A Colorado Summer Bucket List

It’s never too early to start planning what you’ll do next summer, and if you plan (or want to be) in Colorado, here’s our definitive list (in no particular order) of 10 must-see and must-do Colorado attractions and activities.

Climb Some Sand Dunes

To be in Colorado and surrounded by high sand dunes is pretty mind-blowing. Add in some sandboarding or a float down Medano Creek, and you’ll begin to think you’re in another world altogether.

Summit a Fourteener

Colorado is famous for its mountains, most notably its 58 14,000-footers. Make a goal of summitting at least one this summer. Buena Vista in the Arkansas River Valley is a great base camp because it's surrounded by the largest concentration of fourteeners in Colorado.

Experience an Ancient Culture

Climb underground into an ancient kiva in southern Colorado's Mesa Verde National Park, home to thousands of ancient archeological sites and cliff dwellings. This historically fascinating, must-see park dates back to year 600 to 1300. Stay in nearby Dolores and take a three-day Dolores raft trip with KODI.

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre provides a unique natural landscape and live music all rolled into one. The park is centered around the incredible red rock formations for which it gets its name, and out of which the world-famous amphitheatre was built. Walk around the stage, explore trails throughout the park, and catch world-class musicians at night.

Go Rafting

Navigate Colorado’s epic rivers by raft, led by a trusted guide. KODI Rafting offers gentle family floats and challenging white water excursions. You can craft a multi-day splash fest or simply join for a day of fun. See a different side of Colorado and enjoy some family bonding, too. Learn more about KODI's raft trips.

Go Ziplining

See a Colorado forest or canyon like never before. Zip through the trees and above a crevice at high speed for an adventure to last a lifetime. KODI offers zipline trips in the summer and winter. Book yours today.

Horseback Ride through the Rockies

Few activities embody the West like a good old-fashioned horseback ride through the Colorado mountains. Somehow, wildlife viewing, sightseeing, and simply enjoying the outdoors are just a little better when sitting astride a saddle. Learn more about KODI’s horseback riding trips.

See Crested Butte’s Wildflowers

When Colorado's wildflowers are in full bloom, there's no better place to see the sprawling fields of purple, yellow and red than in Crested Butte.  Crested Butte has several trail options that will give you amazing views of wildflowers and amazing mountain scenery surrounding the town. Getting to Crested Butte from Buena Vista is quick and easy. Just head over the newly paved Cottonwood Pass and you'll be there in a jiffy.

Soak in Some Hot Springs

Colorado is dotted with hot springs, from fancy resorts to hidden gems in the middle of a forest. In Buena Vista, there are two great hot springs to choose from. Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resorts offers an up-scale resort feel, while Cottonwood Hot Springs offers a down-to-earth, get lost in the woods feel. Take a dip and go rafting with KODI’s Paddle and Dip Adventure Package.

Hike to a Waterfall

Waterfalls are one of the best side effects of a Colorado hike. They might be tiny, wispy ones you happen by along a scenic trail, or they might be bigger destinations unto themselves. Popular Colorado waterfall include Bridal Veil Falls in Telluride, Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs, Zapata Falls near the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, and Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs.


The Perfect Smore and Then Some

Smores are the quintessential camping dessert. And when you're on an overnight rafting trip with KODI, there's no better time to master the art of marshmallow roasting and the stacking of chocolate and graham.

The Three-Step Technique:

First and foremost, make sure your graham crackers and chocolate are arranged on a plate before roasting your marshmallow. This is crucial in creating a no-fuss experience.

Roast your ‘mallow slowly, higher above the flame to ensure the center melts entirely. This way, the outside will also get golden brown as opposed to charred black.

Place the toasted marshmallow on top of the chocolate as soon as it’s done and smoosh! Place the other graham cracker on top of the marshmallow and squeeze. Wait a few seconds to let the chocolate melt before devouring.

Want to shake it up a bit? Our guides have some favorite, out-of-the-box combinations.

