Royal Gorge Raft


Are you thinking of doing a whitewater rafting trip?

Do you have any plans of going towards Colorado?

Do you want to check out a really popular and top-class whitewater rafting spot in Colorado?

If you are ready for some adventure, or even if you want to just enjoy your day on the water as you browse through some amazing nature views, then we believe this rafting experience could be perfect for you. We are talking about the Royal Gorge Rafting today.

Not sure what’s so special about it and why you should give it a try? Well, we are sharing all the details right here. From what makes it so popular with rafters to how you can get in touch, where they are located, how to reach and what to expect when you go for this trip, find out all this and more as you read about it below. In addition, we’re also sharing a few other things you can do when you are in the area.

What is Royal Gorge?


The Royal Gorge is the name of a canyon that is located on the Arkansas River. This choice is in Canon City in Colorado, the United States of America.

Where is it located?

The Royal Gorge Canyon starts at the mouth of the Grape Creek which is about 2 miles west from the Central Canon City. This option then continues to move for about 6 miles in the west-northwesterly direction, where it ends near the U.S. Route 50.

Also known as the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas, it is one of the deepest canyons in Colorado. It’s located in such a way that you can easily locate and reach there for rafting. 

What are 3 reasons why people keep coming back to Royal Gorge for rafting?

The Royal Gorge Rafting has been popular with rafters for a long time, and many rafting enthusiasts keep coming here in search of an awesome adventure.

While there are many reasons why this can be a perfect destination for white water rafting, here are the top 3 reasons that keeps bringing people back, over and over again.

Option #1

Big rapids:

  • The Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting Trip has some of the biggest rapids that you can find in Colorado.
  • If you are a whitewater rafting enthusiast and are looking for some thrilling water adventure, then this trip on the Arkansas River will be perfect for you.

Option #2

Grand geology:

  • The beauty of taking part in a whitewater rafting trip here is that not only do you get a lot of thrills on the water, but you also get to experience incredible beauty in your surroundings.
  • The route moves through some really scenic views that will make this an overall amazing experience for any nature lover.

Option #3

Full of amazing history:

  • Be ready to get a dose of history as you move through the water on this whitewater rafting trip.
  • The Royal Gorge has been used by various prominent cultures and people through the years.

See markings from the 1812 Zebulon Pike expedition, the hanging bridge where Teddy Roosevelt visited in 1907, gun stations from the late 1870s, wooden pipeline built by prisoners in the early 1900s and more. 

All the info you need about Royal Gorge rafting to make a booking

Difficulty/skill level required here
Easy to Difficult

Exact location and how to get there

  • The Royal Gorge is located west of Canon City in Colorado.
  • It starts at the mouth of the Grape Creek, which is about 2 miles west of the central Canon City.
  • It keeps going for about 6 miles in a west-northwesterly direction till near the U.S. Route 50.

You can check out this link to find out how you can reach the area by using public transport.

Notable spots for rafting in the area

  • The Bighorn Sheep Canyon that has easy class II and III rapids for the entire family to enjoy.
  • Right below the Royal Gorge Bridge, where you get more adventurous class III to V rapids.
  • You will also encounter various famous rapids as part of your chosen trip, such as the Sunshine Falls, the Narrows, the Sledgehammer and many more.

Trip duration

  • A few hours, half and whole day, overnight

Description of the site

  • You can choose from trips that are suitable for younger kids if you want the entire family to enjoy
  • Onsite gear rental is provided by most providers usually at no extra cost


  • Friendly and helpful staff to guide you along the way
  • Help on hand
  • Very knowledgeable guides
  • Take in the gorgeous scenic views even as you raft
  • At a convenient distance from the main city
  • Well-connected by public transport
  • Photographers available on the site
  • Interesting historic water ride
  • Suitable for families with younger kids
  • Perfect for those looking for thrill 


  • None as yet

When is the best time to come to Royal Gorge for rafting?

Depending on the exact weather conditions and the water levels, the rafting timings may be subject to change at the last minute.

Here is a look at some of the rafting seasons that you can use for whitewater rafting at Royal Gorge on the Arkansas River.

  • Early season: April to late May
  • High water: late May to mid-June
  • Mid-season: late June to early August (perfect for family rafting time)
  • Late season: mid-August to September 

Advantages of coming here during peak season vs off season

  • More tours will be conducted
  • More staff on hand
  • You will get the best of rapids
  • Weather conditions will most likely be suitable

Disadvantages of coming here during peak season vs off season

  • Will be crowded
  • May not always get the choice of raft you want
  • May have to wait in queue for your turn to come
  • Off-season may not always be the best time for whitewater rafting, as weather conditions and water level may not be conducive 

Some other activities you can do in the area when you visit

If you are already in the area, or are planning a visit, here are a few other things that you can try out, once you are done with your whitewater rafting adventure:

  • Visit the Tommy Knocker Playland, a playground that will entertain the whole family
  • Royal Gorge Zip Line Tours and Rafting
  • Cross the Royal Gorge Bridge on foot to take in the view of rafters crossing you down below
  • Take the Royal Gorge train that runs along the base of the canyon along the river
  • Skyline Drive
  • Tunnel Drive
  • Skydive your way through the Royal Gorge
  • Visit the Museum of Colorado Prisons
  • Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience can be a great place to take the kids
  • Visit the Gold Mine Rock Shop
  • Visit the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Centre to learn more about the history and culture of the place you are in 
  • Visit the Artists’ Gallery and Fremont Center for Arts
  • Buy Sell Trade Mart to find some interesting picks
  • Dinosaur Depot could be a great spot for kids and grown-ups alike

Whether you are a pro at whitewater rafting or are doing it for the first time, make sure to listen to, and follow all safety instructions. Have a great time!

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