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River Rafting picture in Vail
ranplett / Getty Images

Key Info

Details

  • Recreation, Sports, Tours Type
  • Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
3.9
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    3.0
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

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If you're looking for an adrenaline-fueled, warm-weather activity, you may want to heed the advice of recent visitors and book a river rafting and tubing trip. Not only does Vail Village boast its own whitewater park, but there are also a variety of Class I to Class V river trips on the nearby Eagle, Colorado and Arkansas rivers.

If you're traveling with kids and looking for a mild ride that doesn't require much skill, stick to Vail's Whitewater Park or the upper Colorado River. For a little more action and maneuvering, consider the middle Eagle and upper Colorado rivers. Experienced paddlers looking for a challenge may want to tackle the middle and lower Eagle River, Brown's Canyon, Shoshone or Gore Creek, which offer medium waves, 3- to 5-foot drops and more maneuvering. Consider yourself an advanced rafter? Gore Creek, Edwards Mile, Dowd Shute, upper Eagle and The Numbers will require some sharp maneuvers over the large waves, long rapids and considerable drops. The Class V rapids (Pine Creek, The Numbers and Gore Canyon) are best left to the experts as large waves and rocks can be very dangerous for inexperienced passengers.

Tagging along on a guided tour is the best way to experience the rapids. Sage Outdoor Adventures, Timberline Tours and AVA Colorado Rafting are all popular companies recommended by recent travelers. Trips are generally offered from May to October and last a minimum of four hours. Some trips have a minimum age requirement; Class I or Class II (the milder trips) generally require children be at least 2 years old. Prices can vary too, but you should expect to pay at least $50 for children 6 and younger and $90 for adults. Visit each company's website for more details.

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Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
  • Hotel
Antlers at Vail

Antlers at Vail ...

  • 0.1 Miles Away
  • 3.0-star Hotel Class
The Vail Spa Condominiums

The Vail Spa Condominiums ...

  • None Miles Away
  • 3.5-star Hotel Class
Montaneros Condominiums

Montaneros Condominiums ...

  • None Miles Away
  • 3.5-star Hotel Class
See all hotels in Vail »

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#1 Hiking Though Vail's ski terrain receives much of the spotlight, the area's many hiking trails are just as impressive. If you've got a car, you may want to ... Read more » Jack Affleck / Getty Images

#2 Vail Ski Resort Boasting 5,289 skiable acres, a vertical drop of 3,450 feet and 31 lifts, the Vail Ski Resort is massive. And Vail's 195 trails cater to a wide ... Read more » Jack Affleck / Vail Ski Resort

#3 Betty Ford Alpine Gardens It's no secret that Vail was the preferred vacation spot for former President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty. In fact, Betty Ford became known by locals as the ... Read more » Daderot / Wikimedia Commons

#4 Holy Cross Wilderness Area Straddling the Arkansas River about 30 miles south of Vail, the Holy Cross Wilderness Area makes for a great daytrip during the warmer months. Encompassing an impressive 122,797 acres ... Read more » clare_and_ben / Flickr

#5 Beaver Creek Resort Located about 13 miles west of Vail in Avon, Colorado, the Beaver Creek Resort is the newer kid on the block. Still, since it opened in 1980 Beaver Creek has ... Read more » Jack Affleck / Beaver Creek Resort

#6 Eagles Nest Wilderness Area Covering nearly 133,500 acres of the Gore Mountain Range just north of Vail, the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area is not for the faint of heart. This park's 180 miles ... Read more » Patrick_Lienin / Getty Images

#7 Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame Before hitting the slopes, consider taking a quick tour of the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame. This small facility in central Vail pays tribute to the ... Read more » brent flanders / Flickr

#8 Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater Named for former President Gerald Ford, this outdoor performance venue plays host to some of Vail's most popular events, including the Vail Dance Festival and the Bravo! Vail music ... Read more » John Ryan Lockman, ShowLove Media

#9 River Rafting If you're looking for an adrenaline-fueled, warm-weather activity, you may want to heed the advice of recent visitors and book a river rafting and tubing trip. Not only does ... Read more » ranplett / Getty Images

Hiking picture in Vail
Blue Skies over Vail Mountain picture in Vail
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens picture in Vail
Holy Cross Wilderness Area picture in Vail
Skiing Beaver Creek picture in Vail
Eagles Nest Wilderness Area picture in Vail
Colorado Ski Museum picture in Vail
Concert at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater picture in Vail
River Rafting picture in Vail
Hiking picture in Vail
Blue Skies over Vail Mountain picture in Vail
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens picture in Vail
Holy Cross Wilderness Area picture in Vail
Skiing Beaver Creek picture in Vail
Eagles Nest Wilderness Area picture in Vail
Colorado Ski Museum picture in Vail
Concert at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater picture in Vail
River Rafting picture in Vail

Though Vail's ski terrain receives much of the spotlight, the area's many hiking trails are just as impressive.  Jack Affleck / Getty Images

The Vail Ski Resort welcomes about 350 inches of snowfall each year. Jack Affleck / Vail Ski Resort

Daderot / Wikimedia Commons

Straddling the Arkansas River about 30 miles south of Vail, the Holy Cross Wilderness Area makes for a great daytrip during the warmer months. clare_and_ben / Flickr

Beaver Creek boasts 1,815 acres of skiable terrain Jack Affleck / Beaver Creek Resort

Intrepid hikers can explore the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area on 180 miles of trails just north of Vail. Patrick_Lienin / Getty Images

brent flanders / Flickr

This beautiful outdoor performance venue  named in honor of former President Gerald Ford  hosts some of the area's most popular events, including the Vail Dance Festival. John Ryan Lockman, ShowLove Media

If you're looking for an adrenaline-fueled, warm-weather activity, you may want to heed the advice of recent visitors and book a river rafting and tubing trip.  ranplett / Getty Images

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