Raft the Upper Colorado River for a Geography Lesson with Kodi

If you’re looking for a fun and informative outdoor activity, then consider rafting the Upper Colorado River (nicknamed the Upper C). Not only will you get to experience one of the most beautiful stretches of river in the country, but you’ll also learn about its history with a splash of adventure. Kodi’s experienced raft guides know everything there is to know about this region and are happy to share it with you. Continue to read our blog below for some facts about the Colorado River and what you should expect while rafting the Upper C with us!

A little history of the Colorado River

The Colorado River is one of the great rivers of North America. It rises in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, and flows southwest through Colorado Plateau country for about 2,330 miles (3,745 kilometers) before emptying into the Gulf of California in northwestern Mexico. Its drainage basin covers some 337,000 square miles (869,000 square kilometers). The year-over-year average flow of Upper C is about 956 cubic feet per second.

The upper section of the river flows through a series of canyons in the Rocky Mountains. The largest tributary is the Green River, which joins the Colorado River at Glen Canyon Dam. Other important tributaries are the Gunnison and San Juan rivers. Most of the water in the upper river is used for irrigation and domestic purposes. In 1976 the United States and Mexico signed a treaty that guarantees a certain amount of water to Mexico from the Colorado River.

The headwater of the Colorado River is located high in the Rocky Mountains. The main stem of the river begins where the Grand and Eagle rivers converge near Granby, Colorado. From there, it flows northwestward through Rocky Mountain National Park before turning southwestward towards its final destination. Along its journey, it receives water from several large tributaries, including the Blue River, which originates in Silverthorne, Colorado. It also passes through several major US states including Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California, before emptying into the Gulf of California. Despite its long journey, the Colorado River is only about 12 feet (3.7 meters) deep on average and rarely more than 50 feet (15 meters) deep at its deepest point.

Did you know that Colorado and Hawaii are the only two US states that have no rivers flowing into the state from other places, only rivers flowing out? All other US states have at least one river flowing in from a neighboring state. Colorado’s rivers all flow into the Gulf of Mexico, while Hawaii’s rivers flow into the Pacific Ocean. The fact that Colorado and Hawaii are the only two states with this distinction is pretty amazing. Who would have thought that such a small thing would make them so unique?

What to expect while rafting with Kodi on the Upper C

Rafting the Upper C is a great way to spend a day in the Colorado sun. We put-in at Pumphouse Campground, but where we take-out depends on if you are joining us for an overnight trip, half-day trip, or full-day trip. This section of the river is full of mellow Class II and Class III waves that provide enough excitement to keep things interesting, but not so large that you’ll be constantly hanging on for dear life.

The first class lll rapid is called The Eye of the Needle and it’s a great test of rafting skills. After The Eye of the Needle Rapid, the river flows into a wide flat open area that continues for about five miles of calm class ll rapids for a nice mellow ride.

Next, we approach the second Class lll rapid called Yarmony. Yarmony is known for its strong currents and large waves that are about half a mile long. One of the best parts of this rapid is that it starts with a long wave train… If you don’t know what this is… think ULTIMATE FUN or a succession of similar waves at equal intervals. But don’t worry, things calm down after that. Just be sure to watch out for the favorite hot springs on the river left, and you’ll be rafting the Upper C like a pro in no time with the help of our expert guides!

Get a taste of Colorado’s history on your next rafting trip with Kodi Rafting Company. Our experienced guides will take you through the dramatic scenery of the Upper Colorado River, while sharing stories of the area’s colorful past. Whether you’re a first-time rafter or an experienced adventurer, our trips are sure to excite and inspire you. So join us for a journey down America’s “forgotten river”!

Kodi Water Conservation

Let’s face it. We can’t very well go whitewater rafting without water conservation.  Water conservation is much more than picking up your trash. It’s recognizing the issue and spreading awareness. It’s working as a community to leave clean water for the next generation. Take a look at some of our conservation and Leave No Trace ethos.

We love our rafting our white waters here in Colorado.  But how does water quality affect your rafting life and why should you take part in managing it? We’re going to dive into Colorado water conservation and answer those questions for you.


What Makes Colorado Water Special?

Here in Colorado, we’re known as the headwaters state. Water flow from melting snowpack starts here in our mountains and runs to 18 states in the US through the Arkansas River. Plus the Colorado River flows into Mexico, making our water International. We also have eight major river basins and several aquifers. That’s a lot of water!  But when water starts here, so does our need to be careful in our management of this life-giving asset. And to enjoy whitewater rafting for years to come, we have to work at protecting and conserving our whitewater.


What Issues are Affecting Our Rivers?

On a planet that’s made up of 71% water, why are we worried about running out? With droughts and climate change, fresh water levels are dropping to record low levels. Glaciers of freshwater are melting into the sea. And increased demand by agriculture, manufacturing, food production, power generation, lawns, pools, and household use means land is drying up. Pollution and runoff from heavily populated areas clog up our rivers and streams. It doesn’t take a rafting enthusiast to be passionate about water conservation. But whether you’re at home or in a raft and shooting the rapids, there are things we all can do.


