Located close to Vail, Colorado, the Shoshone section of the Colorado River could very well be quintessential family-friendly Colorado rafting trip. This Class III stretch of whitewater is so beloved that we give it endearing nicknames: Sho-Sho, or just Sho, for short. And since we offer Shoshone trip variations to either increase or decrease the level of desired intensity, this trip is sure to please every person in your group. On the Shoshone section of the Colorado River, you’ll raft deep into the gorgeous Glenwood Canyon, where you’ll experience whitewater rapids and an incredibly scenic float.
Here’s what you need to know about Shoshone rafting, including seasonality, trip options, age and weight limitations, and more:
Shoshone Rafting: Setting and Overview
Rafting Shoshone begins with Timberline Tours picking you up at your Vail accommodation and bringing you to the Timberline Tours boathouse in Eagle, Colorado, where you will get outfitted with the essential rafting gear you’ll need for the trip, including personal floatation devices (PFDs), helmets, and paddles.
Once you’re all geared up for the trip, Timberline Tours will take your group to the Shoshone put-in on the Colorado River, and your guide will lead an interactive discussion that highlights tips for paddling, common rafting paddling commands, and essential rafting safety advice. Then, you’ll push out onto the river for an amazing rafting trip through Glenwood Canyon, a place of classic Colorado beauty.
While rafting in Glenwood Canyon, you’ll experience some really cool natural wonders, with rock walls towering above the river and hot springs abounding in the lower section. Along with amazing views, Shoshone includes a mile of Class III (intermediate intensity) rapids, followed by a calm and scenic float to the take-out in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. This stretch of river is a great introduction to whitewater rafting, and it’s fun for all ages. While Rafting Shoshone’s mild sections, you’ll be able to relax, jump in the river for a swim on hot days, or horse around having water fights with other rafts.
Shoshone Rafting Season
The Shoshone section of the Colorado River is best for rafting each summer from July through September, but river dynamics change throughout this seasonal window. Shoshone becomes prime for rafting in midsummer (July), when water flows remain steadily supplied by the dam. Shoshone operates at commercial safety cutoff limits in the early summer season (June), when snowmelt combines with open flows from the dam to really get the Colorado River raging, and it’s not available for commercial rafting until the water flow is stabilized. We advise those who would like to have a less intense rafting experience and require those who do not meet our age or weight minimums to opt for the Shoshone Skip the Rapids trip (see below).
In the late summer season (August and September), water levels on Shoshone continue to get lower. By August, Shoshone still has some really fun rapids, but the flat sections following the rapids become slower, which is perfect for those who want to enjoy a relaxing, float trip as the river winds its way through the scenic Glenwood Canyon. At the time of the year when water levels are lower, we advise those looking more intensity to choose the Triple Thriller Shoshone rafting trip (see below).
Shoshone Rafting: Trip Options
Timberline Tours offers morning Shoshone rafting trips, afternoon Shoshone rafting trips, a Skip the Rapids trip, and a Triple Thriller (three times the rapids!) trip. Trip options operate according to minimum age and weight requirements for the safety of guests and guides, too, so use this brief overview of Shoshone trip options to decide which trip best suits your group:
Shoshone morning trip:
The Shoshone morning trip begins at 9:30am and ends with a BBQ lunch at the Timberline Tours private river take-out in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Plan on a door-to-door trip time of approximately 6.5 hours. Age and weight minimums apply (see below).
Shoshone afternoon trip:
The Shoshone afternoon trip begins at 2:15pm and ends at the Timberline Tours private river take-out in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, where water and light snacks are provided. Plan on a door-to-door trip time of approximately 5.5 hours. Age and weight minimums apply (see below).
Shoshone Skip the Rapids:
This morning or afternoon Shoshone trip option is great for those who would like the option of a less intense rafting trip, and it is the required option for those who do not meet age and weight minimums of 8 years old and at least 50 pounds for the regular Shoshone trip. The Skip the Rapids trip is appropriate for children under the age of 8 years old, but the weight minimum for this trip is 30 pounds. Lunch is served after morning trips; water and light snacks are provided following afternoon trips.
Shoshone Triple Thriller:
This afternoon Shoshone trip options is perfect for those who would like to increase the level of intensity by repeating the one-mile stretch of Class III rapids three times. Don’t worry: this option doesn’t get boring, as guides run the rapids differently each time, which means you just might go backwards or spinning through the rapids. Age and weight minimums apply (see below).
Rafting Shoshone: Age and Weight Minimums:
The minimum age for the regular Shoshone trip and the Shoshone Triple Thriller is 8 years old and at least 50 pounds. The Shoshone Skip the Rapids trip is appropriate for children under the age of 8 years old, but the weight minimum for this trip is 30 pounds. Note: These age and weight minimums can vary depending on water level. Please call our offices to discuss age requirements closer to your trip date.
Call us anytime to consult if you need help deciding what trip is best for your group: (970) 476-1414. And if you’re ready to book your trip, go directly to the Shoshone rafting trip page, where you can reserve your guided rafting trip with Timberline Tours. Finally, be sure to check out our “What to Wear Rafting” advice ahead of time to know what will increase your personal comfort and safety on the trip.
CONTACT TIMBERLINE TOURS TODAY
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.