Camping Near Buena Vista

Camping is the quintessential way to get the full Rocky Mountain experience! Whether your idea of camping is in a picturesque and remote campsite, a site with all of the amenities, or in the comfort of an RV, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy camping near Buena Vista. And with plenty of outdoor adventure to be found in Buena Vista, there’s no better place to pitch a tent or park your camper! 

Dispersed Camping on BLM Land Near Buena Vista 

For those desiring an off-grid experience, dispersed camping on BLM land (meaning land owned by the Bureau of Land Management) 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, a sturdy tent, and ample water (including for washing up) for a trip to any of these dispersed campgrounds!

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 environment.

Browns Creek Trail also offers dispersed camping and has the added benefit of restrooms, which can be an important consideration. The Colorado Trail #1776 and Fourmile Travel Management Area also offer dispersed camping as well as space for activities like hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

Explore the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness as you hike the North Cottonwood Trail. This trail extends for 4.3 miles and leads to Kroenke Lake. Campers can park along the road to North Cottonwood Trail which is perfect for camping to get an early start on this beautiful trail. 

Buena Vista Campgrounds with all the Bells and Whistles

If you desire amenities while you camp or plan to bring an RV along, you can check out these paid camping sites. Campsites allow the convenience of on-site showers, restrooms, and more as well as the relief of having a saved spot when you book your reservation in advance. There’s no wandering around in the woods looking for a site when you reserve a campsite! 

The Arkansas River Rim Campground & R.V. Park offers tent sites, recreational vehicle sites, and camper cabins for nightly and weekly rates. This campground features amenities including restrooms and showers, laundry facilities, on-site river access, WiFi, and even ice and firewood available for purchase. 

For creekfront camping, head to the Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park. With both tent sites and space for R.V.s, this campsite offers access to Chalk Creek, a playground, games, and an on-site store stocked with all campground necessities! For even more comfort, you can book a cabin that comes complete with a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen.

Book a tent site, R.V. site, cabin, or a yurt at Arrowhead Point Campground & Cabins. Amenities like a pavilion, playground, sand volleyball court, badminton court, horseshoe pits, restrooms, laundry facilities, and even an espresso bar will make sure that you never run out of fun and entertainment while camping! 

Things to Do

Between nights sleeping in your tent or in your RV, explore the stunning natural scenery that awaits in Buena Vista! From hiking, horseback riding, and of course white water rafting, you can’t beat an opportunity to get a true Rocky Mountain experience. 

For hikers who want to gain some serious altitude, the Collegiate Peaks can be found outside of Buena Vista and feature a handful of 14’ers named after Ivy League Universities like Mt. Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Oxford. These trails are challenging, with serious elevation gains and varying conditions. Make sure you know the skill level and equipment you will need to have a safe day on these hiking trails.  

For a less strenuous hiking day, throw on your hikers and enjoy a trek along the 2.6-mile Lost Lake Trail which is an out-and-back style trail that is dog-friendly. Or, hike along Cottonwood Pass’s 3.1-mile trail that is also dog-friendly and offers plenty of stunning views. No matter what hiking trail you pick, exploring the natural scenery and keeping an eye out for wildlife and wildflowers! Just remember the Leave No Trace ethos and pack out what you pack in.

You can also hop into the saddle and enjoy the Rocky Mountains on horseback. Kodi features 2-hour horseback riding trips and a saddle-paddle experience that combines horseback riding with a white water rafting excursion. You don’t want to miss the experience to be in the Rockies like a true cowboy! And of course, you can’t experience a summer in the Rockies without a white water rafting trip! Take a full-day or half-day trip through Browns Canyon National Monument, navigate through the thrilling rapids on a Numbers trip, or, for the most advanced rafters, get on a full-day or half-day Pine Creek raft adventure including two class IV rapids like Triple Drop. With trips for all adventure levels and through stunning scenery, there’s really no better way to spend a day or overnight than on a Buena Vista river rafting trip!


The Ultimate Bachelorette or Bachelor Party in Buena Vista, CO

Congratulations- you’re getting married! The venue’s been reserved, the cake’s been tasted, and the photographer’s been booked. But what are you planning on doing for your final fling before the ring? Let us answer that for you. You’re going to gather your besties and plan a bachelorette or bachelor adventure in Buena Vista, Colorado!

