Whitewater Rafting Whitewater Rafting

Colorado Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking
Cache la Poudre River Rafting & Kayaking


The name Cache la Poudre means "Hiding Place of Powder". In the 1820's, French fur trappers were caught in a blizzard. Here, they buried their gunpowder in a hiding place along the banks of the river to lighten their load.

Bus loaded up with rafts ready to go rafting, Photo courtesy of Boy Scout Troop 77 - Boulder, CO
A Bus Caries Rafters and the Rafts Up the River to Begin their Whitewater Adventure
Raters whitewater rafting in the Cache la Poudre, photo by Rocky Mountain Adventure
The Cache La Poudre River is the Closest Rafting to Estes Park and Fort Collins


Today, the Cache la Poudre River is the only designated National Wild and Scenic River in Colorado, offering a protected and unspoiled environment for water activities. The river starts in Rocky Mountain National Park along the Continental Divide and runs through Roosevelt National Forest, just northwest from Fort Collins and an hour drive from Denver. Many come between May and August to enjoy the rafting and kayaking adventures that this river offers. The intensity of the rapids vary from intermediate to advanced intermediate, offering class II, III, and IV rapids.

Whitewater rafting down the Cache La Poudre in Colorado Photo courtesy of Boy Scout Troop 77 - Boulder, CO
Whitewater Rafting is Exhilarating
Rafters going down the Cache La Poudre with trees and mountains, Photo courtesy of Boy Scout Troop 77 - Boulder, CO
Sit Back and Enjoy the Scenery


Kayakers are familiar with the challenging runs of the upper stretches of the Cache La Poudre River. On the lower part of the river, there is almost continuous whitewater with technical rapids, steep drops and beautiful scenery. Class IV+ rapids along Mishawaka and Pineview Falls provide a rush of adrenaline for experienced whitewater rafters. Family oriented trips also start below the falls, offering a more relaxed whitewater experience.

The International Rapid Rating Scale:

  • Class I: Easy. Fast moving water with riffles, small waves.
  • Class II: Novice. Straightforward rapids, wide, clear channels.
  • Class III: Intermediate. Rapids, moderate, irregular waves.
  • Class IV: Advanced. Intense, powerful rapids, precise boat handling.
  • Class V: Expert. Long, obstructed, violent rapids.

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Places to Stay & Fun Things to Do

Rocky Mountain Adventures: Rafting, Kayaking, Fishing link to Colorado vacation Photos available on Colorado vacation page
WILDERNESS ADVENTURES: trout fishing, whitewater rafting, and kayaking in the Rocky Mountains on the Upper Colorado River, Clear Creek, and Cache la Poudre River. Headquarters Fort Collins.

More Activities & Information

Estes Park, Colorado includes: Drake

Poudre River Canyon, Colorado includes: Bellvue, Glendevey, La Porte, Rustic

Red Feather Lakes, Colorado includes: Livermore, Virginia Dale, Tie Siding WY

Rafting & Kayaking in Colorado

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