What Are the Benefits of Water Conservation?

Water Flow

Can you imagine a whitewater rafting trip without the rapids tossing you around? That fun chaos in white, frothy water is because of rapid water flow over rocks and other features on the riverbed. The waters you traverse, like the Arkansas River and Colorado River, depend on healthy river flow. And without it, your rafting trip comes to a halt. But water flow does more than that. Plants and animals depend on moving water to live. The flora and fauna of Browns Canyon are an example. So when you put your oars in the water, that forward motion is a sign of great water conservation!


Water Metering

As stewards of this planet, we must responsibly use water. That’s why water metering is so important. You know of it in your house and see it when you pay your water bill every month. Metering controls the amount of water entering the property. This plays a huge role in water flow as well.  Metering also takes place at dams, controlling water levels and flow, controlling the amount of water released from a reservoir down river. This allows you to navigate the white water rapids in your raft.


How Can I Protect Our Rivers for Rafting?

Know Where Your Water Starts

If you’re a local Coloradan, it’s not hard to identify where your water comes from. Snow fall from September through May builds up and waits until summer to melt and flow down the mountains and into our reservoirs, rivers, and homes. Find out where your water company sources your household water from. Or check out the EPA’s page on water mapping. Knowing where your water originates can instill pride and care for taking care of it. And on that next whitewater rafting trip, you can smile knowing you know where the water starts and how it ends up under your Kodi raft. 


Protect the Storm Drains

No one wants to take a trip down a river that’s oily and filled with trash. Rafting aside, plant and animal life suffer as well. Did you know that the storm drain at your curb leads directly and unfiltered to your water source? Anything that goes into the storm drains ends up in the water. That’s why it’s important to ensure only rainwater flows into them. Absolutely no dumping from changing your engine’s oil. And of course trash goes in the proper receptacles.


Keep the Yard Under Control

Certain types of turf can be detrimental to water conservation. Some species of grass need large amounts of water. And in times of drought and hot weather, the outcome can be rough on your water supply. Easy approaches like replacing your plants with more drought-conscious species does wondrous things. Rock gardens in place of large swaths of green grass are a nice option. And drought-resistant and species with low water requirements make your life easier by not needing to water all the time, and to ensure your water bill stays as low as possible. Keep the water in the river and raft it instead!


Always Use Water Wisely

An average bath uses anywhere from 35-50 gallons of water each time you jump in your soaking tub. If the grass and plants aren’t wasting it, bathing is. Now that doesn’t mean we’re advocating for lax hygiene. No, hopping in one of our rafting boats without washing first (it’s awkward for everyone) is not our recommendation at all! Turning off the water when brushing your teeth or doing dishes is a great place to start. Switching to showers drops water usage from that 35-50 gallons to just 10 gallons. And you can even shut off the shower water while soaping up to be extra conservative. That time and water saved is well spent on a white water rafting trip with your family.


There are many more ways you can go about water conservation where you live. Like cleaning up after your pets and keeping your lawn a longer length to protect the soil and avoid evaporation, fix any household leaks, and avoiding using salt on icy sidewalks. Learn more about #Water22 tips for water conservation. And did you know that March 22nd is World Water Day? There’s no need to wait until your next whitewater rafting trip down the Colorado River to understand the importance of our water management here in Colorado that flows downstream to so many others.


Everything is a hierarchy and the water world is no different. As human beings, we’re at the top of the water food chain. This means we must take care of our resources. We know you’re excited to get out on the water and experience whitewater rafting. But rafting far into the future requires clean, healthy water. It’s a cause we all have to contribute to. If you want to see what you’re fighting for, book a trip with Kodi Rafting, and let’s get you out on a raft trip!

My Raft Guide and How to Tip Them!

A lot goes into making a fun and memorable rafting trip, and the most significant component is your raft guide! Navigation. Equipment. Safety. Communication. Entertainment, and more. Your guide holds a lot of titles as they deliver a trip you’ll love and remember. But what exactly goes into their training? And how do you give a little extra when you arrive safe and sound as you exit the river?

What Goes Into Being a Rafting Guide?

It takes a particular person to choose raft guiding as a career. Keeping you safe and healthy is their primary concern, but there’s so much more to it than that.  Before beginning training, the guide has to have the right personality for the job and many of the first year trainees don’t make the cut. Sometimes, guests offer challenges or don’t pay attention, and rafters have been known to come out of the raft and need assistance. Keeping a level head and treating everyone with dignity and respect are crucial. After that, guide training begins!


Initial Training

A raft guide learns all the ropes in an immersive training program. Guide training requires quick and repetitive learning, some creativity, and tremendous attention to detail  to successfully complete the training regimen and get “checked out” on each section of river they learn. After completing a rigorous screening process, guide training programs conduct a river navigation interview. All complete a guide training course. It’s no different for Kodi Guides. Over the span of over an initial 50 hours, your raft guide will become expert in things like:

First Aid and CPR: Colorado requires all guides to get a CPR certification before completing their course. While they practice in the course, all have to do outside work to get their certification. This means a lot of hands-on experience as they prepare to care for you on your trip.

