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Key Info

161 Virginia Dr.

Price & Hours

Prices vary


Sports, Recreation, Swimming/Pools, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend


  • 4.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

During Colorado's warm months, whitewater rafting opportunities abound as the state's rivers swell with snowmelt. Travelers have their choice of rafting companies in nearby Fort Collins; though, only Rapid Transit Rafting is actually located in Estes Park. In addition to a selection of companies, rafting difficulty varies by river and launch point, meaning that whitewater rafting near Estes Park remains exciting regardless of your level of experience.

Rapid Transit Rafting earns excellent reviews from past visitors, and some even go as far as to declare the experience the highlight of their trip to Colorado. Past travelers praised all the employees, from the guides to the bus drivers. Others were also impressed with the scenery, which can occasionally include soaring bald eagles. One recurring tip from recent travelers: Pack a change of clothes, as whatever you wear rafting is sure to get soaked.

Rapid Transit Rafting is located in downtown Estes Park on Riverside Drive, just north of the road's intersection with Elkhorn Avenue. (Pickups for some trips may be in a separate location.) The rafting company offers trips on the Colorado River and the Cache la Poudre River. Trips on the Colorado River cost $120 per person, last four to five hours, run from June to August, include a picnic and are relatively scenic and calm. In comparison, trips on the Cache La Poudre River cost $75 per person, last about two hours (six hours counting transportation), run from May to September and take rafters through near-constant rapids. Participants for both trips must be at least 7 years old and weight at least 50 pounds. Additional information is available on the Rapid Transit Rafting website, while a directory of additional nearby rafting companies is available on the Estes Park website.

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#1 Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses more than 250,000 acres and boasts 124 named mountain peaks. Subsequently, the massive park draws visitors interested in camping, biking, fishing and horseback riding, among other outdoor activities. If you're not an outdoorsy type, consider a scenic drive or a picnic to make the most of the outstanding views. Winter activities like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding keep a flow of travelers visiting the park during the chillier months. The park's wildlife, which includes elk, bighorn sheep and moose, roam the verdant forests and glittering lakes, guaranteeing that every trip to Rocky Mountain National Park will be memorable.

One of the park's biggest draws is its collection of approximately 355 miles of trails. Avid hikers recommend the difficult Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail, which runs about 10 miles and becomes more rewarding as you climb upward. For a more manageable hike, visitors suggest the roughly 3-mile Emerald Lake Trail. If you choose to tackle this trail, plan to arrive early in the day to beat the daily crowds that descend on the trail. For first-time hikers, travelers recommend the 2-mile Dream Lake Trail, a scenic out-and-back route that will prove manageable for most fitness levels.

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