Best Overnight Rafting Trips in Colorado for Beginner Paddlers

Best Overnight Rafting Trips in Colorado for Beginner Paddlers

While day trips out on the river can be a fun experience, overnights truly bring the rafting experience to the next level. Even if you have never rafted before, you can find yourself fully emerged in the beauty and outdoor fun Colorados Rocky Mountains have to offer. Getting out on the river paddling and exploring the breathtaking mountainous terrain by day and camping riverside by night… what a better way to enjoy a new activity in Colorado?

24 Hours on the Upper Colorado

Put-in: Pumphouse
Take-out: Rancho del Rio
Distance: 9 miles

It’s a perfect overnight getaway with some milder rapids and incredible views.  You’ll start off at the Pumphouse Campground just outside of Kremmling, Colorado.  The 9 river miles on this stretch can be done in a day. If you don’t want to crank out a ton of distance and throughly enjoy a relaxing float on the river, this section is perfect for you. Take off midday and pull over a few hours later at one of the many riverside camping spots for the evening.  Spotting wildlife along the way is a common occurrence, so keep your eyes peeled for black bears or bald eagles.

3 Days on the Upper Colorado

Put-in: Pumphouse
Take-out: State Bridge
Distance: 13 miles

Need a little bit more time on the water?  Skip Rancho del Rio and head to State Bridge.  You’ll add 4 more miles to the trip and will still have enough time to stop along the way on your three day, two night adventure.  Be sure you have enough food and water for this trip since you’ll be out of touch for more than just one day.  Packing your gear boat properly should be high up on your to-do list, as well as organizing each meal and snack prior to your trip.

The best part about these trips?

They’re perfect for beginners.  You will see a small handful of Class III rapids, but the majority of the water is calm or Class II – fun and splashy.  As long as everyone is equipped with a PFD, the whole family can ride along for your weekend on the river.

Colorado River Overnight Rafting

Common questions for those with slim to no overnight rafting excursions are as follows:

What should I pack?
Do I need a groover?
What kind of camp setup should I use?
Will it be cold at night?

And plenty more.  Maybe you don’t have all the gear you need for your Colorado River trip and you aren’t willing to drop the money for it quite yet.  Don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for.  Colorado River Rentals has an extensive list of equipment available for rent from rafts to sleeping pads perfect for your adventure.