Whitewater Rafting Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose Browns Canyon Rafting?

There are many reasons to choose Browns Canyon Rafting; from our excellent customer service, to our extensive experience, priorities in safety, fun, quality equipment… we aim to please each and every one of you!

We are owned and operated by river guide professionals, and your safety is our top priority! Our guides are well trained, friendly, informative and they strive to give you the best trip possible. We know that the guides are what make the difference at any rafting company, and we have the best in the business.

Our equipment is top of the line. Browns Canyon Rafting invests in new equipment every year for your safety, comfort, and of course to look good out there!

Our customer service is always above and beyond. We have competitive pricing, and want you to get your moneys worth, so every adventure we offer can be completely customized to you and your groups needs.

What should I wear?

Bring swimwear. NO COTTON! It only holds water and lowers your body temperature. Footwear that will stay on your feet, like sandals with heal straps or tennis shoes you don’t mind getting wet. On cooler days it is a good idea to bring extra layers made from synthetic materials, like clothes you might wear to the gym. Wetsuits, splash tops, and river shoes are included in our ducky and Class IV and higher trips. Optional rentals are available for our Class III and lower trips as well. Wetsuit packages include wetsuit, splash top and booties for $12 or rent a single item for $5. Remember a dry set clothes for after your trip.

Where and what time do we meet?

We meet at our Buena Vista office for Arkansas River trips 30 minutes prior to Trip Times, unless otherwise arranged at the time of your reservation.

Should I bring a camera?

If you have a WATERPROOF camera, it is a good idea to bring it with you on the river as the scenery is stunning. If not, it’s best to leave it in your car. We offer waterproof disposable cameras for purchase. We also have a professional photographer taking pictures of you during our trips and photos are available for purchase.

What is the minimum age for a rafting trips?

Minimum age varies according to the difficulty of the rapids, and ranges from age 4 on our family float to age 16 on Pine Creek. Recommended minimum ages are listed on our Raft Trip pages. A minimum weight of 50 lbs is required for children rafting our Class III whitewater rapid sections.
(All ages are subject to change depending on water flows and individual’s qualifications, at our discretion.)

Which rafting trip is right for me?

There is a trip for every ability level and age, 4 and up. The question is how excited and how active you want to be. Our most popular trips are “Browns Canyon National Monument” and “The Numbers”.

Our friendly Colorado whitewater adventure experts are here to help you choose the right trip for your group, please call us at (719) 275-2890 to learn more.

Browns Canyon; is a great trip for first time rafters and experienced a like, this trip is a fun splashy trip that is scenic and non stressful with many fun rapids throughout.

The Numbers; is a more challenging and exciting trip where everyone needs to participate and paddle, with big drops, challenging moves, and continuous whitewater. Please look at our Whitewater Info page or call with any questions. Our knowledgeable helpful staff can guide you in the right direction.

Do I need to know how to swim?

No, knowing how to swim is not required, however it is strongly recommended on our more advanced trips. We offer a variety of trips from mild to wild. In any river sport there is inherent risk and a chance of falling out of the boat and into the river. Every guest is issued a type V coast guard approved personal flotation device which is designed to keep individuals afloat above the surface of the water in the chance that they fall out.

Do I need a reservation?

It is recommended that you book online or call and make a reservation in advanced to guarantee the trip time and date you want. Walk-ins are welcome, however on certain days throughout the season we book up to capacity. We are happy to make last minute reservations as long as there is availability.

How do I make a reservation?

You can make a reservation online at RaftBrownsCanyon.com or by contacting us over phone; (719) 275-2890 or (800) 332-3381.

Paddle Boat vs Oar Boat?

In a “Paddle Boat” everyone in the boat paddles with your guide instructing you when and how.

In an “Oar boat” your guide does all the work while you sit back and enjoy the ride.

The choice is yours! Inform us which you prefer when making your reservation. If you have any questions please call and ask our helpful staff.

How many people fit on a raft?

Up to seven guests plus a guide can fit in a raft, however usually we break it up into smaller groups of six or less guests plus a guide in each raft.

Can I reserve my own boat?

Yes, private boat and trip options can be made available. Please call reserve a private boat or to learn more (719) 275-2890.

Reservations are based on available space in each boat. Whenever possible our staff will keep groups together. Please direct special requests to our office in advance.

Do we cancel due to weather?

We raft and kayak rain or shine. It is very rare, but if we cancel due to some catastrophic event (wild fire, extreme snow, the apocalypse.. etc) we will offer you a full refund or give you the option to reschedule, whichever you prefer.

What is the cancelation policy?

For ½ or full day trips a full refund minus a $10 administration fee per guest is available up to 7 days prior of scheduled trip. Up to 48 hours prior to trip a full trip credit is available to put towards another rafting or kayaking trip for a later date. Within 48 hours, no shows and late arrivals there is no refund or trip credit and balance will be collected.

For overnight trips a full refund minus a $40 administration fee per guest is available up to 10 days prior of scheduled trips. Within 10 days there is no refund or trip credit.

If we cancel the trip for any reason a full refund or trip credit is available.

Should I tip my guide?

Tips are never expected but always appreciated. It is customary to tip your guide; guiding is a service industry similar to waiting tables. Typical gratuities are between 10-20%.

Are there group discounts?

Rafting is the perfect activity for any sized group, the more the merrier! We do offer some of the best group discounts in Colorado for our rafting, kayaking & climbing trips!

  • 10-14 people 10% off
  • 15-19 people 15% off
  • 20-29 people 20% off
  • 30+ people please call for specific pricing

Are there any additional charges?

There is a 9.5% land and river access fee that will be added to each trip, this pays for the upkeep of river access points, river management, facilities and improvements.