IHG Travel Blog

An adventurer’s guide to Colorado Springs: Water adventures


Colorado Springs is an outdoor water adventurer’s dreamland. With the Arkansas River flowing through half of the state, it’s the perfect river for challenging the rapids with whitewater rafting. There are also other rivers and lakes that have great fishing spots, and when you just want to stand in awe at a natural outdoor water wonder, Seven Falls is the must-see attraction.

Whitewater rafting

The most popular U.S. river for whitewater rafting is the Arkansas River, and much of it flows through Colorado. Whether you’re an experienced rafter or wanting to try it for the first time or whether you prefer fast rapids or calmer, scenic floats, Colorado Springs has numerous whitewater rafting companies offering you and your skill level the water voyage you’re in search of. And, no matter what Colorado Springs hotel room you choose, you’re never too far from a whitewater adventure.

Arkansas Valley Adventures is one whitewater rafting and adventure tour company you can choose from. At its Granite Outpost location, several family rafting trips are offered, including half day, three-fourths day and full day options through Brown’s Canyon and The Numbers. If the youngest person in your party is 16 or older, drive to Canon City and raft through the famed Royal Gorge. AVA provides free jackets and wetsuits with its trips.

A company that’s all about family-friendly fun is Echo Canyon River Expeditions. Since 1978, Echo Canyon has offered fantastic, memorable whitewater rafting trips for those of all ages and abilities. You can enjoy a 5-mile family float trip on the Arkansas River, raft through Bighorn Sheep Canyon for a mild trip with miles of beautiful scenery or buy a package where you go whitewater rafting and zip lining through Royal Gorge.

Another great way to experience the waters and scenery of Colorado are on rafting explorations with Noah’s Ark Whitewater Rafting and Adventure Co. This company is one of the largest and most experienced adventure companies in all of Colorado. Noah’s Ark’s most popular trips are its half- and full-day rafting excursions through Browns Canyon. The guides are all about giving your family an experience like they’ve never had before, and there are numerous family vacation packages to choose from to ensure your family has an unforgettable trip.

Image Source: Eric Goranso


The area around Pikes Peak is home to numerous fishing spots. You can go out on one of the lakes, stand on the bank of a river or relax on the edge of a dock with your pole waiting for the fish bite. Anywhere you pick, we guarantee you’ll catch your fair share of small and large fish. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, you can even hire a guide to take you to some of the best fishing spots in the area.

Image Source: Adam Sharron

Angler’s Covey is a company in southwest Colorado Springs that offers guided fly fishing trips and classes on how to be a skilled fly fisherman from experienced teachers. You can opt for a half-day, full-day or even a private water fly fishing trip, as well as all levels of classes. Angler’s Covey also provides you with the necessary equipment, waders and fliers when you go on one of its trips.

If you’re in need of a fly fishing retailer, the Peak Fly Shop is where you should go. Here you’ll find all the fishing equipment you need, but it’s more than simply a retailer. The Peak Fly Shop also has some of the best fishing guides and instructors in the region, who can teach you a variety of techniques and take you out on half- or full-day guided fishing trips.

Image Source: GarrettTT

Do you already have your fishing gear and aren’t in need of a guide? Then grab your pole and bait and take the short drive up Pikes Peak Highway to fish in one of the lakes in Pikes Peak. Crystal Reservoir, North Catamount and South Catamount are 3 great fishing spots that also have amazing views no matter where you’re standing.

Seven Falls

Seven Falls is a majestic waterfall located in southwest Colorado Springs. The total height of the falls is 181 feet. Stand at the bottom and listen to the rushing waters while enjoying all the beautiful nature surrounding Seven Falls or climb the 224-step stairway that’s right next to the waterfall that leads you to “Midnight Falls” and Inspiration Point. Besides climbing the stairs, you can also ride an in-mountain elevator up 14 stories to see the most stunning view of Seven Falls from the “Eagles Nest” platform. It’s one of the most beautiful places to be in all of Colorado, and it’s currently being made even better for visitors with its grand reopening happening in the spring of 2015.

Image Source: Darin House

So no matter what type of outdoor water adventurer you are, a trip to Colorado Springs is your perfect kind of adventure.

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