While there is an inherent element of risk in every outdoor adventure, running rivers with our professional guides should not be considered dangerous. Our professionalism is unsurpassed and our safety procedures are second to none. In the unlikely event of an emergency, our guides are thoroughly trained in First Aid and CPR.
We are a full service company. Your comfort and safety are our highest priority. While some companies will charge you extra for a helmet or wetsuit we provide this complimentary. During Spring run-off we provide, wetsuits, booties, splash jackets, helmets. During the summer not much is need but if weather is questionable then we'll give you a jacket. Snacks are provided on all trips unless you are on a full day trip where we have a delicious lunch.
Prior rafting experience is not required on most of our trips. The majority of people who join our expeditions are first time rafters. You'll receive a detailed safety talk before getting on the river, and it will cover every aspect of your river adventure. Once trained, your crew can work in harmony with their guide to maneuver a raft in the most challenging rapids. It's only natural for you to be apprehensive about running rivers, however our staff is specially trained to address your concerns and prepare you for an experience you'll never forget. Class V trips d require previous rafting experience.
For those looking for the most action, the time to go is June, when the spring runoff is at its peak and the water will be running fast, high, and exciting. The water runs cool, clear, and steady all summer long and as the water levels drop, the river continues to change and adds new and exciting routes to experience.
Eagle River is best May through June (peak around 1-2 week of June.)
Arkansas River is best between May through August 15th (peak around 2-3 week of June).
Colorado River is suitable year round because it is dam controlled however some sections are closed due to high water in mid-June.
Finding the right trip for you or your group can seem like a taunting task. Our trained staff can help with any questions you may have but with a little bit of information and the use of our trip selector menu you can narrow the options down to a few great choices. Here are a few ideas to consider when looking for the perfect trip: Are there children? What ages? Are you experienced? Looking for a Full or Half day? What type of physical condition are you in (be honest)? Simply answering these questions can set you in the right direction. When organizing a group always consider the participate with the least experience or most apprehensive, this is whom we should take into strong consideration otherwise they could have a negative experience.
Absolutely! Just call our office and we'll make arrangements to include you with other single bookings or small groups. Everyone can experience the excitement of whitewater rafting.
Knowing how to swim is recommended but it's not necessary except on Class IV-V. Everyone wears the very best Type V life jackets at all times while on the water and they float regardless of whether or not you do. This will not limit you to rafting, but only to which trip you need to participate.
If you feel your boatman, cook, or bus driver has made your trip especially enjoyable, tipping is a great way to express thanks and appreciation.
All trips run rain or shine. Only rarely do we cancel due to high water. In the unlikely event that we cancel a trip, a full refund will be offered. Any person choosing not to participate because of weather will not be eligible for a refund or rain check.
We have very specific pick up times at each property in the Vail and Beaver Creek areas. We make every effort to be there 5 minutes ahead of time and hope you are as well. Tardy guests only make the next pick up later.
No, we stop at various spots along each stretch of river to enjoy the area, swim some rapids or have a riverside lunch.
Lakota Guides offers a river trip to satisfy all types of adventurous individuals. We welcome anyone, young or old, in reasonable physical condition. Age requirements vary depending on the trip. Springtime trips may require older minimum age requirements as the level of difficulty increases. Persons who are extremely overweight, or have a chest size over 52" (life jacket maximum size) cannot participate in a trip. If you or a member of your group are pregnant or have special health or physical considerations, please call our office and consult a physician for recommendation.
It depends on which trip you are on. We take 16' boats on two of our class III sections (Lower Eagle and Shoshone) these accommodate 8-10 people. For the other trips we take 13' boats that accommodate up to 6 people.
Please direct special requests to our office in advance. Reservations are based on available space in each boat. Chartered trips and reserved boats can be made available in special circumstances. Our staff of guides will keep parties together whenever possible and they reserve the right to make final crew assignments.
Our guides are professionals in their field, and requests for a specific guide are not uncommon. If you have had a guide you especially liked, and would like to have them guide your next trip, we will do our best to match their schedule to yours. Simply request your guide when you make your reservation.
We encourage you to bring cameras to record your journey. We provide professional photographers who take photos of your trip on the biggest rapid sections, and make those shots available for purchase online.
We pride ourselves on our professional guides, most of who have been with Lakota Guides for many seasons. Every couple of years, we train new guide's at our own intensive whitewater school, and choose only the most qualified to work for us. Our guides are knowledgeable about the outdoors, and are trained in local and natural history, conservation, camp cooking, and in both CPR and first-aid, many have advanced medical certifications and extensive river rescue training. Over the years, many of our adventures have resulted in long lasting friendships between our guides and clients.
Paddling is an exciting, participatory way to run the river. Each boat contains paddlers plus a guide to call commands. There is a thorough explanation and practice session for paddlers before we start out. The paddle option is used on most of our trips.
No. Most rivers are "pool and drop", which means that stretches of exciting whitewater are interspersed with calm sections.
We highly recommend you make reservations as far in advance as possible to ensure that there is space available on the trip you want when you want it. By contacting us ahead of time it will also give our staff the opportunity to discuss the different options with you to make absolutely sure that the right trip is chosen. However, we are always busy taking last minute reservations and are happy to accept walk-ins if we have space available. Please call us at (970)845-RAFT (7238)
Most definitely! Our guides will pay special attention to the younger guests. The minimum age for Class III trips is 5 years and 50 pounds. All age requirements are variable with water levels and conditions, which can only be determined the day before the trip. We do also offer a Class I-II trip for little ones as young as 2 years old.
All trips have set departure times and predicted return times posted in the trip descriptions. With any activity, it depends on Mother Nature, a number of variables come into play when we predict how long a trip will take. Please take this into consideration when planning activities upon your return from a rafting trip.
Nylon swim trunks, swimsuits, river sandals or old tennis shoes are great for rafting. Try to stay away from anything cotton if possible. Hats are good for sunny days and for those rare overcast or cool days a fleece pullover, a wool hat and socks and a windbreaker would be a great way to stay warm. Wetsuits, splash gear and neoprene booties are available and are required for some trips and at certain water levels. Please note: Cotton WILL NOT keep you warm when it is wet.
Dry clothes for the ride home, towels, sunscreen, and an adventurous attitude. DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING THAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO LOSE OR GET WET! We recommend that you leave those good cameras behind. We have professional photographers staged on the river to capture your adventure on film.