Equipment training: The best guides know how to prepare and maintain their vessel and its equipment like the back of their hand. Training’s conducted using the rafts, along with oars, paddles, and ropes. Knot tying is included to ensure proper tie downs and that all safety riggings are in top working condition.

River and Terrain Navigation: Guides only take their rafts down river sections they have spent hours and days become familiar with. At Kodi, our guides are certified on their assigned sections. So you know they’re experts in the ever-changing water you’re coursing through, and includes learning the location of boulders, rapids, and other river features.

Our guides have the option to attend follow-up training as well. This includes swift water and whitewater rescue. Check out more of what makes a great KODI guide here.

What Does Our Guide Do For Us?

Initial training is only the beginning. Your guide is learning new things every day. Remember that they aren’t only there to steer the raft through the rapids. Their job is to interact with you in all the ways that are fun, educational, and make your experience terrific. Talk to them, ask lots of questions, and hear more about the journey that got them to the back of your raft. And get ready for more stories (and jokes) to follow!


Rafting Preparation

It pays to prepare! And while you’re getting ready for your whitewater rafting trip, so is your guide. Take a look at what to expect on your ride. First on the list is the safety brief for your boat crew. This covers topics such as boat commands, staying warm and dry, and what to do in emergencies. Once that’s out of the way, your guide will issue you the standard equipment. They know weather conditions as they change and will ensure you’re ready for anything. The gear you’ll get can include your Personal Floatation Device (PFD), helmet (required), splash jacket, wet suit, and booties. And your guide is an expert in these so be sure to ask for help when you need it!


History Lessons and Sight-Seeing

Your KODI guide is an expert in the history of their river area. And they actually enjoy talking about it so come prepared with those questions! If you’re an animal lover, you’ve come to the right place for rafting. The water attracts many woodland creatures and chances are you’ll see more than a few. Take a look at our list and see how many you find! Your guide’s eyes are scanning to pick out sights you’ll want to see. From bighorn sheep to freshwater trout to birds of prey, they know exactly what to look for so you can enjoy the ride.


Multi-Day Trips

What’s better than one day rafting down the river? Two or more days of course! And with a trained KODI raft guide, this is an adventure like no other. It’s good for all ages so the family’s welcome. Enjoy the water AND camping without lugging your own gear around. Your guide will do that for you in your very own gear raft that follows along on your ride. Your guide wears the hat of the culinary artist as they prepare your food and deal with clean-up. All you have to do is enjoy the beautiful Colorado scenery! Find out more about our multi-day rafting and camping excursions here.


Group Trips

Sure, you can go it alone but rafting is better in groups. It’s that guy’s trip you and your buddies have been planning. Family reunions are great opportunities as well. Or do something unique for your bachelor/bachelorette party. Whatever the occasion, our guides will help prepare your group for a ride to remember. KODI’s preferred group trip is a Class III ride. It offers great opportunities to snag some super fun and memorable photos (we’re talking to you, newlyweds).



Your guide loves the river. And keeping it clean is as important to them as the natural flora and fauna. In Colorado, we practice “leave no trace” which means you take out what you bring in and leave it better than before. Your guide will keep an eye on trash or belongings and prevent anything from falling in. And our guides know the local areas – after all, they live there. They’ll provide recommendations on other activities or places to eat. Just ask.


How Do We Tip Our Guide?

As you can tell, a lot goes into becoming and being a rafting guide. They love their job and helping you create amazing memories on the water. And they typically live on the outpost during the summer, often in a tent, so tips help support their need for pizza, breakfast burritos, and new gear. If you enjoyed your experience, we encourage tipping your guide. But how do you tip? Is there a standard rule? Well, the answer is how much you feel like giving! Tipping 20% like other service industries is your easiest option. For groups, $50-100 is recommended per raft guide. Our guides prefer cash and you can hand it off directly to say Thank You at the end of your ride. No cash on you? No problem! Ask one of the staff about using a credit card or ATM, and some guides even have Venmo to make it super easy.

If you feel a tip isn’t warranted, please let us know why so we can understand what to do differently. While we recommend a tip, not tipping without feedback can get a little weird for all parties. 


Ready to get out there and spend time with your very own KODI rafting guide? Call us to schedule your next single or multi-day trip today! We’re excited to give you a great experience!

Should I Bring the Kids White Water Rafting?

You’ve seen the rafts careening over rocks while spraying the boat riders with foam. You’ve even taken a couple of trips yourself. But now you’ve got kids in tow and aren’t sure if a white water rafting trip is in the books. Do you need to choose a gentler vacation activity or can the kiddos get in on the fun?

