Don’t Forget These 4 Items on Your Next Colorado River Rafting Trip

Don’t Forget These 4 Items on Your Next Colorado River Rafting Trip

The Colorado River is 1,450 miles long. It flows through seven different states; Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, Baja California, and Sonora. With an average depth of 20 feet this river is fantastic for white water rafting! Fun rapids paired with amazing mountain views makes for a great adventure for all ages!

For rafting it is always best to go with a commercial company so you will have an experienced guide out on the river with you. Rafting companies will provide gear, ranging from Personal Flotation Devices/ Helmets/ Oars/ Rafts/ Wet Suits/ Splash Jacket. Here is a recommend list of additional items that you will need to bring with you.


  • Quick Dry Shorts/ T-shirt
  • Bathing Suit (Fits best under Wet Suit)
  • Secure footwear (No Flip Flops or Crocs)
  • Hat for protection from the sun
  • Extra layers if rafting during the beginning or end of season (colder temps). Make sure to steer away from cotton. Once cotton gets wet, it will stay went, and make your body feel cold.


The right attitude is essential to having a great rafting trip. Go into your trip with the expectation that you will be paddling hard and working together as a team. Your guide will be relaying instructions for you on when to paddle/ how to maneuver through sections of rapids. Everyone listening closely and responding positively is key to making sure everyone has a fun and safe adventure on the water.


  • Waterproof camera (one that can strap to your PFD)
  • Water Bottle
  • Sunscreen

Unguided rafting is also an option for experienced rafters ONLY. Since there is not a guide with your group make sure that everyone who is rafting has prior experience and knows the river that they are rafting on (intensity of rapids/ speed of the river). Gear rentals are available at many outfitters on the Colorado river. Make sure to have proper river permits/ parking permits for your trip. Information is available through Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Safety/emergency supplies are a must on the river just in case something does happen. Bring more than enough water to stay hydrated during your adventure. Food is needed to keep your energy going throughout your trip. Stick to the basics – Peanut Butter and Jelly is a great option, same with trail mix. Do not pack any frozen foods or meals that require a lot of preparation. KEEP IT SIMPLE. Remember that you will be carrying all items into and out of the river. LEAVE ZERO TRACE… Leaving nothing behind at the end of your trip.

Weather is always a variable for rafting whether you are on a guided trip or not. Make sure to watch weather patterns to ensure safety while on the river. Extra quick dry layers/ Rain gear may be needed if the weather is calling for any storms. If you are enjoying an overnight trip on the river, keep in mind that.temperatures drop drastically at night. Packing light clothing for the day time and sweatshirts/ jackets for your time around camp at night is recommended.