sunshine falls Rapid (Class IV-V) - Royal Gorge

The most famous (or perhaps infamous) of rapids in the Royal Gorge, Sunshine Falls Rapid is the first major rapid in the Gorge. If you and your guide don’t have butterflies in your stomach as you float into this rapid then you’re in the minority! 

There are two main drops to this rapid – you can’t miss the first drop. It appears as a distinct horizon line as you approach the rapid. Entry into the rapid varies greatly with river flows. At high water we enter on the right, while at medium flows we enter towards the left.

The second drop is usually approached from right of center and rafts move towards the left as they finish the rapid. This is the location where your photos are usually captured, so be sure to be paddling well for the photo. What’s the side bonus of paddling well as a team? You’re more apt to stay on board the raft and celebrate with a paddle high five if you paddled well. This is always a better option than joining the swim team!

illustration of bighorn sheep and arkansas river
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Every zone is the splash zone

Just the right amount of adventure

Great for beginner rafters

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