In place of the graham cracker use any of the following:

  • fudge striped cookies
  • chocolate covered graham cookie
  • cinnamon-flavored graham Cookie
  • oatmeal cookies
  • sugar cookies

In place of the chocolate bar, use any of the following:

  • peanut butter cup
  • peanut butter
  • chocolate bar with nuts
  • white chocolate bar
  • hazelnut chocolate spread
  • Peppermint Patty
  • Caramel-filled chocolate bar

Feeling really adventurous? Try some of these additions:

  • peanut butter
  • jams and jellies
  • slices of fresh bananas
  • cream cheese

Try your favorite smore on an overnight rafting trip with KODI. Learn more…


While on the River, Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Wildlife

Few other places in North America offer such a bounty of wildlife-watching opportunities as Colorado. And the state’s rivers, being such an incredible water source, tend to attract quite a number of animals.

On your next rafting trip, keep an eye out for the animals below. They are just a few of the critters you might spot as you’re floating along. Bringing binoculars or a camera with a telephoto lens will help ensure you see a creature, big or small.

Big Horn Sheep

The Bighorn Sheep is Colorado's official mammal, and the Centennial State is home to the largest population anywhere. They’re often found along canyon walls though are quite well camouflaged against the rock.

The size of the horns on a ram indicates rank, and a pair of horns can measure as long as 50 inches in length and weigh up to 30 lbs. Herds are commonly viewed along The Numbers and Pine Creek sections of the Arkansas River, just north of Buena Vista, and in Bighorn Sheep Canyon, just west of Canon City.

Birds

Bald eagles, golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, and ospreys are some of the most common birds you’ll see over Colorado’s river. They hover high above the water, searching for trout and small mammals to eat.

Trout

The Arkansas River is known worldwide for its gold medal fishing waters. Whether you’re fishing from a raft or along the peaceful shoreline, chances are good you’ll bag your fill of brown and rainbow trout.

Black Bear

The most familiar of these animals, black bears are Colorado’s largest carnivores.  Despite their name, they can also be light brown or even blond in color


Health Benefits of Whitewater Rafting

Rafting is a really popular summer activity, especially in Colorado where rivers are numerous and the scenery is breathtaking. However, while rafters are making their way down the river, they’re also experiencing a wealth of health benefits. From mental health to physical health, the rewards that come from rafting are numerous. Here are some of the health benefits we see most with our rafting guests.

Rafting is Great Exercise

Yes, rafting is loads of fun, but it’s also a great way to burn calories and build muscle—without even realizing you’re doing it!

The Great Outdoors

It’s no secret a day outdoors is excellent for the mind, body, and soul. And what better way to be outdoors than in a raft? Being outdoors is a way for you to soak up the sun and take in nothing but deep breaths of fresh air. In fact, studies show that exercising outdoors is more beneficial to mental health over indoor activities.

Ditch the Stress

Rafting provides an escape from day-to-day realities. The quietness of nature lets you relax and leave all your worries behind, especially when the river is slow-moving. At this moment, you can bask in the moment of peace. And yet, when the river gets going again, you can be sure to exude your stress through the exercise required in heavy paddling.

A Distraction From All Things Digital

It’s not often one can completely disconnect from the outside world. While on the river, email, texts, and social media slip away and you find yourself more “in the moment” than you’ve been in a very long time.

Teambuilding at its Best

Being in the wilderness with a group of people gives you the opportunity to bond with your friends, family, or coworkers. You learn about their strengths and weaknesses, and since white water rafting takes discipline, teamwork, and leadership skills, knowing your team is crucial to success.

Want to experience the health benefits that come with whitewater rafter? Book a raft trip with KODI rafting today!


Hiking the Colorado Trail? Take a Break in Buena Vista

There are many ways to enjoy The Colorado Trail, from a day hike or bike ride to a multi-day trip or end-to-end excursion beginning in either Denver or Durango.

With so many access points along the Colorado Trail, it can be hard to decide where to start, where to stop, or where to take a break.

At KODI Rafting, we think Buena Vista is a great place for all three! Roughly in the middle of the trail, Buena Vista offers an excellent basecamp, break, or exit because there's so much to do here. From soaking in one of several hot springs to grabbing a bite to eat at any of the town's top-rated restaurants, Buena Vista has it all.

