Cool off on the river


A fun family outing is the daylong river-rafting trip. During the early part of the summer, the snow-fed Eagle River is the scene of whitewater adventure as experienced guides lead you through the snow-fed rapids. As the snow melts away, the action shifts to the more serene Colorado River with its beautiful high-plains desert scenery and just enough white water to write home about.  By September, the water is typically low enough that we would encourage you stick closer to the ranch for other, more exciting adventures.

The rafting trips are suited to families with youngsters. The outfitters provide duckies (inflatable kayaks) for those seeking a little more adventure and independence on the trip.

The rivers are both about a two-hour drive from the ranch. Transportation is provided and you can bring your pillow to sleep on the drive or just enjoy the fabulous scenery. The rafting is included in your package and is fully guided.


If you decide to stay closer to the ranch but are still looking for a river adventure, then kayaking is for you! Located right in downtown Steamboat Springs on the Yampa River, this guided river class teaches you the basics of the sport before heading down the river. Chances are you’ll get wet on this trip! The minimum age for kayaking is 9 years as this sport takes a little more coordination and strength than the rafting.

The kayaking takes place in the morning the same day as the rafting trip and allows you to get back to the ranch to spend the afternoon out on the trail.

Insider tip on water sports

We do find that once at the ranch, guests often find that they don’t want to leave for the day for these water sports, as they don’t want to miss a day of ranch adventures.  One suggestion (if you think you might fall into this category) is to plan your rafting or kayaking trip on the Saturday prior to arrival.  We can put you in touch with our great outfitters so you may arrange for your own raft or kayak trip to not miss a day of fun at Vista Verde!

Also, please note that Rafting and Kayaking are offered only during our family weeks in the summer.  The rivers run a bit too low and it’s a bit chilly by the fall.