The Joys of Rafting With Groups

Life is better with friends and the Kodi Rafting family always enjoys hosting so many awesome groups every Spring and Summer on their whitewater river adventures. If you’re planning a summer weekend or longer Colorado mountain trip for your group, now is the time to start booking the details. Our team is ready to help you choose the best river trip for the ages, physical ability, and experience of your gang. So give us a call today and let us help you choose the experience you’ll never forget! 

A circle of hiking group putting their hands together in a forest after having whitewater adventures

Bachelor/Bachelorette Weekends

Wedding party trends are to book a special weekend away to get your bridesmaids and groomsmen together to bond and get focused on your big day. Vegas is one choice, but if your wedding party is more the outdoor, adventurous type, a Colorado mountain weekend complete with ziplining, horseback riding, and of course whitewater rafting will bond the group together more than time at a roulette table. And 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. For a full 7 hours of adventure, choose our most popular combination of a morning of ziplining paired with an afternoon of rafting Colorado’s favorite whitewater, the Browns Canyon National Monument. Lunch is even included, so your gang just needs to show up for a day of adventure and laughs. 

Five ladies on an outdoor bachelorette weekend with red champagne ready to go whitewater rafting


If your wedding is being held in the Colorado mountains this Spring or Summer, some of your guests may be looking for a great adventure while the wedding party is getting coiffed up. Choose a morning or afternoon whitewater river trip and provide that option to your guests if they are traveling all this way to be part of your special day, especially if they have never visited Colorado in the summertime. An intermediate trip gives you more options for those who are not as adventurous, and both sides of the family will start to build memories around the bride and groom that will provide stories over the buffet table. Class III rapids offer fun for everyone! 


Family reunions, fraternity bros or sorority sisters, girls’ or guys’ weekends, and class reunions are groups we get the privilege of hosting each season. The Colorado mountains offer so many fun experiences to build a memorable weekend, so if you are the overall organizer or just in charge of activities and entertainment, try blending whitewater rafting with mountain climbing (like one of the Collegiate Peaks), a mountain festival like the Frisco BBQ Challenge or Buena Vista’s Bike Fest, and one of several area hot springs. Check out our blog on great things to do in the Buena Vista area for more ideas, or this article about the 10 steps to family reunion success!

Boy scout jacket with many merit badges, including a Kayaking badge for beginner whitewater kayaking

Scout & 4H Troops, School Groups, and Sports Teams

We love hosting scout and 4H troops, school clubs and classes from grade school through college, and sports teams from around the world who come to build connections; learn about the rivers, history, and flora and fauna from our knowledgeable raft guides; and build connections through whitewater river rafting, ziplining, horseback adventures, and whizzing down Vail pass on a bike. With study ahead of time, learning along the way, and perhaps an essay assignment, students earn badges and class credit as a team, and get the opportunity to experience the Colorado mountains in a way they may never get to do with their families. Lifelong friendships are built when a boat full of kids are working together to maneuver their raft through the rapids and get to know each other’s strengths through team building. Every summer we host numerous baseball teams who are in Colorado for baseball and softball tournaments (such as the Triple Crown Baseball Tournament) and their coaches tell us how much the rapport built on the river translates to trust, communication, and positive vibes on the field. 

A kid running bases on a little league baseball team

Family Trips

A family trip to the Colorado mountains from around the world, throughout the United States, or right here in Colorado creates memories that last a lifetime and will be the stuff that your family will talk about for decades. A framed photo of your gang mastering the whitewater on your wall is sure to bring smiles and good vibes throughout the years. For kids as young as 7 or Grandparents who are more tentative, we offer first river rafting experiences such as a float experience as great beginner trips that will get them splashing through the river with giggles and smiles. Or step up to intermediate trips for teens and stronger paddlers, who go BIG with class III-IV rapids that add technical elements and more thrill and excitement. These are designed for your teens and 20-somethings 16 and older. 

Church, Adventure, and Community Groups 

Whether you are in charge of planning outings for your church congregation, youth groups, Meetup groups, newcomers group, or neighborhood you’ll be the hero by planning a fantastic whitewater day on the river! Perhaps include some serene devotional or bible study time for your church group near the river, plan a celebration of life or memoriam, or create something more oriented to getting to know one another. Planning well ahead and getting the word out early makes your organizing a breeze. Choose a date, a full or half day river adventure, or combine the rafting with horseback riding, biking, or ziplining for an adventure filled day. Or if your group likes to brave class III rapids in the morning and enjoy a hot springs soak in the afternoon, our highly popular half day adventure/half day soak gives your group that “ahhhh” in their day. Send out a link to our FAQ’s so your group members can research on their own, then organize transportation or carpools to arrive at one of our 6 outposts in the morning and your job is done! 