Whether your bridesmaids or groomsmen have known each other forever, or they’re just coming together to celebrate your nuptials for the first time, nothing creates memories quite like a unique, fun, and exciting adventure! Located a beautiful drive 70 minutes south of Breckenridge on the Arkansas River, and among the Collegiate Peaks, Buena Vista will cover all your dream trip experiences. There is so much to offer in Buena Vista – from exciting outdoor adventures, to relaxing natural hot springs, having your bachelorette or bachelor party in Buena Vista will be a unique and memorable getaway that will be sure to last a lifetime! Here are a few ways you can celebrate the transition to becoming Mr. or Ms. Right:

Whitewater Rafting

From calm floats to extreme expert trips, Kodi Rafting has something thrilling for everyone. We love hosting Bachelor and Bachelorette parties for a fun day on the water, as our group trips are in high demand. Our most popular trip, Browns Canyon, starts from Buena Vista and is a class III adventure. A couple-hour rafting trip is a great way for your wedding party to bond, and getting photos of your wedding party going through the rapids will be a memory that will bring smiles to everyone’s face and tales of that one groomsman who took a swim. Let us know ahead of time you’re celebrating your bachelorette or bachelor party, and we’ll be sure to make it memorable. Once you’ve decided on which trip is best for your group, make sure to read our other blog post about what to wear when white water rafting to get your wedding party prepared for a great day on the water.

Horseback Riding

Seeing the mountains from the seat of a saddle with the people in your life that mean the most, is bound to be a beautiful experience. A trip like The Saddle Paddle sets you up for double the fun pairing a morning whitewater rafting trip with an afternoon of horseback riding in the Rockies. This trip is the perfect way to optimize an adventurous bachelor or bachelorette party while also crossing off two unforgettable experiences in one day. Whether your friends have prior experience riding a horse or not, we have multiple horses to saddle up on, and the horse wranglers help you choose the right horse.

Zip-lining

Check out our dual whitewater rafting and zipping trip to experience the mountains in a variety of ways. This whitewater classic offers unbelievable Rocky Mountain scenery, class III rapids, and calm water perfect for a relaxing float after your thrilling day. After your rafting experience, the shuttle will bring you back to the Arkansas River Outpost – a beautiful drive in view of several towering 14,000-foot peaks.

Breweries & Distilleries

Nothing says “bachelorette” or “bachelor” party like a stop at a brewery or distillery for celebratory toasts! In Buena Vista, Eddyline Brewery was founded to heighten life’s adventures by providing amazing wood-fired cuisine, the most drinkable craft beers, and warm and inviting atmospheres where you can celebrate, reflect on, and plan your next life adventure. With delicious brews, tasty appetizers, and mouth-watering BBQ, we highly recommend taking your party here for a bite to eat for lunch or dinner. If your party enjoys whiskey, you absolutely need to check out Deerhammer Distillery. From their cornerstone single malt to new 4-grain bourbon and limited run single barrel spirits, they’ve redefined the flavor of American whiskey. And they mix up craft cocktails using their spirits that are delicious and memorable. Buena Vista has other great options for food around town, so you can definitely fill your day tasting and sipping the best, local dishes, and cocktails in town.

Drive-In Movie

Opening back up in Spring ’21, Comanche drive-in is nestled at the head of the Arkansas Valley, at an elevation of 8000 ft, surrounded by magnificent peaks. Take your friends here for a 4K digital clarity movie one night while you’re in town and pack a picnic (and some classy champagne in flutes!) with cheese and crackers for a night under the stars. Get there early enough to enjoy the sunset while surrounded by some monumental mountains.

Hot Springs

Whether the focus of your bachelorette or bachelor party is pampering the bride-to-be or having one last wild night on the town, be sure to check out the hot springs that are in or around Buena Vista. Cottonwood Hot Springs are restorative and relaxing with soaking pools, fed by natural artesian hot springs while being a little more hippie-esque. Mount Princeton Hot Springs is another nearby oasis, with the option of booking two days of hot springs included with an overnight stay in one of their cabins or lodge rooms – such a great idea for a wedding party! Last but certainly not least, The Merrifield Homestead Cabins & Hot Springs combine both tranquility of nature and rustic handcrafted luxury. All of these hot springs will bring you relaxation and rejuvenation leading up to your big day.


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.

Recreation

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.

Food

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.

Entertainment

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.

Accommodation

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!