Well, we’re here to let you know that white water rafting is a thrilling activity for people of all ages, children included. And with the right choices and preparation, you’ll ensure it makes for wonderful family memories.

Choose the Right Class of Rapids for Your Age Group


As adventurous as your kids may be, it’s important to know their limits. When you’re planning a trip, you want to consider the classes of whitewater river rapids on your ride. Experts divide rapids into six classifications, but with kids along, we’re going to highlight only on the first three classes. Balanced with river flow levels (here is a link to the Arkansas River flow through Browns Canyon), these will give you a great idea of how much adventure you’re signing up for.

Class I Whitewater

Think of the lazy river at your local water park. More of a float trip, tiny rapids form when water moves over shallow beds of obstacles and while on the mellower side, these still count as rapids! You’ll experience these for the majority of your Class I trip. Younger kids and even timid adults will enjoy the peaceful, easy flow of these waters. You’ll likely do some paddling to avoid obstacles like boulders and bridges, or your guide will use an oar rig where you just get to ride along and enjoy the beauty of the river and valley.

Class II Whitewater

Class II rapids generally create whitecaps that are 1-3 feet high which means these are the ones you can really see and experience. Easy to navigate, these waters will definitely excite the kids! Maneuvering between rocks and ledges will get the raft rocking and the kids a bit wet, especially if they choose to ride in front. Now we’re talking. And if anyone gets nervous, they can always sit in the center of the raft while the bigger kids and adults ring the sides of the raft with their paddles.


Class III Whitewater

Due to moderate difficulty, younger children shouldn’t be riding the class III rapids. With many irregular waves (4-5 feet high) and tumultuous water, strong adventurous older kids and teens will love these! Water will definitely crash over the boat and everyone will get wet. That’s what we wanted though, right? As long as you follow your guide’s direction and pay attention, these bumpy rides will be super fun.


If you want to know more about the 3 remaining river classes, check out our classifications page or whitewater classifications article that will quickly bring you up to speed.

Gear Up for a Bumpy (and Wet) Ride

The raft and paddles aren’t the only equipment you’ll need for a safe and exciting ride. Exposure to the climate, bright sun, and water temperature can creep up on you. Preparation is key here but that doesn’t mean you need to bring along enough gear to sink the raft. A few common-sense items will make all the difference.

Avoid the Cold

Even with the bright sun overhead, waters can be chilly, after all, most of the river water is recently melted snow. Keeping children and yourself suited up will keep you warm should you fall in or get a wave coming your direction. Wetsuits cover the majority of your body and will keep any ice water where it’s supposed to be; anywhere but on you. Base layers underneath made of nylon, but never cotton is the best choice. Booties will keep the kid’s feet warm and dry in the water-logged raft. And added protection from sharp rocks if they fall out, and while maneuvering around the raft.

Avoid Sunburns

Even submerged in overcast skies, you can still burn in the sun at our high altitudes. And with most trips running for miles, that’s a lot of exposure time. Waterproof sunscreen is essential to protect any skin not covered with a wetsuit. It’s recommended to use anything SPF 30 or higher, and also liberally apply SPF lip balm to prevent chapped lips. We never advise drinking river water (giardia is a well-known parasite from mountain animals upstream) so pack along some reusable water bottles and fill them at the outpost before heading out. Throw a carabiner on it and hook it to the raft so you don’t lose it when the ride gets exciting. You’ll never stop hearing about your child’s favorite bottle floating away.

Protect Your Head

Rocks. Ledges. Trees. Other riders. When the ride gets adventurous, the chances of hitting your head increase. Nothing to worry about because you’ve got the kids wearing safety helmets. And these aren’t a recommendation – regulations require them on your whitewater rafting trip. If the kids are complaining about the sun in their eyes, add a ball cap underneath. And if you must wear sunglasses or eyeglasses, be sure to include a “leash” around your neck so they don’t go in the drink.


For more information on what to bring, check out our handy checklist and our article about what to wear on the river here.

Pay Attention to your Guide and The Rules of the River

White water rafting guides receive extensive training to really know the river, how to handle any situation, and of course to successfully navigate your raft down the river safely. They’re equipped to get the most novice riders, your children in this case, through a fun and enjoyable ride. Aside from rowing commands in the raft, a safety briefing always starts out the trip on a great foot. And before your raft touches the water, they’re going to give a detailed overview of guide commands as well as practice once you start down the river in the easy sections. Rafting with kids means they’ll be repeating them a few times throughout the trip. Some of the most common whitewater rafting commands are:


Put in: this is the start of the trip when the raft launches off into the river’s water

Take out: the end of the rafting trip and where the gear and raft get pulled out and loaded up on trailers to go back to the outpost

River Left/River Right: most guides will sit in the back of the boat looking down river. When something comes up that the kids will enjoy, they’ll use these commands. Watching for and pointing out wildlife, geologic features, and interesting river elements makes the trip entertaining in addition to the guide’s jokes!

