Black Canyon of the Gunnison River Class III
Gunnison Gorge Whitewater RaftingThis adventure through the Gunnison Gorge in western Colorado is adjacent to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. This 14-mile stretch of gold medal trout water has been nominated for "Wild and Scenic River" designation. Accessible only by foot or horseback, a rafting trip on the Gunnison River is a wilderness experience of the finest caliber for those who are willing to go the extra mile. The one-mile hike down to the riverbank with peregrine falcons souring above you is not to be missed and the solitude and unspoiled beauty of this river make this trip truly a unique river experience. The clear green water slips between spectacular towering black granite cliffs, dropping first into glassy pools and them plunging into foaming rapids. Scenery is reminiscent of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado.
The narrow river corridor of the Gunnison Gorge creates exciting white water thrills river rafting in Colorado as the rapids wind into the 2,800ft high walls of Black Canyon. Trust our experienced Gunnison Gorge guides for your rafting experience!
Only 8-10 guests per trip due to park regulations for the Gunnison Gorge, assuring you a quality wilderness experience. Hiking, fishing, swimming and testing our skill in the rapids are all part of what makes the Gunnison River a favorite of our guests as well as our staff!
|Gunnison River||Adults||Children 5-12|
|Black Canyon 1 Day Trips||$289.00*||$252.00*|
|Black Canyon 2 Day Trips||$525.00*||$472.00*|
|Black Canyon 3 Day Trips||$840.00*||$745.00*|
*3% tax, $2.00 per person per trip admin fee and $5.00 per day per person land and water access fee which includes the National Park Fees.
June is the Stonefly Hatch season for world class "Gold Medal" fly fishing for rainbow, brown, cuttthroat and cuttbow trout. Please call for launch dates in October.
Wetsuit rentals are available. You will get an email with additional information including the option to rent wetsuits.
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Gunnison River Trip
Trip meets at 7:00 AM.
Where to Meet
The meeting place for a Gunnison Gorge trip is the Gunnison Forks Pleasure Park (this is the finish point of the trip). This is midway between Hotchkiss and Delta, Colorado. Travel 14 miles east on Hwy. #92 coming from Hotchkiss. Look for the Gunnison Forks sign on the south side of the road and follow the dirt road south near this sign one mile to the Pleasure Park. Meet in the parking lot behind the kiosk.
In the upper right hand corner of this page, you can enter your location or a point that you know of and hit enter and google maps will open and show you a map to the meeting location and driving time.
Fly into Montrose, CO Airport: You can call your lodging to arrange airport pick up or rental cars are available. Pre-arranged, we can pick you up at your lodge on the 1st day of the trip.
Grand Junction Airport: (served by United, Maverick and other airlines) and rent a car for the 1½ hour drive to the Gunnison Forks Pleasure Park.
Alternately Denver International Airport: (served by most major airlines) and rent a car for the 4½ hour drive to the Gunnison Forks rendezvous.
What to bring
Please see our packing list.
* Money for souvenirs and guide gratuity (if appropriate)
Your guide will provide you with a small 14" diameter by 22" high waterproof bag (backpack straps attached) to transfer your overnight gear into. You will carry your bag, along with your life jacket and any fishing gear you bring, down into the Gorge. This is a hike of one mile which drops over 2,000 feet and usually takes 25 – 35 minutes. Weather is usually hot and we carry drinking water for hiking. Your vehicle will be left at the Pleasure Park and monitored by the people who operate this establishment. We will be taking out on the beach about 100 yards from the parking lot mid- to late afternoon on the last day of your trip.
First Day Logistics
Our 4 wheel drive takes about 1½ hours from the Pleasure Park to the trail head into the Gunnison Gorge. An additional hour is generally required to hike down to the river, rig the remaining gear to boats and do the safety and environmental orientation of the Gunnison Gorge.
Lunch is usually 1 – 2 miles downstream between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. therefore plan on eating a hearty breakfast before your morning meeting time. Food is available at the Pleasure Park Kiosk. They have flies, lures and miscellaneous fishing tackle, as well as an assortment of pop and beer.
Can our group be on the same boat?
Up to seven guests plus the guide can paddle in a raft. Groups larger than seven people must split between multiple rafts. We can tell you at the time of your reservation if your group will need to split up for other reasons.
Can I help paddle?
The paddle raft option is for our adventurous guests that want to have a hand in the action. Here, you are part of a crew and must contribute to the team effort in maneuvering the raft. The crew is captained by one of our qualified guides.
Will you teach me how to paddle?
Before every trip we conduct an in-depth participant safety orientation and paddling instruction. We regularly take first time rafters on most of our trips.
Can I just hold on?
You may elect to ride in an oar boat where the guide has complete control of the raft. This gives you freedom to admire the scenery and use both hands for holding on. This is a nice option if you have young children or senior citizens in your group. One or two non-paddling passengers may also ride on a paddle raft.
A guide captains every boat. Our guides represent the most qualified professionals in the industry. They are thoroughly experienced in the techniques of river running and are first-aid and CPR certified. Before guiding their first commercial trip, our guides receive river training that far exceeds the state requirement. What sets our guides apart is the personal attention they give our participants. Our crew of fun loving professionals is dedicated to making each and every trip the finest possible.
It is sometimes necessary for us to cancel or modify a trip because of unusual circumstances. We reserve the right to cancel or modify any trip due to weather or water conditions or other circumstances beyond our control. In such cases, we cannot be responsible for paying any expenses you may have incurred other than to refund monies due to you for trip costs per the policies below.
We recommend that you obtain trip vacation insurance in order to protect yourself from any losses you might incur if you suddenly need to cancel your reservation. If you have to cancel your trip and have not obtained trip insurance, we recommend you try to find someone to take your place.
Please read carefully our cancellation policy, below, as it applies in every instance:
When cancellation is made 2 days or more prior to departure, all monies are refunded less a 50% (of total trip price) cancellation fee, or the total deposit if it is less than 50% of the trip price.
With less than 2 days notice, no monies are refunded (this includes credit card charges).
When cancellation is made 30 days or more prior to departure, all monies are refunded less a 15% (of total trip price) cancellation fee.
With less than 30 days notice, but more than 14 days notice, a 25% (of total trip price) cancellation fee is non refundable.
With 14 days or less notice, no monies are refunded ( this includes credit card charges).
We recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance through Travelex Insurance (please reference locator account # 06-0520 – product # A0105102) in the event you need to cancel your trip with us.
Product No. TR01 05/00
Location No. 06-0520
Optional rental equipment and guide gratuities are not included in the trip price.