Your Rafting Photos for Sentimental Gifts this Holiday Season

The Covid 19 worldwide pandemic has certainly impacted all our lives, and brought into focus the gift of time with family and friends. With the holidays right around the corner, you’re sure to be on the hunt for perfect gifts to surprise the special people on your list. There’s no better way to remember adventures with family and friends than making use of your rafting photos as personalized gifts! Capture the excitement you felt while navigating the river on your rafting trips as you create a unique gift that is sure to be a highlight of the holiday season. From Holiday cards, to t-shirts for the next family getaway, or even a personalized mug for dad, you can highlight your past whitewater adventures in so many ways! Buy your whitewater rafting photos today to get ahead on your holiday shopping!

Include Your Photos in Holiday Traditions

Use your whitewater rafting photos to spread holiday cheer! Share your memories and adventures from the year by including the photos on your Holiday cards! Sending these cards will connect friends and family near and far as well as be a beautiful way to remember amazing memories exploring the rivers of Colorado with Kodi Rafting. You can add a sentimental touch by creating customized gift tags, wrapping paper, stamps, or gift labels that will make for a special moment before the gift is even unwrapped. 

Want even more personalized holiday magic? Turn your rafting photo into an ornament that will be a warm memory every year when it is hung on the tree during your seasonal celebrations. Including your rafting photo and date in your family’s favorite holiday traditions makes for a perfect reminder of the year’s memories.

Highlight your photos on Items for the Home

Another perfect way to mark the holidays and create a sentimental gift is to put your rafting photo on an item for your or your loved one’s home! Include your rafting photos in a calendar that will fill next year with memories. Start each day off right for your friends and family as they sip coffee from a personalized mug highlighted by smiling faces and roaring waters. Gift a custom blanket so your family member can cozy up under it at the end of the day comforted by the memory of time with friends and family. Or even put together a photo book that documents your travels and can serve as an accent to the coffee table!

A custom throw pillow adds a splash of decor and fun to a couch or chair while also showcasing your adventurous spirit. Order raft photo magnets to put a smile on the face of your gift recipient and bring a smile whenever that special someone opens their fridge. Or, create a custom candle that will bring light and warmth into the home of your family or friends. 

Want something to do with the family after all the presents have all been unwrapped? Gift a puzzle to work on together that, once completed, will reveal your looks of excitement as you go through the rapids! Personalized stickers can also be fun for children and adults alike as you decorate water bottles, notebooks, laptops, skateboards, or anything else you wish to personalize! Of course, you can always gift a beautifully framed photo or canvas print that will grace your loved one’s walls or shelves. Regardless of what home-enhancing gift you decide to customize with your rafting photos, these ideas will surely be a perfect way to relive past adventures. 

Rafting Photos As Fashion Statements

Turn your photos into a fashion statement or accessory! Unwrapping a gift that the recipient gets to wear and remember your whitewater rafting adventures is sure to make for a memorable gift. Plus, a custom t-shirt or hoodie can be the perfect accessory for a future family reunion or get together with friends! 

Carry whitewater memories with you with a personalized tote bag! From grocery shopping to the bookstore, or even just as a bag for going around town, having a custom tote will mean your memories travel with you or your loved one wherever they go. A personalized phone case can also serve as a daily reminder of your travels in the Colorado Rockies and even start conversations about your whitewater rafting experiences!

Transform your rafting photos into a cloth facemask. Help loved ones stay safe by gifting them a personalized facemask that will serve as a reminder of great memories made while adventuring in the mountains. No matter how you decide to accessorize with your rafting memories, this gift will be sure to bring a smile to your loved one’s face (even from under a mask!) and become a conversation starter to whoever they interact with. 

Transforming your rafting photos into a personalized gift for yourself, your family, and friends will definitely add magic to this holiday season. From a fashion statement to a home staple,, any way you pull in your photos will serve as a wonderful reminder of your trips down Colorado rivers!


Kremmling, Colorado: A Haven for Outdoor Adventure in the Rockies

Nestled where the Blue River and Colorado River intersect, Kremmling is a haven for outdoor adventure and small-town charm in the Colorado Rockies. Whether you are looking for an exciting day maneuvering the rapids of the Upper Colorado on a Kodi whitewater raft trip, a scenic hike, or a tasty bite to eat at a local spot, you’re sure to find something that will bring you back to this Rocky Mountain town time and time again.

Get Out On the Hiking Trail

Lace-up your boots for a hiking expedition! For an easy-going out and back trail, try Windy Ridge which will lead you to a lake and is also friendly for four-legged friends. For more of a challenge, take a hike along the 2.8-mile Gore Canyon trail. Along the way, you can enjoy the scenery of the breathtaking canyon and even bring along camping gear for a night spent on BLM land for a small fee. Looking for a longer trip? Try the Silver Creek Trail in Arapaho National Forest. The main highlight of this 12-mile trail are wildflowers that can be spotted along the journey. No matter the difficulty level, a hike in the Rockies is always a great way to spend the day.