Corporate and Business Retreats

We all know rapport and trust in the workplace where we spend so many waking hours is important to a happy life. Whether your employees are from across the globe or a cubicle away, time recreating away from the meeting room, equipment, and screens is invaluable to building a productive work environment. Combine a little team training with a half day raft trip, or dinner on the town with a full day of adventure on horses, bikes, and whitewater to really pull your team together. It’s fun for your front of house staff to get to know the back office/kitchen staff in an environment that is not pressure-filled and includes nature and the elements. Memories and stories over the water cooler will last for years! 

For all your groups from 2 to 200, and ages 7 to 80, Kodi Rafting is here to help you get organized, geared up, and booked for a fantastic adventure your group will love. Click here to send us your group information or call us to talk about what would be your ideal adventure at 877-747-7238. We love to help!

Quick and Easy Guidelines to Buying Your First Raft

Colorado summers are marked by hundreds of rafts floating down the Centennial State’s rivers and for good reason. Rafting is super fun and a wonderful way to spend the day outdoors with family and friends.

If you’ve caught the rafting bug and are thinking about purchasing your own raft, here are some quick and easy guidelines to help you make the right choice.

  1. The larger the boat, the more people and gear it can carry.
  2. The smaller the boat, the more nimble and maneuverable it will probably be and the more exciting the ride in whitewater. Just don’t overload a small boat, because that will affect its maneuverability.
  3. A 12-13-foot raft is comfortable for a maximum of five-six people and a 14-15-footer will work well for up to seven or eight people. For two people, stick to a 12-foot or smaller raft.
  4. For multiday trips for two people, figure on at least a 13-foot raft. For three or four people, you’re looking at a 14-15-foot raft.
  5. A paddleboat means every one of the raft paddles and participates. With an oar boat, one person is in charge of maneuvering the raft.
  6. The wider the boat, the more stable it will be in whitewater. A narrower boat can fit through tighter rocky stretches.
  7. The distance between the side tubes of a raft determines the size of the cooler or dry box that will fit inside.
  8. A wider raft doesn’t necessarily have more interior room. If the boat has larger diameter tubes, that eats into this space.
  9. Have more questions? Contact KODI Rafting. Our rafting guides and experts can help you choose the raft that’s right for you.

Is Whitewater Rafting Dangerous?

Whitewater rafting is the ultimate in fun adventure. But like all outdoor activities, these wet and wild river trips involve an element of inherent risk. For those booking a rafting trip, isn’t it great to know rafting is actually far safer than many other outdoor sports? In fact, the most common rafting injury is either a sunburn or something that happens on land, especially when getting into and out of a boat.

Nonetheless, the media loves to sensationalize adventure accidents, and whitewater rafting is no exception. But in reality, the chances of being a statistic are actually very small.

River Valley, a New Zealand-based outfitter, crunched US and New Zealand data and found that fatal injuries averaged 1 per year since the beginnings of the rafting industry. Another study that used distance traveled on a raft as its base unit of comparison estimated that it was up to 100 times more dangerous to travel in a car on any given distance than what it was to be on a raft.

The reality is, like any outdoor activity, whitewater rafting is never going to be 100% safe. However, there are a few simple things you can do to help keep yourself safe once you have decided to go rafting.

  • Choose a river appropriate for your physical fitness.
  • Be honest with yourself about your physical limitations.
  • Listen carefully to your guides. Do your best to follow their instructions.
  • Make sure you wear helmets and life jackets at all times while on the water.

Here at KODI Rafting, safety is our #1 priority with FUN a close second. As a KODI Rafting guest, your safety is by far our #1 concern. Training in a dynamic environment such as the river is crucial to who we are and the experiences we offer. Our training staff has over 50 years of combined experience that they have passed along to all of our river guides. KODI also incorporates Swiftwater Rescue training into our continuing guide education – which is something very few rafting outfitters are able to do. We have the privilege of offering these courses through Sawatch Rescue, owned and operated by one of our founding KODI Family members.

How Do You Want to Get Down the River?

It’s no secret. Those of us at KODI love spending time on the river. It’s why we do what we do after all. However, with so many different ways to get down the river, each one of us has a boat (or board) we prefer. With KODI, you can have the opportunity to experience several different methods for ripping the rapids or floating over smooth waves. Not sure what we mean? Check out the following list of different ways to get down the river. Then call us, and let us know what you’re interested in trying.

Paddle Boat

A paddle boat (raft) is propelled by paddles. That is to say, everyone on the boat—guide included—uses the same tool.

In a paddle boat, you have the opportunity to become a large part of the river rafting experience because it's up to you and your comrades to guide the boat in the right direction. Your guide is there to assist you, telling you when to paddle and steering from the rear, but you and the rest of the folks in the boat play a very important role in safely navigating the river.

