White water rafting in Canon City Colorado

Travel Guide: White Water Rafting Canon City, Colorado

When you think of Colorado, you probably think of powder days, hiking 14-ers and a craft hazy IPAs. But we’re here to tell you that white water rafting in Cañon City can be the highlight of your Colorado getaway! Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Arkansas River Valley, this small town has become a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and curious visitors looking to experience some rapids. 

From beginner-friendly Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting to intense class V challenges when Royal Gorge rafting, Cañon City has great rafting for all levels of adventurers. Plus, it’s not just about the rapids – there’s a variety of things to do in Cañon City on and off the river.

Here is your travel guide to plan your trip whitewater rafting Cañon City, CO!

royal gorge rafting

Why White Water Rafting Cañon City?

Why choose Arkansas River rafting over the other exciting Colorado adventures? We know there’s some tough activity competition, but these whitewater adventures are up to the challenge.

There Are Rafting Options Great for All Ages and Abilities

Not everyone can bag peaks or climb rocks, so our beginner rafting trips are a great option for those who consider themselves or their group gently adventurous. Our Cottonwood Canyon Family Float can have rafters as young as four years old. But adrenaline junkies – don’t fret! We also have class IV+ rapids to conquer on our Royal Gorge trips

The Multi-Day Trips Have Every Amenity You Need

Want to plan a true nature escape? White water rafting Cañon City can be more than one day of adventure. Our multi-day Colorado rafting trips will help you stay along the river as long as possible, with fun to be had on and off the rapids. These overnight trips include camping at our fun riverside camp full of games and views. Your guide will pull together a great camp equipped with a campfire, delicious dinner, and cozy sleeping areas to rest your head under the stars. 

You Can Book Packages for the Easiest Trip Planning

The thing about being a popular local business is that we have connections with other popular local businesses. We have partnered with other amazing tour operators to offer easy-to-plan day trips that fit multiple exciting adventures into your trip. From ziplines to train rides to ATV rides, we pair our raft excursions with other fun activities off the water.

royal gorge bridge in colorado

More Things to Do in Cañon City

Done with your adventure on the rapids? There is still more fun to be had in Cañon City. Here are some of our favorites!

  • Royal Gorge Bridge and Park: This iconic attraction features one of the world’s highest suspension bridges spanning across Royal Gorge. Visitors can walk across the bridge, take a gondola ride, or enjoy thrill rides and scenic views.
  • Royal Gorge Route Railroad: Experience the beauty of the Royal Gorge from the comfort of a historic train ride. The route takes you along the Arkansas River, offering stunning views of the canyon walls.
  • Skyline Drive: This is the rollercoaster of scenic drives! Ride along Skyline Drive for breathtaking panoramic views of Canon City. This road follows the ups and downs of a narrow ridge with stunning vistas and photo opportunities.
  • Dinosaur Experience: Visit the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience to explore life-size dinosaur exhibits, interactive displays, and a museum dedicated to paleontology and natural history.
  • Enjoying the trails: Canon City is surrounded by numerous hiking trails, rock climbing spots, and opportunities for mountain biking and horseback riding.
  • Wineries and Breweries: Explore the local wine and beer scene by visiting wineries and breweries in the Canon City area. Enjoy tastings, tours, and relaxing atmospheres.
  • Historic Downtown: Stroll through historic downtown Canon City to discover charming shops, galleries, and restaurants. Take advantage of the historic architecture and local art scene.
  • Fishing: Spend a relaxing day fishing in the Arkansas River or one of the nearby lakes. Canon City offers opportunities for trout fishing and other freshwater species.


Where to Eat in Cañon City

  • The Owl Cigar Store: Think of the quintessential local dive – this is Cañon City’s spot. As you can picture, this restaurant serves all-American fare, like burgers and sandwiches. The history, cozy atmosphere, and friendly service make it a local favorite.
  • Royal Gorge Brewing Company & Restaurant: We love our local brewery! A Gathering spot for the community, you can find people here enjoying dinner, chatting over a beer and just enjoying the company of our neighbors. 
  • Pizza Madness: Craving pizza? Pizza Madness serves up delicious pies in a bustling atmosphere. This great family-friendly option has something for everyone, including gluten-free options.


Where to Stay in Cañon City

  • Hampton Inn: The Hampton Inn in Cañon City is a cozy hotel right near all the action of the surrounding outdoors. There is a complimentary breakfast and an indoor pool so that you can enjoy some food and lounge time.
  • Best Western Canon City: Best Western Cañon City is another great option featuring spacious rooms, complimentary breakfast, and amenities such as an outdoor pool and fitness center, all within close proximity to downtown attractions and outdoor adventures.
  • Little Canyon Inn: This one is our favorite – we love unique local accommodations! Nestled in a tranquil valley, Little Canyon Inn offers cozy rooms with rustic charm and amazing service, providing guests with a peaceful retreat while still being conveniently located near downtown Canon City and nearby attractions like the Royal Gorge.


Yes, Colorado is full of adventure and beauty around every corner. But, we hope you’re convinced that Cañon City should be at the top of your CO bucket list! Cañon City adventure and all of the white water thrills it offers are waiting for you.

Looking for thrills? The Royal Gorge rafting trip has you covered with its exciting rapids. Prefer something more scenic? Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting offers beautiful views and wildlife spotting. And for those wanting a gentle ride perfect for families, the Cottonwood Canyon Family Float is perfect. With expert guides, safety gear, and stunning scenery, each trip promises fun, adventure, and unforgettable moments. So, whether you’re an adrenaline seeker or just looking to enjoy Colorado’s natural beauty, Arkansas River Tours is ready to make your rafting experience extraordinary. We’ll save you a seat on a raft!


By: brandon
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