Enjoy the Views on a Scenic Drive

The Trough Road, which is part of the Colorado River Headwaters Scenic & Historic Byway, sits right outside of Kremmling offering breathtaking views. Driving along the route, you will encounter winding turns and stunning scenery including both the Colorado and Blue Rivers. Make sure to stop and take in the view from Inspiration Point for views of the Gore Canyon where you might even spot a raft floating by! 

Spend Your Day on the Water

With two major rivers and a nearby reservoir within easy access, Kremmling is a hotspot for water recreation! Rent a boat or launch your own onto Wolford Reservoir where you can fish, water ski, knee-board, stand-up paddleboard, or simply enjoy being on the water. Looking for more adventure? Take a whitewater rafting trip along the Upper Colorado. Choose either a half or full-day raft trip that offers gorgeous scenery and mild waters perfect for families. Want to try navigating the river on your own? Book a duckie trip or add one to your rafting expedition to paddle on your own while still having the support of a nearby guide. Keep an eye out for local flora and fauna along the way and you may even catch sight of evidence of prehistoric creatures that once called the area home!

Take a Soak in the Hot Springs

After a day of rafting on the river or a nice long hike, ease sore muscles with a soak in the Hot Sulphur Springs. Take your pick of 21 mineral pools, all heated to temperatures ranging from 95º to 112ºF from nature’s power from underground hot springs. Looking for even more relaxation? Book a massage to truly treat yourself to a day of relaxation. 

For more of an adventurous day, you can hike a mile down to the Radium Hot Springs pools found along the Colorado River just a short drive outside of Kremmling. This experience offers scenic views while you sit in the natural pools. You can often find entertainment and friends along the way in the passing raft trips and cliff jumpers who dive into the chillier waters of the river. Whether you find a hot spring at the end of a hike or in a resort setting, a hot spring soak is the perfect way to replenish tired muscles and lift spirits after a great mountain adventure. 

Grab a Bite to Eat at a Local Hotspot

A day of hiking, rafting, fishing, or relaxing in a hot spring will surely work up your appetite. After a day of adventure, be sure to head into town to grab a bite to eat at a local dining hot spot! Stop into the Grand Old West for homestyle cooking like chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes and gravy while you sit in a charming rustic setting. Other nearby eateries include Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant, the Moose Cafe, and Big Shooter Coffee which is the perfect place to grab a coffee, pastry, and even an ice cream cone!

Whether you are seeking a whitewater raft trip, a scenic hiking trail, or a calm getaway to enjoy hot springs, the Kremmling area offers something for everyone! Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and explore the charm of small-town life in the mountains by finding a quiet hiking trail, fishing in a reservoir, or grabbing a bit from a local restaurant. No matter how you decide to spend your time in this Rocky Mountain gem, you are sure to make memories you will never forget!


Why You Need to See Colorado from the Seat of a Saddle

When you are considering what experiences are a “must” to check off your Colorado bucket list, you may find your search results looking something like ‘whitewater rafting near me’ or ‘horseback riding near me.’ But it may be difficult to fit in both activities when you have limited time left to explore the mountains. Luckily, you no longer have to choose one experience over the other when you spend the day on an Adventure Package day trip!

A trip like The Saddle Paddle sets you up for double the fun pairing a morning whitewater rafting trip with an afternoon of horseback riding in the Rockies, making for an unforgettable duo of Colorado adventures. This family-friendly day trip offers plenty of thrills while still being suitable for guests as young as 7 years old. Plus, you need look no further than the seat of a raft or saddle to find the most stunning views in the Rockies. From navigating a raft through Brown’s Canyon National Monument to journeying along a rugged trail on horseback, there is no better way to get a taste of western adventure in the Rocky Mountains! 

Make a Splash in a Whitewater Raft

Start the day ready to go in your whitewater-friendly outfit before hopping into the provided wetsuit, booties, and even a splash top that will help you stay warm. Finish off your look with a helmet, PDF (AKA your Personal Floatation Device), and strike a pose as a group with your paddles in hand before boarding your raft and setting off on your adventure. Once you get moving along the Arkansas River, get ready to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding Collegiate Peaks with many of the mountaintops soaring above 14,000 ft. You will also be immersed in Colorado’s mining history with railroad tracks and mine remnants that date back to the 1880s being visible along your water journey. Many of our guides may even be able to spill a few interesting facts about Colorado’s rich history or maybe even crack a joke or two. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for wildlife like the elusive bighorn sheep, soaring eagles and hawks, diving ospreys, and the occasional jumping trout. 