Swimmer: whether intentional or not, a rider who falls in the river is a swimmer. If you or one of the kids falls in, the guide will shout out “Swimmer!” to get everyone’s attention as the members of the boat pull the swimmer back into the raft.

Flip: the raft has capsized. And now you and the kids are all swimmers. We’ll say that one was intentional.

Safety Kayak: safety kayakers will go with your raft to keep an eye on any hazards, new rapids, or rescue swimmers.

Yes, Take the Kids!

White water rafting is a great way to spend time outdoors with the kids and build amazing family memories you’ll cherish. Adventurous. Wild and wet. Everything a child loves. There doesn’t have to be hesitation if you’re taking the whole crew along on your next vacation. 


When you’re in Colorado for your next trip, choose the best with the Kodi Rafting Team online or by phone at 970-668-1548. We’re here to get you and the kids out on the water today!

White Water Rafting Checklist

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is what to bring along to your whitewater rafting adventure, so here's a handy checklist for our guests to look over and use in order to be best prepared for a fun day on the water!


This is the river that attracts kayaking fans from all over the USA

Colorado Winter Snow’s Impact on Spring Rafting

We’re in the heart of winter, but we can’t help but wonder how the upcoming rafting season will kick off this spring! After all, winter snowfall and snowpack in the winter have a direct correlation to how our rafting season plays out. Even in the winter months, we start to have a pretty decent idea of how rafting will be later in the year. 

How does snowpack in the winter impact our rafting season?

Snowpack forms from a series of snow storms throughout the season. Snowfall essentially builds layers of preserved moisture to form in high altitudes and cold weather areas. In the winter, snow pack greatly impacts skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, backcountry touring, and avalanche conditions, but it’s important to remember that snow pack affects Colorado year round - not just in the winter. During the warmer days of summer, snow pack can affect all your outdoor activities, especially whitewater rafting.

To put it simply, Colorado’s snowpack acts like a drip irrigation system. As temperatures rise in the spring, snow melts slowly and steadily, first saturating the dry ground, then flowing into our rivers and streams, and filling up our reservoirs. When we get heavy winter snowfall, that snowpack is likely to produce higher-than-normal water runoff in the rivers and streams across Colorado.

On the flip side, when Colorado experiences a winter drought without significant snowfall, rivers and stream levels drop and our rafting season may be shorter. Lower water means that our guests and raft guides will experience slower water along with lower water levels. For those of you excited about rafting in the Spring when water is likely to be higher, we encourage you to watch the timing if you want the most exciting whitewater of the season!

What are previous years showing us?

There is an impact we’re experiencing from our warming climate and ongoing drought. Climate change and warming temperatures can lead to faster snow melting. The trend of warmer climates over the years is concerning and is disrupting this system in numerous ways. Year after year, unusually dry soils from warmer temperatures and a lack of moisture has the earth absorbing more of the water from our snowpack. This means that less water is making it into rivers and streams, essentially limiting the efficiency of the melting snow. When temperatures rise earlier in the Spring and snow stops falling, the snow melts more quickly, and the land becomes drier in the late summer timeframe, impacting wildfire risk.

When researchers analyzed years of snowpack data across the western half of North America, especially in Colorado, they found that snow has been melting earlier in the year than it did in the mid- to late-20th century. If snowmelt begins to dry up earlier in the season, there is less runoff to flow through the ground during the summer months. Unless precipitation increases through rain in warmer weather, there will be fewer overall water resources for us all.

Colorado experiences many different seasonal changes throughout the year and we can even see weather change dramatically over the course of a single day. Our hope is always for more snow throughout our winters which in turn produces better rafting conditions for our whitewater raft guides and guests. High water is measured through stream gauge river sensors recording streamflow in cfs, which stands for cubic feet per second. In other words, river cfs is the amount of water flowing past the sensor at any given point in time. The more water rushing past the sensors indicates the whitewater volume moves at a very swift and fun pace. 

Whether we have a long season of high water or lower river flows, we can’t wait to see you on the rivers this season. It’s not too early to start planning your trip with Kodi Rafting. Choose your river trip here and contact us today for information and reservations online or give us a call at 970-668-1548, so we can help guide your plan for experiencing the rivers of Colorado!

The Majestic Arkansas River

We’re so lucky to call Colorado home not only for the endless beauty, but because we get to raft one of the longest and most magnificent rivers in the country - the beautiful Arkansas River. The Arkansas River runs through Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, with the river’s source starting in our state of Colorado near Leadville, and dumping out into the Gulf of Mexico. The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River and is the sixth-longest river in the United States, making it one of America’s most popular rivers for adventure seekers and water enthusiasts alike. The Arkansas River runs as a steep, fast-flowing mountain river through the Rocky Mountains in it’s narrow valley dropping 4,600 feet in 120 miles- making it perfect for whitewater rafting.

So, what’s the major significance of this particular river? Millions of years ago, the Rocky Mountains formed the Sawatch Mountain Range and over time, rain and snow runoff from these mountains sculpted the rocks creating jagged peaks and sweeping valleys. This shaped the landscape all the way from the Colorado mountains to where it flows into the Mississippi River in Arkansas.