Some really neat things to do in Buena Vista include but are not limited to:

  • Rafting the Arkansas River through Browns Canyon National Monument
  • Soaking in hot springs
  • Hiking and mountain biking
  • Seeing live music at one of several world-class venues
  • Eating along Main Street at a delicious food truck
  • Shopping stores filled with locally crafted goods
  • Zip lining
  • Horseback riding
  • Enjoying a weekend festival like the Rapids & Grass Beer Festival or Gold Rush Days

What better way to begin your Buena Vista adventure than with KODI Rafting? Sure, we can hook you up with a stellar raft trip, but we can also arrange your mountain bike ride, your hot spring soak, or your zip line adventure.

Whether you're starting your Colorado Trail hike, ending it, or just taking a break, KODI Rafting is your source for Buena Vista adventure.


Girls Getaways are Good for Your Health... and Soul

At any stage in your life, there are those girlfriends who know you better than anyone and who love you for who you are... weird habits and all. These are the girlfriends with whom you can do nothing with, and yet that time together ranks as some of the best.

Time spent with these girlfriends, those the universe knew you needed, can bring smiles in times of hardship and peace in times of stress, making it a huge benefit to your body, mind, and soul. In fact, scientific studies have actually stated that take to spend with your best girlfriends actually extends life expectancy, cuts down the risk of heart disease, and helps us tolerate pain... physically and mentally.

Need more excuses to get away with your girls? Here are five reasons every woman needs a girls' weekend.

1. You'll feel more connected
2. There's free reign to chat about whatever
3. Complete relaxation is very, very important, i.e. a break from daily responsibilities
4. Girlfriends spice things up
5. Weekend getaway help you live your best life

KODI Rafting is here to plan your perfect girlfriend getaway. Our rafting trips offer excitement and relaxation. Laugh and chat on mellow water and then brace yourself for some rapids. Pair your raft trip with a soak in some local hot springs, a zipline tour, or a bike tour. KODI rafting has the girls weekend itinerary ideal for you and your friends. Contact us to learn more.


Family Reunions: Mix and Match Your Activities with KODI

Don't underestimate the importance of family reunions. They establish healthy family relationships and are a means of sharing family stories.

Make your next family reunion the best yet by planning a group adventure in Colorado, a state that has something for everyone—all ages, all interests, all abilities.

But family reunions, planning OR attending them, even in Colorado, can be difficult. The truth is, no family is perfect and each is sure to be filled with varying opinions about where to go and what to do.

Don’t worry. KODI’s got you covered.

Start planning your family reunion with us. We make it easy. Not only can we hook up multiple rafting trips around the various members of your party, but we can also pair those trips with a zip line adventure, horseback riding, a hot springs soak, or a stellar bike ride through the beautiful Colorado mountains.

We'll mix and match all of our adventure trips to craft the ideal itinerary for your family.

During a KODI-planned family reunion, you can focus on sharing and preserving your family heritage, making family connections, fostering intergenerational relationships, enabling family communication, establishing family traditions, and more!

Start by taking a look at our Adventure Packages and choose the activity you want. Then, peruse our raft trips by location or difficulty and we’ll add that to your reunion package. The possibilities are endless with KODI Rafting.


A River Rafting Road Trip

Want to create the ultimate rafting experience? How about a rafting road trip? Hit multiple rivers, all offering unique rafting experiences in the following rafting loop.

It all starts in Denver, where you’ll head 30 miles west on I-70 and stop in the historic mining town of Idaho Springs.

Idaho Springs

In Idaho Springs, you'll raft Clear Creek either on a beginner, intermediate, or advanced raft trip. You’ll hit any range of rapids from class II to class IV. You’ll flow through a rugged, spectacular mountain canyon filled with granite boulders and towering pine trees and finish up with a float through historic Idaho Springs.

From Idaho Springs, continue heading west for 40 miles on I-70 until you hit Frisco, your next rafting stop.