While you enjoy the view and scout for wildlife, keep an ear open and listen to your guide give helpful instructions on when it is time to focus on paddling and navigating the raft down the river. Along the way, you can expect class III rapids that will definitely create thrills and splashes while still being tame enough to be fun for the whole family. Meaning, there may be obstacles like exposed rocks and faster waters but nothing as technical as the more advanced class IV or V trips. You should expect to get wet from a splash or two but don’t worry, that's what your gear is for. You definitely won’t forget the experience of working together with family and friends to pass through challenging rapids!

Take in the Horseback Mountain Views

Experience Colorado’s western roots by stepping into some cowboy boots! After a morning spent on the river and a tasty provided lunch at the Mt. Yale Outpost, dry off and get ready to hop into a saddle to see Colorado from a whole new perspective. Once the primary way of exploring the Rocky Mountains, horseback riding allows you to relax and connect with the western history and natural beauty of the Centennial State.

Put your foot in a stirrup, grab the saddle horn, and swing yourself up onto the back of your horse. Bring along a cowboy hat to shade your head as you ride and you will feel like you stepped into an old classic western film. A genuine cowboy or cowgirl will lead you and your new four-legged friend on your expedition as you view the mountain trails like never before from the seat of a saddle. Enjoy the tranquility of the ride as you gaze across the meadows, hear the peaceful sounds of babbling creeks, catch sight of even more wildlife, and form a powerful connection with the amazing animal carrying you along the trail. Don’t forget to pack a camera in your saddlebag to capture your newly-found horseback viewpoint of the stunning mountain landscape as well as snap a few shots of family, friends, and your beautiful horse companion. These photos will remind you of your horseback adventure for years to come!

The Saddle Paddle is the perfect way to optimize family-friendly adventure while also crossing off two unforgettable experiences in a single day. Along the way you will encounter breathtaking views, landmarks of Colorado history, and also have the opportunity to make new friends in your raft guide, wranglers, and even your horse. Combining two of the state’s most iconic means of exploration, this action-packed day trip is sure to get you in touch with Colorado’s western roots all while enjoying memorable quality time outdoors with your loved ones.


What to Wear to Go Whitewater Rafting with KODI Rafting

You’ve booked your KODI Rafting trip, now the question is, what should you wear? If this is your first-time whitewater rafting, you probably have a lot of questions around proper clothing. It's important to dress appropriately when you’re getting on the river so that you keep warm and happy throughout your rafting trip! We will provide all of the rafting equipment that you’ll need for the day, but it’s important that you come prepared with proper clothing to wear on the river. We’ve come up with a list of must-haves for your upcoming rafting trip and where to buy these items locally.

Say No to Cotton

Make sure to check the weather before you leave to come on your trip. Just as with any activity, the time of year you choose to go rafting will impact how you should dress. Spring trips early in the season most likely will require heavier layers than a trip taken mid-summer when the sun is strong and hot. No matter the weather, avoid cotton, jeans, and long non-synthetic pants. Once cotton gets wet, it stays cold and gets heavy- not ideal for a day on the water. Depending on what trip you decide to do with KODI, it’s likely that you will get wet on the trip, so be sure to wear quick-drying shorts/top and/or a bathing suit under your clothes. If the forecast is sunny, it’s a good plan to have a synthetic shirt for sun protection and warmth. 

Proper Footwear is Important

Wearing sturdy footwear (no flip flops/crocs) is extremely important! Sturdy footwear can be sneakers, strapped sandals, or wetsuit booties that won’t fall off. Some of our favorite brands for good water shoes are Chaco, Teva, Keen, and Astral. When picking the right shoes, choose a pair that’s light-weight, moisture-wicking, and/or quick-drying. For those who might be worried about getting cold feet, consider investing in a pair of neoprene socks. NRS makes a great pair that is super thin but also warm. You wear them just like socks: put them under your river shoes and you’ll stay pretty warm. Grab yourself a pair at one of our favorite local shops in Buena Vista, CKS Main Street. These guys have tons of other gear available in store, and they also have great rafting shoe options. The Trailhead in Buena Vista also has great water shoe options, as does the local Outdoors & Mountain Market in Leadville.

