There are some who might say that Coloradans have it all: big mountains, stunning scenery and world-class whitewater. And they might be right. But what happens when you’ve been there, done that - when summiting that tall peak or taking in that picturesque tableau just isn’t enough anymore? When even Colorado rafting has lost its fizz? It’s time to try running those rapids with a twist. Whether it’s a day of rafting with fishing in mind or whitewater that ends with a helicopter flight and wine tasting we’ve got some options for you.
One of the most popular Colorado rafting combos is a float fishing expedition. Think wild river, your reel, an experienced guide and a long stretch of trout-choked river. Fly fishing is extremely popular in these parts, so if that’s your fancy you’ll want to be sure to pack along all your hand-tied beauties. Need we say more?
If you prefer a full house of historic sites to a full creel, the better option is a run down the Yampa River. Though some hairy rapids might temporarily distract, a multi-day trip through this corner of Colorado rewards with a spectacular look at Dinosaur National Monument. Ditch the paddle from time to time to enjoy short hikes out to see fossils, ancient petroglyphs, outlaw hideouts and miscellaneous wild critters.
For those who want to make sure their Colorado rafting experience stands out from the rest of the pack there’s the Water 2 Wine Heli & Rafting Tour run by Royal Gorge Rafting. You raft the Royal Gorge River, you sip chardonnay at The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey and then you take an intimate helicopter tour of the scenic Royal Gorge. There’s also a zip-line option, if you go in for that kind of thing.
So sure, you can get thoroughly wet riding Class IV rapids down one of Colorado’s white water rivers or you can do that and get a little something on the side, and we’re not talking a hangover from the wine tasting.