If you’re heading to Summit County this summer, you are sure to find plenty of activities in the mountains. Summer brings some of the best mountain biking in the Rockies, as well as beautiful hikes, fly fishing, ziplining, rock climbing, and one of the most popular past times: whitewater rafting in Summit County.
Summit County has so many activities to choose from in every season! Be sure to schedule in time for some of our favorites:
- Shopping at Silverthorne outlets
- Bike Riding along the Dillon Dam
- Experiencing the thrill of the alpine slide at Peak 8 Fun Park
- Fishing for rainbow trout along the Blue River
- Participating in a country western dance class at Silverthorne Pavilion
Whether you’re staying in Breckenridge, Frisco, Keystone, or Dillon, adventure is just a stone’s throw away! We love Summit County for its combination of cultural opportunities and outdoor adventures, with whitewater rafting being one of our favorites. Check out our favorite Summit County rafting options and enjoy time navigating some of the best whitewater in the country.
The Blue River
First and foremost, the Blue River is the only commercially rafted river in the 619 square mile county. Situated along the Continental Divide, many rivers headwaters start close to Summit County but aren’t raft-able until the water flows pick up. The Blue River, however, runs through the heart of Breckenridge and Silverthorne and is fed from snowmelt along the south end of the Tenmile Range. Heading west through Silverthorne, the Blue picks up and makes for some great milder rapids fit for the whole family. If you are on the hunt for some of the best rafting near Silverthorne, the Blue River is located right in Summit County and the short stretch of whitewater will make a perfect, quick adventure.
The Arkansas River
Looking for a true Colorado whitewater experience? The notorious Arkansas River has the most popular rafted stretch of whitewater in the country: the National Monument of Brown’s Canyon. You’ll also have the option of stepping your game up with Class IV and Class V rapids through the Arkansas River Valley. Your views will be of the breathtaking 14,000 feet plus Collegiate Peaks and you can enjoy time exploring the Buena Vista area after your rafting trip. Breckenridge Whitewater also offers multiple overnight excursions on the Arkansas River, where your guide will cook you meals and set camp up each night while you sit back and reflect on your day on the water. Breckenridge Whitewater’s Buena Vista outpost is just an hour away from Summit County, and the drive will go by quickly since you’ll be gazing at the surrounding mountain vistas the entire time.
The Colorado River
Fun for the whole family awaits along the Colorado River in Kremmling. It’s another hour drive, but yields similar beautiful roads through the Rocky Mountains. The Colorado River is mild and scenic, and you can choose different lengths of adventures from a half-day float to a multi-day excursion in the backcountry. If your teenager doesn’t seem very keen on a calmer float, Breckenridge Whitewater also offers inflatable kayak and stand up paddle board rentals. This change in rafting equipment will make the rapids seem much bigger and they’ll be able to navigate the way around the river alongside the crew in the raft.
Check out our current adventure discounts and get your Summit County rafting trip booked today!
Where to Stay
For those from out of town looking to explore Summit County’s whitewater rafting opportunities, the area offers plenty of lodging and camping options. Some of our local favorites include:
- Located downtown and near Peak 9
- Includes a sauna and soaking tubs
- Conveniently attached restaurant and bar (Cabin Juice)
- An indoor indoor trampoline for all ages
- Pet friendly
- Conveniently located with ski/hike in-out options
- Options from hotel style rooms to condominiums or suites
- Includes an arcade and mini-golf
- 2 pools and 9 hot tubs
- Choose from cabins or RV sites
- Located directly near hiking trails and between the Blue and Swan rivers
- Includes a pool, hot, tub, and fitness center
- Laundry services
There are also plenty of opportunities for dispersed camping in Summit County. Check out this dispersed camping map, as well as read the accompanying rules and recommendations about dispersed camping in the area.
- Check out Sancho Tacos & Tequilas for some of the best Mexican in the area. They offer a large variety of taco and margarita options and even have an extensive brunch menu.
- Visit The Historic Mint in Silverthorne and experience Summit County’s oldest building. The restaurant specializes in perfectly grilled steaks and seafood, and steak dinners include a free salad bar.
- The New Moon Café in Keystone offers breakfast, lunch, and cocktail options all day long, with a happy hour starting daily at 2pm. The café serves a variety of options including burritos, french toast, and paninis to keep everyone satisfied.
Still hungry? Check out 10 more Breckenridge restaurants locals love!
No matter where your whitewater adventure takes you in Summit County, we are sure you will enjoy a variety of dining and lodging options, as well as other activities to make your Summit County river experience the best adventure yet.