KODI Rafting Gift Shop

Of course, you can grab additional items at our gift shop. KODI’s gift shop has a great selection of fun t-shirts, hats, souvenirs, and most importantly - sunglass retainer straps. Having the security of a sunglass retainer strap eliminates the likelihood of losing your sunglasses right off your head and into the water, never to be seen again. We can’t recommend grabbing one of these for your rafting trip strongly enough!

Melanzana: A Local’s Favorite

A Colorado staple clothing item that is 100% hand-made and loved by rafting and outdoor enthusiasts alike can be found in Leadville at one of our favorite local stores, Melanzana. A small group of locals started Melanzana back in ’94 and it has since exploded in popularity. Melanzana makes unique hoodies, beanies, dresses, and more. They have a few different fabrics, but a lot of Melanzana lovers go for their Micro Grid fabric, which is a super-soft lightweight fleece with a grid of open channels for maximum comfort and breathability. Micro-Grid fabrics are great for rafting season as it is fast-drying and pretty sweet!

Melanzana prides itself on their commitment to putting “quality, soul, and authenticity before quantity” so their 20-person team of skilled sewers carefully puts all the materials together, making each one unique. When they’ve made a new batch of products, you better pick one or two up quickly because they sell out fast! Their website shows current stock status, so you know what items they have currently available. Melanzana has just one rad store and it’s located in Leadville between our Frisco and Buena Vista outposts. Typically, the only way to get a Melanzana is to visit their store. However, this summer their store will remain closed due to pandemic restrictions, so if you would like to get a Melly, you’ll have to enter their lottery system. Read more about the lottery system here  www.melanzana.com/lottery

Bring a Change of Clothes

Melly’s are nice and warm and great to wear after your rafting trip with us. You probably don’t want to drive home in wet clothes, so plan to bring a set of dry clothes, socks, and shoes so you can change in the likely event you get wet. Bringing a towel and a bag for your wet clothes is very helpful too! If you think you might want to bring something small in the raft, consider bringing a dry bag if absolutely needed. Please note that we will be leaving most personal items locked in your vehicle. On most rivers, there is a photo company providing digital photos of you going through rapids, so don’t even worry about bringing your phone on your rafting trip. 

KODI Rafting also offers wetsuits, booties, and splash tops. Wetsuits are farmer johns and splash tops are heavy-duty rain jackets designed for the river perfect for cooler days. On our full-day trips, wetsuits rent for $10, booties for $5, and splash tops for $5. You can also rent the full set for $17, which is a great investment for being comfortable. On half-day trips, wetsuits rent for $5, splash tops for $3, and booties for $3. The full set goes for $10.

What does KODI Rafting provide for me that I do not need to bring?

  • Helmet
  • Paddle
  • PFD life jacket - required

KODI’s guides make your safety their number one priority, so each of these items have been cleaned and checked thoroughly and regularly to ensure the best possible experience for our guests!

  No matter what your whitewater rafting skill or experience level is, we are here to help you have the best adventure, and that includes dressing appropriately. A properly planned outfit will make all the difference while on your white water rafting adventure with us. Knowing what to wear is important, so here’s a checklist of the best product in each category for what you might want to have:

___ Quick-drying shorts/top - Prana is a great brand for men & women that can double as hiking clothes

___ Synthetic shirt for sun protection & warmth - The North Face offers sun protective, light-weight shirts

___ Water shoes - Teva is a sturdy and durable brand for excellent water shoes

___ Sunglasses

___ Sunglasses retainer - consider buying local, and buy this item at our shop!

___ Sunscreen - we offer choices at our shop

___ Sweatshirt or Melanzana - Made in Leadville, if you want incredibly comfy outerwear and would like to dress like a local!

___ Drinking water (we will also provide you with water if needed), ideally a reusable water bottle with a carabiner to hook onto the boat to avoid one-use plastic bottle waste

Give us a call if you have more questions about what to wear for your rafting trip at 877-747-RAFT. See you on the river! 


Classifications of Rapids for Whitewater Rafting in Colorado

Our whitewater rafting guests often ask us questions about river water depth, the kind of rapids they’ll be rafting through, and what the whole class system means as they prepare for their first or even 50th rafting adventure with us.  So we thought we’d bring some clarity to the question and give you an overview of rapids classifications for whitewater river rafting … and provide some expertise on the topic.

