Colorado Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking
Roaring Fork River Rafting & Kayaking
The Roaring Fork River begins in the snowfields and high alpine lakes near the 12,000-foot Independence Pass before it cascades down the mountains, meandering out of Aspen to where it joins the Colorado River near Glenwood Springs. The river is 60 miles long, and almost 30 miles can be rafted. The river contains rapids from Class II-Class IV, making it perfect for the first time rafter, but also stays exciting enough for the experienced paddler. The river is generally rafted only during the early season, between May-June.
The river is made up of four sections. The first section is known as the Slaughterhouse section, running 5 miles through fantastic scenery, world-class whitewater and surprising solitude. The "Entrance Exam" "Slaughterhouse Falls" and the half-mile long "Triple Drop" rapids make this Class IV river an adventure.
The Upper Fork starts 5 miles outside Aspen at Woody Creek, flowing to Basalt. Though not as difficult as the Slaughterhouse section, the river never seems to slow. The river flows through 3.8 miles of Class III rapids.
The section known as the Middle Fork was once only a meandering scenic rush of water, now transformed by nature and man to create big and powerful waves, holes and drops. The 6.2 miles offers many Class III rapids.
The last section known as the Lower Fork runs through the Bald Eagle Reserve. This section of the river offers beautiful views of the 12,000-foot Mt. Sopris along its 12-mile run. The river begins in Carbondale and ends in a drop into the Colorado River. This section of the river passes through the Class II Cemetery rapids.
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.
Places to Stay & Fun Things to Do
A perfect recreation gateway along the Roaring Fork River in Carbondale. RV sites, group tent camping site, FREE WiFi, hot showers, fire rings, picnic table. Boat ramp for float fishermen. DOG FRIENDLY!
More Activities & Information
Crystal River Valley, Colorado includes: Carbondale, Marble, Redstone