Once it was formed long ago, the Arkansas River played an important role in western population expansion. From 1819 to 1846, the Arkansas River was the official border between Spanish Mexico and the United States. It was only after the Mexican-American war that the Arkansas River was said to lie within the boundaries of the United States. There was also a brief gold rush along the river which attracted thousands of early explorers to look for gold in its waters, but it wasn’t long before the gold was exhausted and gold seekers moved on elsewhere.

While irrigation is still significant along the Arkansas River in eastern Colorado and western Kansas, water management has helped to keep the river flowing throughout the year. Managing the water levels enables white water rafting groups to enjoy this river responsibly during summer months. The Ark, as locals call it, gains momentum as it flows past some of the biggest mountains in Colorado, benefiting from their abundant snowmelt in the spring and summer and the tributaries that feed it. Water levels vary depending on the amount of snow and precipitation we receive each winter season which melts from the many mountains surrounding the river. Just imagine how much water comes down from some of our tallest peaks that are 14,000 ft tall! After snowmelt has run out, get it while the gettin’ is good because the Arkansas' raftable flows only happen during a specific time of the year, with that flow slowing by mid-August. Basically, Clear Creek Reservoir, which is 3-4 miles downstream of Granite pumps water into the Arkansas so that the water levels don’t go below a certain raftable level during our high peak summer months.

KODI Rafting’s Arkansas River raft trips range from mild, scenic floats to world famous class III to class IV whitewater. Our most popular Arkansas River trips take guests through the gorgeous Browns Canyon National Monument or through the raging rapids of the Numbers north of Buena Vista. The Arkansas River is ideal for families with young children, groups with mixed skill levels, and adventurous teens and adults. Choose your river trip here and contact us today for information and reservations online or give us a call at 970-668-1548, so we can help guide your plan for experiencing the waters of the Arkansas River!

Planning the Perfect Guys Trip

As life gets more complicated, it grows harder to stay in touch with our friends due to jobs, families, cross-country moves, you name it! So should you just give up and say, “I guess we’ll just see each other on social media from now on.”? No way! The answer is to plan an annual guy’s trip. It’s easy to create a habit, or ritual, of meeting up with your buddies in person every year.

Whether you’re trying to put together the best bachelor party in recorded history, you want some special one-on-one time with your sons, or you just want a memorable weekend with the college buds, we’re here to provide options for an awesome guys trip in the Buena Vista area.


Honestly, a getaway to Colorado just isn’t complete without a trip down the river. We’ve got you covered for that adventure! From class III trips involving some difficulty navigating objects (rocks!), to the class V thrill seeker/experts-only trip, you’re not going to want to skip out on the high adventure that whitewater rafting gives your group of guys. Join us for a rafting/zip-lining combo to double up the adventure. Enjoy two fun, quintessential Colorado activities in one easy, incredible day. Zip and Raft the Arkansas River starts at the Arkansas River Outpost for our 1/2 Day Browns Canyon raft trip—one of the world’s most popular whitewater rafting adventures! A whitewater rafting trip is a staple adventure when venturing to the mountains, and we’re here to help lead your guys on the experience of a lifetime.


After a day on the river, keep up the outdoor adventure by experiencing Colorado’s beauty in the summer with a camping trip. There are tons of options of where to camp, but to narrow it down to a few, here’s what we suggest: For those desiring an off-grid experience, dispersed camping on BLM land could be the perfect option for you. With few amenities and more immersion in the great outdoors, dispersed camping is definitely more of a rustic experience. Still pack light, but make sure to bring plenty of warm layers (it gets chilly at night even in the summer!), a sturdy tent with a rain fly, and ample water (including for washing up) for a trip to any of these dispersed campgrounds!


River rafting camping trips include a wilderness campsite with an erected tent and hanging hammock

For dispersed camping near a mountain lake, head to Baldwin Lake, Hancock Lakes, or Pomeroy Lakes. With high-altitude lakes and stunning views, these campgrounds are perfect for those who want to bring a fishing rod along or take a very cold water dip. Make sure to find a place to pitch your tent at least 100 ft from the lakeshores to protect the pristine alpine environment. It’s also super important to check the local guidelines for fire restrictions, you may be restricted to your camp stove. Know before you go!

As we mentioned, while you’re camping with your guys, fishing in any of the numerous bodies of water is a must do. Our lakes, rivers, and streams in Colorado are filled with loads of different fish species, with trout being the most prevalent. Some local fishing spots we recommend checking out near Buena Vista are the Arkansas River, Arthur Lake, Blue Lake, creek fishing, and high altitude lakes. The Arkansas River has gained national recognition for the quality of its fishing and the many aquatic insects which are the source of its consistent dry fly fishing. There are high elevation meadow segments, steep bouldered canyons, and miles of productive pocket water holding 1500-4000 trout per mile. For more info on fly fishing or to book a guided trip, check out Ark Anglers, a local BV company that is well respected in the industry.


