Regardless if you’re a family with young children or a group of adults in search of that next adrenaline rush, the Colorado Springs / Pikes Peak Region is an incredible location for your next vacation get-a-way. And what’s one of the top activities for most travelers? You guessed it – white water rafting! The beauty of the river canyons and thrill of the big waves continues to make the Arkansas River the most rafted river in the United States, and for good reason.

Breakdown of White Water Rafting Near Colorado Springs

White water rafting Colorado Springs usually includes one of the following sections of white water. This is just a snapshot – so click on the links below for all the details or to check availability.


Bighorn Sheep Canyon rafting trip


  • Perfect for families and first-time rafters
  • Class II-III white water
  • Recommended minimum age: 6+ depending on water flows



Royal Gorge Rafting with Echo Canyon


  • Ideal for thrill-seekers and those in good physical condition
  • Class III-IV white water
  • Recommended minimum age: 14-18 depending on water flows



Rafting Browns Canyon


  • Ideal for families and first-time rafters
  • Class II-III white water
  • Recommended minimum age: 7+ depending on water flows



white water rafting with Echo Canyon


  • Options for first-rafters and adventure-seekers
  • Class II-V white water
  • Trip options for children as young as 4 years of age



100 Miles of River Adventures

It’s no exaggeration! There is literally 100 miles or more of rafting on the Arkansas River – and all within a reasonable driving distance of Colorado Springs. Bighorn Sheep Canyon attracts the most whitewater enthusiasts seeking beginner to moderate river rapids. Travelers also appreciate the close proximity of white water rafting near Colorado Springs; an easy and scenic one hour drive finds you at the Echo Canyon office near Canon City and the Royal Gorge where the Bighorn Sheep Canyon trips meets up. This scenic canyon also includes a very gently Family Float Trip that is perfect for families with younger rafters around age four or five, or those guests interested more in a scenic float experience.

The same location is your check-in spot for the more adventurous Royal Gorge section of the river. Expect more technical maneuvers, bigger whitewater, and a few more white knuckles as you clinch your paddle and go for the gusto with your fellow paddlers and guide! The Royal Gorge travels through a one-thousand-foot-deep sheer-walled gorge. If you can peel your eyes from the whitewater you’ll be in awe of the impressive Royal Gorge all around you.

Browns Canyon: A Canyon of Monumental Proportions

Whether you arrive by car or air, you know you’re in Colorado when you see those magnificent fourteen thousand foot peaks, or fourteeners. For travelers who are intent of rafting at the true base of those monumental giants, Browns Canyon is the section of the river you can’t miss! Located about one hour forty fiveforty-five minutes west of Colorado Springs near the town of Buena Vista, Browns Canyon is a beginner to intermediate section of whitewater with breathtaking views of the same snow-capped mountains that feed the Arkansas River. The canyon also flows adjacent to Browns Canyon National Monument – a designation the area deservedly received in 2015.

White Water Rafting Colorado Springs Along the Arkansas River

Regardless of your preferred speed of white water rafting near Colorado Springs, the Arkansas River offers the most varied range of rapids in the state. With incredible natural scenery and the chance to see native wildlife like the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Golden Eagles or maybe even a black bear, the staff at Echo Canyon is ready to assist you in finding the perfect trip for your travel itinerary. Give them a call and rest assured your Colorado vacation will include a white water memory the family will be talking about long after you return home.