When is whitewater rafting season in Colorado? Although we can raft from as early as April to as late as October depending on the weather, the months of May and June are peak season on the Eagle River. If you’re going to be in Colorado during these months, this is a rafting opportunity that you should not miss!
Whitewater Rafting in Colorado’s Eagle River
During its brief but intense season, the Eagle River is home to some of the best whitewater in the country. From the wild upper section that includes the famous Dowd Chute, all the way down to the playful lower section into the town of Eagle, the Eagle River may not be Colorado’s most famous rafting – but could easily be the most underrated.
“True river enthusiasts visit the Eagle River in droves during peak season,” said Sage owner and guide, Cole Bangert. “If the Eagle had a longer peak season, it would easily rival the Arkansas River in the number of visitors annually.”
The Eagle River is powered by snowmelt, resulting in a rafting season that runs from May through June and sometimes into early July. The excellent rafting is in large part due to a massive elevation drop. This snowmelt and steady gradient produce awesome rapids throughout the entire stretch. making it one of the best places and best times for rafting in Colorado.
Between the Upper Eagle, the Middle Eagle, and the Lower Eagle, we offer three different rafting experiences during this peak runoff season. Here’s a look at each of those rafting trips:
The Upper Eagle and Dowd Chute
The steep gradient of the Eagle River is most obvious in its upper section. Beginning near the town of Minturn, the steady drop creates an epic rafting experience that includes nearly 10 miles of waves and big rapids. This is a serious rafting adventure that’s suitable for ages 16 and up.
The Eagle River’s most famous stretch is found in this upper section – and that’s Dowd Chute.
“This section of the Eagle River is class 4-plus,” Cole commented. It’s a fast, steep, fire hose type of rapid. By the time we clear the last wave, paddlers in the front of the boat might be sitting in the laps of the folks in the back of the boat”
The Middle Eagle River
After Dowd chute, the fun continues. From the bottom of Dowd Chute to the town of Edwards, paddlers enjoy 10 miles of outstanding class 3-plus whitewater. This is a great rafting experience for adventurous paddlers ages 13 and up.
The Middle Eagle River comes to a crescendo with the “Edwards Mile”, a mile-long class 4 rapid with big waves the entire way.
The Lower Eagle
Rafting trips on the Lower Eagle River begin near the town of Wolcott and end in the town of Eagle. Like the rest of the Eagle River, this stretch features a continuous wave train of rapids. The big waves on the lower stretch are a ton of fun, and this is a great trip for families ages 10 and up.
Like the rest of the Eagle River, the peak season on this lower stretch runs during the months of May, June, and occasionally into early July. Paddlers will enjoy awesome scenery, floating through the dramatic red rock walls of the Eagle River canyon. The trip finishes off in the new whitewater park right in the town of Eagle.
Don’t Miss Out on One of the Best Times for Whitewater Rafting in Colorado
If you’d like to learn more about rafting the Eagle River during peak season this year, please visit the Rafting Page on our website or call us at 970-476-3700. Runoff is going to be epic, so jump on the opportunity to raft the Eagle River. Colorado white water rafting season starts now!