Gunnison River Colorado Family Rafting

River Rafting the Gunnison Town Run for Beginners

Whitewater rafting in Gunnison, Colorado is a super fun, splashy, and scenic way for beginners and kiddos to experience the mighty Gunnison River.

The family-friendly Gunnison Town Run begins between Almont (south of Crested Butte) and Gunnison, Colorado and features continuous moving water and some splashy Class I and II rapids. The river carries you alongside lush green pastures, beautiful groves of cottonwood and aspen trees, and amazing alpine scenery. Seeing the occasional wildlife such as moose or bears is an added bonus! This route also brings you up close and personal with impressive ancient volcanic rock formations rising upward from the river to the sky.

When you reach the Gunnison River Whitewater Park, prepare to get soaking wet as you navigate one of three of the park’s man-made wave features! Hiring a rafting guide service is your best bet for a great experience on the river.

 Gunnison River Rafting Family

How should I prepare for rafting this section of the Gunnison River?

You should plan on getting WET! Booking your rafting trip with an experienced guide makes the day run much more smoothly. Here are a few things you should know:

  • Your outfitter provides and fits each guest with a Type V Coast Guard approved life vest.
  • Wetsox, wetsuits, paddle jackets, and helmets are available but are not necessary for everyone making the Gunnison Town Run.
  • Wearing swimsuits and nylon shorts works great, and for layering use synthetic fabrics that insulate when wet, like fleece and polypropylene. It’s best not to wear cotton clothing as it draws warmth away from the body when wet.
  • Wear secure footwear, such as river sandals with an ankle strap or sneakers.
  • Bring sunglasses with a strap.
  • Be sure to apply sunscreen before getting in the raft, even on cloudy days.
  • Have a towel and a full set of dry clothes for after your trip. Bring dry socks and shoes as well if you plan on wearing sneakers.
  • Bring any prescribed medicine such as epi-pens and asthma inhalers, and let your guide know about your needs.
  • If you'd like to bring snacks or beverages along (no alcohol), your guide will store it in coolers and transport it on the trip.
  • Anything you bring on the trip will get wet, so it’s best to leave valuables such as jewelry, cell phones, and cameras in your vehicle or at home. Most outfitters will have photographers stationed at photo-worthy points along the way to capture those adventure photos.
  • Check with your outfitter before bringing pets along. Some allow this while others don’t.

Group of family members in raft on the Gunnison River

Now that you know a little more about the Gunnison Town Run, if you’re ever in town and looking for a family-friendly adventure, book a rafting trip with a local guide service. With this route’s many access points, rafters can enjoy an exciting half day or full day along this 18.6 mile section of the Gunnison River.

Have you rafted the Gunnison River with kiddos or as a beginner? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below!

We’d love to hear about your Gunnison River rafting trip! Share with us in the comments section below.

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