From May to October, Colorado boasts some of the most exciting and picturesque off roading trails in the country. When you come out with your guys, renting ATVs, 4-wheelers, or a heavy-duty Jeep is another thrill you’ll want to add to the list of activities. We recommend giving BV Jeeps or NOVA Guides out of Camp Hale a call for trail recommendations and rentals for a half-day, full-day, or even a multi-day adventure. Exploring the Buena Vista area on a high powered machine gives way to some pretty special hidden places in the mountains you guys won’t want to miss!


After your days of packed adventures, head over to one of our favorite places in BV, Deerhammer Distillery located at 321 E Main Street. The cocktails are handcrafted and delicious. Deerhammer is known for the best Sloe Gin Fizz ever, and they distill single malts, bourbon, rye, limited run single barrel spirits including a clear whitewater whiskey that is infinitely drinkable. Get a cocktail, take the tour with said cocktail in hand, mingle with the raft guides and other colorful residents that frequent this local institution. And of course, take home a bottle with a couple of recipes to relive the experience at home after you enjoy their funky little patio. And the food truck on the patio is a great place for food too. The Distillery is definitely a fun place for you and the guys to hang! For other great food and beverage options, here is a recent article highlighting some of our favorites!


We’re looking forward to being the peak of a great adventure with the guys by showing you a great time on the river. We hope these other fun ideas will make for an unforgettable trip that you’ll want to make a yearly ritual. No matter what fun activities you plan, we know that a great guy getaway is going to offer activities that the whole group can get on board with, and it will give you the chance to interact with your fellow guys in a really fun atmosphere, so enjoy all the possibilities of a great outdoor adventure! Colorado will give you guys all of that and so much more because it’s such a special place and truly the perfect dude-centric getaway.


It's Time to Get Outside with Kodi Rafting

As the world starts slowly opening back up again, we recognize that there’s no playbook for living through a pandemic, or even getting your life back to ‘normal’, so we’ve created one for you so you’re able to kick start living your best life in the great outdoors of Colorado!

During uncertain times over the past year, the idea of cultivating personal happiness might seem trivial, but it might be more important now than ever before. There’s unwavering evidence that positive moods can boost our immune system and can protect us from respiratory viruses, so it’s not something to feel guilty about, it’s a smart strategy just like washing our hands! But can you actually boost happiness during the down-turn of a global pandemic? It’s certainly not as simple as washing one’s hands – but there are actions we can take to manifest joy, like being outside in nature. We might even say the best way to manifest joy is by being out on the river! It’s proven that exposure to nature has been linked with better general health, less stress, and increased happiness. What better way to reconnect with family and close friends while enjoying the outdoors than taking a rafting trip down the pristine waters of Colorado on a beautiful blue sky day? We say, it’s time to get outside with the Kodi Rafting family for some well-deserved fresh air on Colorado’s favorite whitewater adventure experience!

While we’re so excited to get back out on the white water, we’d like you to know we’ve taken some extra precautions for our daily operations to put you at ease and that we are doing everything we can to ensure the health and safety of you, our guests, and our staff. First, Kodi takes your health and safety extremely seriously. From fully wiping down our boats, to our touchless check-in, and sanitizing gear after each use, our goal is to support your craving for adventures, safely. We even invested in new gear this season to be sure each item is top of the line. We also are proud to say that Kodi had no COVID infections last year as we have taken the CDC guidelines very seriously. By being safe and taking preventive measures, we are welcoming the upcoming rafting season with open arms and we are looking forward to a summer filled with fun and we hope you will join us.

Our focus has and will always be on the safety during your raft trip. As we move forward and our country begins to heal, we encourage you to join us for a trip of a lifetime! There’s no better way to reconnect with friends and family, and get rid of your ‘FOMO’ of activities than spending an afternoon on the river. This summer is going to be an awesome fun filled and exciting time to get back to feeling more you, more free. It’s time to get back to living your best life!

Once you book your trip on the Upper Colorado, the Arkansas River through Browns Canyon, or Clear Creek with us, keep in mind it’s still wise to adopt some of these habits:

-Keep a mask handy. Be prepared to cover your face on the bus or van ride.

-Let us know if you would like to reserve your own boat, keeping your group to just your travel companions. We totally understand that you may prefer to maintain additional social distancing measures, and we will do our best to accommodate you to the best of our ability, so long as it does not compromise your safety on the river! If you arrive with 4 friends or more you’ll automatically get your own boat, so definitely plan to bring your friends!

-Wash your hands and be respectful of those around you so everyone can enjoy and have a great time.

– If you’re sick, please stay home.

– Check out our page on What to Expect for your day of rafting.


Two ladies posing while wearing personal floating devices before going on a whitewater rafting

With most cafes and restaurants starting to open up, feel free to grab lunch in town and bring it over to Kodi’s picnic tables to enjoy by the river. Whether you want to arrive early and enjoy your lunch before your rafting adventure, or save it for after, you and your group are more than welcome to refuel at our picnic tables we have set up outside!