Oar Boat

While everyone participates in a paddle boat, an oar boat is powered by a single person utilizing two 9-10-foot-long oars positioned off of either side of the boat, allowing passengers to relax, lay back, and enjoy the ride.

For slow, flat-water stretches, there is nothing more relaxing than riding along on an oar boat.


Duckies are the more popular name for inflatable sit-on-top kayaks. These boats are fairly stable, relatively easy to paddle, and lots of fun. Paddlers sit either cross-legged or with their legs outstretched on the inflated floor chamber while leaning against an inflatable backrest.

Whitewater Kayak

Whitewater kayaks are molded in a semi-rigid, high impact plastic, usually polyethylene. Careful construction ensures the boat remains structurally sound when subjected to fast-moving water.

Whitewater kayaks range from 4 to 10 feet. There are two types of whitewater kayaks: play boats and creek boats. Play boats are shorter for high maneuverability and are used for performing tricks. Creek boats are longer and are more often used for large rivers where their extra stability and speed may be necessary to get through rapids.

Stand Up Paddleboard

Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is an offshoot of surfing that originated in Hawaii. Unlike traditional surfing where the rider sits until a wave comes, stand up paddleboarders stand on their boards and use a paddle to propel themselves across a lake or down a river's rapids.

KODI's Tips for Rafting with Kids

Are you looking for a new way to experience the outdoors with your family? If you haven't tried whitewater rafting, what are you waiting for? Rafting is a great activity for adults and children of all ages.

If you want to ride the rapids with your kids, here are some of KODI’s top tips for making your family rafting adventure a great success.

Be Prepared

When going whitewater rafting with children, it’s up to the parent to make sure the child is educated on safety protocols and proper etiquette.

Talk to your child about what to expect. Kids have wild imaginations, and they may be envisioning a scary, big water trip, when in fact, you have a mellow float planned. The same can be said in reverse. If you expect to hit rapids, let your child know.

It’s also up to the parent to have everything a child may need to have a comfortable rafting experience, such as snacks, water bottles, a towel, a change of clothes, and sunscreen.

Pick the Right Trip

Most raft companies, like KODI, offer family-friendly trips that run on milder stretches of water. These floats may even be able to accommodate babies and toddlers, given how fast a river is currently running.

With babies and toddlers, a river section without rapids, or with very small Class I rapids and riffles, is ideal. Elementary-aged kids and older can probably handle Class II and III rapids. The important thing is that they will listen and follow directions and they know what to do if they are ejected from the raft and end up in the river.

Older kids might be ready for bigger rapids, so talk to your booking agent and ask them what is most appropriate.

Always Put Safety First

Everyone needs to wear a PFD when on the boat or playing in the river—even good swimmers. Kids under the age of six or seven should wear a PFD in camp, too. Take swimming lessons. The better the swimmer, the better they will handle a spill into the river.

Stay Warm

Cold water can be a risk even on warm days. Have dry clothes, towels, and rain jackets in a dry bag. Kids get cold quickly in a boat since they aren’t moving around much.

Want to book a Colorado raft trip for your family? Contact KODI Rafting today, we’ll help you choose the perfect trip for you and your kids.

A smiling girl in a straw hat is lying on a white SUP board provided by KODI Rafting.

Get to Know KODI's Raft Guides

We asked our raft guides a few fun questions so you would have a chance to know them a little better.

  1. Where was your first raft trip?
  2. What's your favorite river/rapid to paddle?
  3. What do you love most about being a raft guide?
  4. What do you do during the winter?
  5. Where's your favorite place to camp or play in Colorado?
  6. What was the biggest or most challenging river you've ever paddled?

Check out their answers below.

Mitch Hall

  1. My first-time rafting was day one of training with KODI two years ago.
  2. The numbers is still my favorite section of river. Every year I learn more about this technical section.
  3. The whitewater community is a tight-knit group that takes care of each other.
  4. In the winter I am a ski patroller at Eldora Mountain. I typically ski about seven days a week.
  5. Rocky Mountain National Park is my favorite place in Colorado. It's so big!
  6. The upper Gauley river is the hardest river I have ever been on. It's a tradition of mine every September.

Ben Darby

  1. Royal Gorge
  2. Tunnel Shoot on the middle fork of the American
  3. Being in Nature
  4. Plow Snow
  5. Buena Vista
  6. Yuba class 5 in California

Jay Chambers

  1. 1989 in Colorado on the way to Philmont Scout Ranch for a two-week backpacking trip, we stopped in Buena Vista and rafted Browns Canyon
  2. Being out on the water, enjoying the outdoors and introducing new people to the experience.
  3. Ski and snowboard instructor at Beaver Creek.
  4. Anywhere, really. We live in an amazingly beautiful part of the country.
  5. A tossup between the Grand Canyon and the Tully River in Queensland, Australia during flood season.

