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River Rafting & Rock Climbing Safety

Learn About Our Safety Policies

Customer Acknowledgement

River trips, rock climbing, zip lining, and fishing are adventure sports and involve elements of risks on the part of the participant. Although we take precautions to ensure a safe and exciting trip, we cannot be responsible for personal injury/death or lost/damaged articles. We require that you acknowledge these risks by participating in a safety briefing prior to your trip as well as reading and signing a liability release prior to departure. You can find a copy of the liability release below. There are many options to choose from that offer varying degrees of difficulty, so make sure you choose a trip within your group’s personal limits and keep all participants in mind.

Be prepared and understand the risks.

High water season in Colorado is typically early to mid-June. This can differ depending on weather and snowpack. Water levels and weather can affect difficulty levels. For information about water levels and weather conditions, you can contact us. You can also follow river levels at  You will be wearing a Class V personal floatation device the entire trip.

Minimum age guidelines will help you find the right trip for your group. Our minimum ages are not exact, they are a guideline for you to use when making a decision about the adventure you are choosing. Factors that go into minimum ages include but are not limited to a person’s height, weight, physical capability and previous experience levels. We are dedicated to your safety, and our reservationists are an excellent source for you to work through the options available to your group. These ages are a guide; it is up to the participants and their guardians to choose an adventure within their limits. Minimum ages can change due to weather conditions and/or water levels.

Guide Training in Gunnison Colorado
White water rafting in Colorado near Gunnison

River Difficulty Classifications

You can rate a specific rapid by class, or rate a general class to a whole river even though it has several different classes of rapids within it. The class of a rapid or river can change at different water levels. The temperature of the water, the air temperature, the remoteness of the river, and the difficulty of a rescue can all influence the rapid’s class.

Class I – Easy. Small riffles. No significant waves or obstacles.

Class II – Novice. Moderate rapids with regular waves, small drops, clear passages and wide channels. Occasional maneuvering may be required.

Class III – Intermediate. Moderately difficult rapids with larger irregular waves, often narrow channels. Complex maneuvering to avoid obstacles required.

Class IV – Advanced. Intense, powerful rapids requiring precise maneuvering in fast, turbulent water. Complex channels with many significant obstacles to be avoided.

Class V – Expert. Extremely long violent or obstructed rapids, often following each other almost without interruption. Drops may have large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with difficult routes. Steep gradient.

Class VI – Unrunnable.

Classifications of river sections can change due to water levels.

For information to help you choose a trip, or for any questions, you might have please, call us and our office personnel will be happy to assist you in putting together a river experience. Or, contact us.

Wetsuits are recommended and may be mandatory for Class III and above river adventures. Wetsuits are not only for your comfort but also for your safety. Because of cold water and rocky river bottoms, wetsuits and splash tops make a big difference. If you don’t have your own equipment, it is available at our Taylor Boathouse.