We’re so excited as this rafting season begins, and can’t wait to see you on the river! Choose your river trip here and contact us today for information and reservations here online or call us at 970-668-1548, so we can help plan the highlight of your vacation! You deserve this time outdoors to really connect with nature and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Colorado river basins. You’ll discover the beauty of Colorado by raft, and truly understand why KODI Rafting has such a high number of repeat and happy customers that keep coming back to join us on the river for more fun year after year and leave us awesome reviews on Trip Advisor!


Dillon, CO- The Ideal Place for Adventure

Dillon Colorado is a little town packed with a lot of fun- the perfect place for a weekend filled with adventures. Nestled in the rocky mountains and lush forests of Summit County, Dillon is popular in both summer and winter and is known for the giant Reservoir, Lake Dillon, which sits between Dillon and Frisco. From local breweries, delicious restaurants, endless outdoor adventures, and live music at the outdoor amphitheater, Dillon has something awesome to offer everyone, no matter what time of year it is.


In the winter, Dillon is an ideal location for visitors as it is pretty centrally located between five world-renowned ski resorts, so you can take your pick! Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Breckenridge, Copper, and Loveland all have family terrain as well as great tree skiing and more advanced runs. If you’re not keen on skiing, don’t worry, there’s plenty of other ways to enjoy the mountains in the snow.

Whether you’ve been on a snowmobile or not, there are a few great companies throughout the county that will take you on a guided tour throughout the mountains of Summit County. The mountains combine with lofty altitudes to create a tremendous snowpack that is ideal for snowmobiling. Keystone Snowmobiling Tours and Rentals (only a few miles from Dillon) offer an adventurous high country escape, with an endless supply of powder-filled bowls and meadows to explore. Give them a call at 970-455-4040 to make reservations in advance.

The Ice Castles are a winter favorite, and another fun adventure. The castles are built by using hundreds of thousands of icicles hand-placed by professional ice artists and you can see them from January to March. The castles include breathtaking LED-lit sculptures, frozen thrones, ice-carved tunnels, slides, and more. Visit their site to get your tickets in advance. 

In the summer time, Dillon has many biking trails, but the most popular is the 18 mile loop around Lake Dillon which starts at the Dillon Amphitheater and ends at the Frisco Marina. We highly recommend doing this loop- the views are outstanding and you have plenty of opportunities to observe wildlife along the way! Rent a bike for the day and maybe even pack a lunch for a picnic- there are so much great places along the trail that you can stop to catch your breathe and enjoy the sights.

Lake Dillon is the world’s highest deep-water marina, so it doesn’t quite warm up enough for people to swim in it, but plenty of people still enjoy pontooning, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, and sailing on the lake on a hot Colorado day. We recommend giving Dillon Marina a call for rentals or you can check out their website here.


The Town of Dillon has three really great breweries that you shouldn’t miss out on. Dillon Dam has amazing lagers and ales, a warm family friendly atmosphere, and a tasty menu. Pug Ryan’s Brewery has a nice mix of all different kinds of brews, and yummy $10 burgers and beers for happy hour. If you enjoy craft beers, then Baker’s Brewery is your best bet with a classic pub entree menu.

It’s hard to pick a favorite because Dillon has tons of great food options, but one of our favorite lunch spots in Dillon has to be Arapahoe Cafe. They were named the best restaurant in town! Their sandwiches are delicious and they make some really good BBQ too. On a beautiful Colorado-blue sky day, grab a seat on their patio and enjoy the mountain views and the background of Lake Dillon.


In the warmer months, enjoy an outdoor concert at the Dillon Amphitheater- you won’t be disappointed! Bringing in local artists and even big headliners, Dillon Amphitheater opens up to a grassy field on the shoreline of Lake Dillon where you can bring a blanket and sit and enjoy or stand in front of the stage up close to the music. The Dillon Amphitheater is inspired by their scenically spectacular lakeside venue over-looking the majestic Rocky Mountains. Stay tuned for the summer line-up.


A new hotel is being built in Dillon and should be completed by the end of winter 2021. The Pad will be repurposing one-trip shipping containers and it will have 30 rooms and around 101 beds with private higher-end suites but also dorm-style bunks which will be inside the shipping containers. The hotel will have rooftop and patio bars, common spaces, a hot tub, lobby, event space and is supposed to be finished by the end of winter 2021, when it will look like any other small boutique hotel. Check out their progress.

There’s no doubt that people flock to the mountains of Summit County in the winter to ski and enjoy other fun adventures in the snow, and in the summer when the wildflowers are vibrant and full, the great outdoors are where outdoor enthusiasts want to be. Staying in Dillon is one of the best little towns in Summit County to truly experience it all. Try one or all of the above mentioned adventures, restaurants, and experiences, and you’ll be able to capture a love for the winter and the summer in Summit County in a heartbeat!