Frisco

Frisco offers some very special rafting trips, including the Blue River Half Day Raft Trip and the Ten Mile Creek Half Day Raft trip. Each offers excellent white water, although Blue River is an early season run as it's dependent on snowpack.

From Frisco, head into the Arkansas River Valley and hit up Buena Vista. A beautiful 60 miles south of Frisco, Buena Vista offers some of the country’s best whitewater.

Buena Vista

From Buena Vista, there are several awesome raft trips to choose from, including KODI’s most popular raft trips through Browns Canyon National Monument. By this time, you might be ready to truly test your skills. If this is the case, you might want to consider KODI’s Numbers Raft Trips. These trips take you down the Numbers, a series of rapids so intense, they were numbered instead of named.

Now that your road trip is done, you can make the easy and scenic drive back to Denver along Hwy 285. However, if you’re not ready to call it quits there’s always KODI’s Kremmling office, where you can jump on the Upper Colorado River for a scenic float and gorgeous views.


Five Reasons to Book an Overnight Rafting Trip

Multi-day raft trips that include camping alongside a river are awesome because they allow for time to unwind and savor life, friends, and mother nature.

But these benefits are simply the beginning. Overnight raft trips offer so much more.

There is no need for money—or decisions

When was the last time you went on a trip WITHOUT your wallet? Imagine how liberating it must feel to know you’ll be taken care of the whole time. It’s kind of like being a kid again.

Camp in extreme comfort

We get it. Camping’s not for everyone. But when you camp overnight with KODI, we put the glam in glamping. After a great day on the river, imagine enjoying a cold drink by the campfire while your guides prepare a delicious multi-course meal.

Really see the stars for the very first time

Unless you’ve camped in the backcountry before, we promise you’ve never seen the stars the way you’ll see them on an overnight raft trip. This delightful and inspiring experience only happens in true remote wilderness, like camping riverside.

Access the backcountry without breaking your back

You can strap a 50-pound pack on your back and hike for days to reach true wilderness, or you can strap on a lifejacket and hop on a raft. From you campsite, you’ll have plenty of time to hike and explore side canyons, waterfalls, historic sites, and scenic overlooks.

Ditch Technology

These days, this might be the most valuable aspect of an overnight raft trip. Finally, you can be completely unplugged. No cell phones, tablets, computers, or anything else that has a cord or requires a signal. This means exactly what you think it means… a true vacation.


KODI’s Special Adventure Packages

Rafting is so much fun. Need we say more? But, what if you want more? Good thing KODI offers several adventure packages that take you beyond the water and into some of Colorado’s most remarkable places. Pair your Colorado rafting adventure with a ziplining trip, a dip in some hot springs, and more to make your Colorado vacation even more memorable.

Book one of the following KODI Adventure Packages to take your Colorado adventure to the next level.

Zip and Raft

The best of both worlds—a morning of ziplining and an afternoon of rafting Colorado’s favorite whitewater. Enjoy two fun, quintessential Colorado activities in one easy, incredible day. Best of all? It’s all planned by us. All you have to do is show up.

Learn more...

Saddle Paddle

What are you to do if you have one day to play and you want to horseback ride and raft? Well, you book a Saddle Paddle trip, of course! Pair any of our rafting trips with a horseback ride in the Rockies. Make a full day of your adventure or break it up throughout your stay. We’ll help you decide.

Learn more...

Peddle Paddle

Whitewater is on your bucket list. Now, let’s go add some more fun to your stay! Pedal Paddle takes you to the top of Vail Pass where you’ll coast down the paved trail from the top through Copper Mountain Resort. Be sure to wave hello to river enthusiasts as you pedal your way through Ten Mile Canyon and on into the Town of Frisco.

Learn more...

Paddle Dip

Coming Soon!

Learn more...

Rio Futaleufu & Rio Azul

Experience a multi-sport trip in the heart of Patagonia! Activities include whitewater rafting, hiking, horseback riding, fly fishing, yoga, and mountain biking. Stay at a deluxe riverside adventure camp with a hot tub, a sunset bar, massages, wine tasting, and more!

Learn more...