Factors in Rapids Classifications

Rapids and the classifications of whitewater vary due to different circumstances: water levels can be high or low depending on the amount of snowmelt and vary as weather conditions change. Our beautiful snowcapped Rocky Mountain peaks melt and flow into Colorado streams, rivers, and reservoirs starting in earnest in May, which is the start of the spring runoff. The start of rafting season usually kicks off in the middle of May as the weather warms up, and tends to max out the highest water flow throughout Colorado depending on altitude and distance from the deepest snow pack. In general, spring snowmelt brings higher water and higher levels of difficulty while running our rivers primarily because the water runs fast and furious, forcing quick decisions as river features change. Water levels fluctuate dramatically throughout the summer and our guides can even see differing conditions between a morning run and an afternoon trip when water levels are in a high state of flux.

What are Rapids Classifications?

Rapids themselves are graded on a class system starting at 1 and progressing to 6.  The higher up the scale they go, the more difficult and the more consequential the stretch of water will be. As an example, there are many variables that can change, either upgrading or downgrading the classification of a rapid. Rapid variables include water levels, objects, under

cut rocks, and strainers (like a log jam). Certain features within a river naturally are more difficult and make it more challenging to navigate. For example, Brown’s Canyon is less difficult to navigate than the Numbers section of the Arkansas River. This is why it’s so great to have an experienced raft guide to help you experience Colorado’s most beautiful areas safely. This, as well as having a great day of fun on the water, is what you experience when rafting with Kodi Rafting. Let’s explore the difference between each classification of whitewater in even more detail than is outlined on our website’s rapids classification page.

Class I is flat, easy moving current. Minimal moves, minimal difficulty. The most difficulty you experience on this level of river is navigating around bends and avoiding shallows, perhaps pulling into eddies. Think of this as a leisurely float down a river. Class I is about staying with the current and literally going with the flow.

Class II is moving current with slightly more difficulty and has specific moves that your raft guide needs to make in order to navigate the river efficiently. The difference between class I and II is the necessity to maneuver around objects or shallow sections. Class II is a moderate river trip and great for families. A bit more adventure and splashing without high anxiety. Join Kodi for class II trips on the Upper Colorado, Blue River, or Clear Creek for 1/2 day or full day trips.

Class III is a moderately difficult section of river, with slightly higher consequences, and with more difficult moves to be made by your raft guide. There is typically faster moving current than class I and class II, and there can be objects and things to avoid along your path. Some of these potential objects could impede your raft, or even flip you over if not navigated around properly. Class II, & III trips are your typical family trips with somewhat older or more adventurous family members. If you’d like to experience a higher level of family excitement, book our Arkansas 1/2 day or full day trip with Kodi at our Buena Vista location, or the Clear Creek Canyon trip departing from Idaho Springs to enjoy class III rapids.

Class IV is a difficult stretch of river. A class IV section has fun, fast and technical rapids. Standing waves, big rocks, turbulent water, and difficult features are all things you will find on Class IV river runs. These rapids are active: multiple objects, multiple variables and multiple moves involved in order to navigate safely. The Numbers of the Arkansas River, and Clear Creek are examples of exciting options Kodi offers to raft this kind of trip, for a high level of excitement and challenge.

Class V is for experts only. This is the most challenging level for a commercially rafted trip. Class V includes lots of maneuvering, with fast consequential moves. Teamwork, communication, coordination, and strong paddling are needed to safely navigate Class V sections of whitewater. These rapids can have large drops, violent currents, and extremely steep gradients – and loads of excitement!

Class VI is extraordinarily difficult or non-runnable sections of river. Rafters face extreme imminent danger. Think cliff drops, big rocks, and scary aspects of challenge. Class VI level rapids are never run commercially, and are often walked around by rafters to avoid them.

So whatever level of challenge, splashes, and excitement you desire, Kodi Rafting can deliver. From calm float trips to expert runs to go big, give us a call to book the rafting adventure that suits your family, group, or yourself!

Call to book your whitewater adventure with us today at 877-747-RAFT or book online here. See you on the river! 


KODI'S SAFETY RESPONSE TO COVID-19

We Focus on Safety for Your Raft Trip

We have added new procedures for our daily operations to put you at ease and make sure that we are doing everything we can to ensure the health and safety of you, our guests and staff:

