Intermediate Whitewater Rafting: Rafting The Blues

At Timberline Tours we have The Blues (intermediate, family-friendly whitewater rafting trips) and we couldn’t be happier.

Class III White Water Rafting

What is a Class III Intermediate River Trip like? These fun, splashy, stretches of Colorado whitewater offer adventurous, teamwork paddling without the concerns of the more challenging, adrenaline-inducing features of our Class IV whitewater trips. Class III rivers have obstacles such as rocks and hydraulic river features, but they are easier to avoid than those on harder stretches of whitewater .

We have FOUR different blue-level/intermediate whitewater river trips on four different stretches of river, each with their own personality.  One of them will be a perfect match for your adventure style.

Shoshone Whitewater Rafting: This stretch of the Colorado River that runs through the stunning Glenwood Canyon is like that kid in school that everyone likes. This trip starts out with a mile of fun, splashy rapids and then calms back down for a relaxing six-mile float through the canyon.  Shoshone is a great combination of exciting paddling followed by relaxing time to talk and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. This stretch of river is dam controlled so we have great flows from May through September. Voted: Most Popular.

Photo Credit: Rapid Image Photography

Lower Eagle River Whitewater Rafting: This snow-melt fed river has no dams to control water flows so it only runs in the spring. The Eagle River is like a fun cousin who only comes to visit once a year.  This exciting stretch of river has three evenly spaced out Class III rapids: one in the beginning, one in the middle and one right before the takeout with fun splashy Class II rapids mixed in throughout.  Voted: Most Fun

intermediate whitewater rafting

Photo Credit: WhiteWater-Pix


Gore Creek Whitewater Rafting: Another spring, snow-melt fed stretch of whitewater, this beauty runs right through the heart of Vail, and can be hard to catch. If the water is too low there are too many rocks to navigate.  If the water is too high, there isn’t room to paddle under the bridges. Gore Creek has a very short runnable window and needs specific flows but it’s worth every second when you can catch it just right.  Voted: Most Elusive

Gore Creek Vail Colorado

Browns Canyon Whitewater Rafting: This stunning stretch of whitewater on the Arkansas River runs from early June through mid August through Browns Canyon National Monument. It’s a full- day adventure that includes a scenic drive over Tennessee Pass. Browns Canyon is a little like hanging out with the soccer team~ lots of action, teamwork and coordinated paddling to navigate consecutive Class III rapids through a jaw-dropping gorgeous canyon. If you like Shoshone but crave a little more excitement, Brown’s Canyon is a great follow-up trip. Voted: Most Adventurous

Photo Credit: WhiteWater-Pix

Fluctuating water levels affect the nuances of the difficulty of a stretch of whitewater, so our staff will help you determine the perfect Class III river trip to match your personality and adventure style.

Getting the blues has never been this much fun. Have fun paddling!


Timberline Tours is the Vail-area’s premier whitewater rafting and backcountry jeep tours outfitter, also offering stand up paddle board (SUP) and duckie river trips on Colorado’s Eagle, Colorado, and Arkansas Rivers. All of our guided trips are open to Vail, Colorado visitors, locals, families, and corporate groups.

To book your Vail, Colorado adventure, call Timberline Tours at (970) 476-1414, or email us at