up big waves around every curve. With regulations on the number of outfitters allowed to run trips down the Arkansas River, you’re ensured a crowd-free day.

For families, a rafting trip through the Royal Gorge means leaving the screens behind and sharing an ultimate day of fun. Splash each other, swim in mellow pools, never hear, “I’m bored,” and take in the laughter that comes naturally with a day on the river. All outfitters offer family-focused trips with Bighorn Sheep Canyon being one of the most popular. This stretch of river is action-packed, scenic, and great for all ages and abilities.

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