Dani Daugherty

  1. The Lehigh River in the Poconos in Pennsylvania (pretty mild comparing to what I do now lol)
  2.  The Colorado River in the Grand Canyon
  3. Sharing with other people my love for the place I live in and the things I love to do on a daily basis
  4. Coach /teach snowboarding around Summit County & run an online CBD Oil Business
  5. Buena Vista, Colorado :)
  6.  The Upper Gauley in West Virginia

Your Raft Guide’s Qualifications

As a guest on a raft trip, you can’t help but wonder how qualified your guide is. I mean, your life is quite literally in your raft guide's hands.

If you’re rafting in Colorado, it’s comforting to know every raft guide must meet a minimal list of requirements set by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

These requirements include:

  • First Aid and CPR certification
  • 50 hours of on-river training using paddles, oars, or whichever equipment the guide will be using on river trips
  • Instruction on a variety of other topics, some of which include river hazards, river rescue, emergency procedures, maneuvering rafts, and running rapids
  • Guides must have seen the section of river they will be guiding, and they must pass a certification run with commercial guests and a guide instructor on board the raft

With KODI, our guide training doesn't stop at the minimum. We offer additional courses to improve our guides' river safety skills. These classes include:

Awareness Water and Rope Rescue: A course designed to develop knowledge of scene assessment and incident size up, resource ordering, activation procedures for rescue response, site control and scene management, and hazard recognition and mitigation procedure.

Swiftwater Rescue: A course that provides students with the fundamentals of survival in moving water

Whitewater Rescue: An intensive, hands-on course where guides learn to use techniques and simple equipment to assess and perform river rescues. The emphasis is on speedy, low-tech, and improvised rescue techniques that are effective and require minimal equipment.

Our commitment is to help you have a great time on the river and to provide you guidance from the most qualified guides with optimal training. Come raft with Kodi and enjoy your river adventure!

If you are ready to try rafting and zipline with your family, we are here to assist you.

Above Average Snowpack = Extreme Whitewater

The 2018/2019 ski season has been fantastic as snow has fallen continuously since November. Now, as spring approaches, it's time for us to celebrate because all this snow means monumental water on Colorado's rivers.

The state's snowpack currently measures 110% of normal. There's even more snowpack in the Arkansas River Basin where KODI runs a large portion of its trips, most notably our Brown Canyon rafting trips. In fact, the Arkansas River's flows are at 127% of normal!

This means it's going to be a big year for KODI. And if spring continues to deliver stellar snowfalls, we might go so far as to suggest the 2019 rafting season is going to be epic.

Don't miss out on this year's exciting water flows. Book at KODI Rafting trip today!

Five Reasons to Book an Overnight Rafting Trip

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

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

There is no need for money—or decisions

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

Camp in extreme comfort

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

Really see the stars for the very first time

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

Access the backcountry without breaking your back

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

Ditch Technology

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

The Ins and Outs of Becoming a Raft Guide

You’ve fallen in the love with the river. You've floated, you've jumped in, and you've swum. The river, you feel, is where you belong and where you find peace. So, maybe it's time to consider becoming a raft guide.

Before you commit, take a guided trip (or two) and get to know your guide. Ask him or her about the lifestyle and try to get a feel if this is something you really want to do. If you like the company you rafted with, ask the guide how you can work there next summer and take home an application.

The application process and the interview tend to be the easiest part. Show your enthusiasm and you might get hired. But, that’s just the beginning. Next comes training.

If you do get hired, it's always a good idea to be in your top shape before the training course and the season begins. The rowing machine at the gym is going to be your best bet because that's what you'll be doing... all summer long. Great raft guides have high energy and stamina and starting the season strong really helps with this.

Most tour companies run their own training programs. These can change season to season. But generally, you can expect several weeks of intense, physical activity, water safety instruction, and more. This can also be viewed as a try-out for newbies as it really gives a sense of a raft guide's expectations and what life on the river is all about.

While training for a whitewater rafting job is tough, it’s also rewarding. Train with KODI Rafting and meet new friends who also love living and working outside.

Our professional raft guide training program begins mid-May and lasts 10 days. It’s a great way to experience and learn more about the river in an individualized, student-teacher setting. You’ll get daily, intensive instruction in guiding oar and paddle rafts with hands-on practice in a supportive environment.

We’ll invest in you if you dedicate the time and energy to invest in developing your skills with us. Our whitewater jobs training program is not for everyone, but it may just be the most rewarding summer job you’ll ever have!

Apply to be a raft guide today!