  • When booking, please let us know if you would like to reserve your own boat, keeping your group to just your travel companions. We understand that you may prefer to maintain additional social distancing measures and we will accommodate to the best of our ability so long as it does not compromise your safety on the river.
  • Please be prepared to cover your face on the bus or van ride. Face coverings will be available for a nominal fee. You are welcome to bring your own. Your guide will not be able to hold onto it for you while you are on the river.
  • Implementation of a digital waiver system so you can sign pre-trip documents before you arrive. Don't worry, if you forget we will also have tablets available for you as well and the option for you to use your own mobile device. A link to your waiver is found in your confirmation email.
  • Installation of new hand sanitizing stations throughout all of our facilities as well on buses and vans. We want you to feel like you can freshen up on the go.
  • Disinfect and clean KODI transportation. We have enough buses and vans to rotate them out of service each day to make sure your ride is fresh and clean before it is put back into service between trips. You will also be offered sanitizer before getting into a KODI vehicle.
  • Wiping down restrooms, door handles and booking counters between trip departures in addition to regular scheduled cleaning and maintenance.
  • As always, we continue to sanitize all of our gear after use including wet suits, helmets, PFD's (lifejackets!), splash jackets and river booties. Remember you are always welcome to wear your own rain jacket or shoes on the river as long as they lace or strap around the ankle (no crocs or flip flops).
  • Also, know that your raft and paddles have been properly cleaned before you use them on your trip!

*We are learning each day. Our efforts are self-implemented and like many of you, we are charting new territory. We will do our very best to make sure we are working to stay on top of new health and safety regulations as they apply to our operations in the coming weeks.

 


An interview with Chas Branson – KODI raft guide extraordinaire!

Meet Chas, the Kodi’s Rafting Manager, Raft Guide, Kayaker, Guide Trainer, and all-around go-to dude! Chas is a 12-year raft guide and is about the most experienced, and the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. We had the opportunity to catch up with Chas before the season gets flowing and ask him a few questions. So when you see him at the outpost you can say hello and ask him about his many adventures. 

Q. Chaz, do you guide anywhere beyond the rivers here in the Colorado mountains? 

A. I have guided in South America - Colombia specifically, for a few years, during Colorado winters and before that, I wintered in Australia. South of the equator, I also guided in New Zealand. All are beautiful places and challenging with exciting whitewater. I make a lot of great connections through friends in the whitewater community and that helps me decide where to go next. Check out this photo of me kayaking over a Maruia Falls in New Zealand – totally exhilarating! 

Q. What is your favorite river you’ve rafted?

A. My favorite is actually in Australia where the rivers are the most challenging. The Tully Gorge near Cannes in Northeast Queensland is specifically my favorite, with beautiful scenery and great whitewater. In Colombia, I like the Rio Calderas and Rio Verde Rivers. I am not a fluent Spanish speaker, and I learned a lot being in Colombia!

Q. What else do you to during the Colorado winter season?

A. I am an avid snowboarder typically snowboarding at Breckenridge, which was obviously cut short this season. I used to manage a ski shop, Black Tie Ski Rentals in Breckenridge and love the resort. In mid-September I head to Gauley Fest in Summersville, West Virginia, which is a whitewater festival for raft guides and kayakers – wouldn’t miss it!

Q. What drew you to rafting as a career?

A. I grew up in Ashville, North Carolina and there is a lot of whitewater rafting there. I always remember rafting there as a kid. My mother bought me a PFD and a helmet when I was a kid and I’ve been hooked ever since! We drove by the local outpost everyday, and I couldn’t wait to be old enough to become a raft guide. As soon as I finished high school, I was applying for a job as a guide. I’ve thanked my Mother by taking her rafting around the world, including Australia. 

Q. Any interesting people you’ve taken rafting? 

A. Sure! I’ve taken lots of famous and successful people rafting including people like Emma Watson, Sara Blakely’s husband and his buddies, the Denver Nuggets’ head coach, well their entire coaching staff actually. Broncos players, Nuggets players, Internet figures, actors. The interesting thing is that these folks know they are out of their element and can let loose and have a great time. 

Q. What do you love about being a raft guide the most?

A. I really enjoy guiding people for their first time on a raft and getting them hooked on being on the river. But even more so it’s the phenomenal lifestyle, it’s literally a ticket to the world. In these beautiful places, everything goes away when you’re on the river. It’s the best way to live and I enjoy the whole lifestyle, including everyone involved in it. You don’t get to take money with you when you’re dead.

Q. Last question for you – what is your favorite part of guiding with Kodi Rafting?

A. Oh, the best aspect is definitely the people here, the family. After working with different raft companies throughout the world, the staff here keeps coming back for 5 and 6 years in a row. We live together during the winter, becoming friends and family and going through everything together. I wouldn’t want to raft and work with anyone else – Amy and Dave are great!

You can reach out to Chas if you have any questions for him or are interested in
becoming a raft guide at Chas@whitewatercolorado.com.