What You Should Know
We never set out to be Pagosa’s biggest rafting outfitter. When we started, we just wanted to provide our guests with a high quality and personalized experience that we’d want to take our own friends and family on.
Small Groups – As we have grown, we made the decision to offer more launch times and keep our trip sizes small rather than running large trips that can be a “herding sheep” type of experience. These small group sizes enable us to treat every one of our guests like friends and family and no one ever has to feel like they are just a number.
Premium Rafts – Our everyday raft is a “premium” watercraft that other companies offer as a pricey upgrade. Our 14′ Aire rafts offer more maneuverability and give 6 guests an intimate experience with our San Juan Whitewater. We feel strongly that our six guest to one guide ratio makes a better trip for everyone.
Short Shuttles – We have the shortest shuttles in town. Our downtown location, right across Main St. from the river, means that you will get to spend more time on the river and less time driving to get there. Three of our river access points are just minutes from the shop.
No Rental Fees – All the necessary gear to be comfortable on the river like wetsuits, splash gear and river shoes are included and complimentary.
Headquarters – Our downtown shop serves as a meeting point for all of our trips. Here we offer convenient parking, changing rooms, lockers, bathrooms, a great selection of whitewater gear, clothing, souvenirs, and all of those often forgotten accessories.
Free Photos – We want you to remember and share your adventures so digital photos are included on all rafting trips and Deluxe tubing trips.
YES. You don’t need to be an Olympic caliber swimmer but everyone in your group needs to have a swimming ability that is appropriate to the difficulty level of the trip you choose.
In the unlikely event that you fall out of the raft, you are expected to be able to take an active role in your own rescue by swimming aggressively back to the boat or to shore.
Selecting the appropriate trip for your swimming ability allows you to enjoy the trip and have fun rather than being fearful of having an “out of boat experience.”
- Expect to get wet!
- Swimsuit or quick-dry clothing
- Quick-drying shirt to wear under splash top when it’s cold
- Water bottle
- Shoes or sandals that can get wet (no flip flops)
- Sunglasses with strap
- Hat for sun protection
- We supply life jackets, splash gear, helmets, booties and wet suits when it’s appropriate
The Splash and Dash has scenic floating as well as fun waves through the downtown whitewater park. It is around an hour on the water and has short shuttles to and from the river. 50 lb minimum
Mesa Canyon trips are great for first-timers, families, and anyone looking for a less intense rafting experience. The canyon below Pagosa is scenic, isolated and a great 1/2 day escape. 50 lb minimum
Our West Fork trips are a perfect 1/2 day intermediate experience for anyone looking for whitewater thrills – first-timers included. 90lb minimum.
Please email or give us a call if you need help deciding what trip is right for you or your group.
May and June are best for whitewater rafting thrills. Peaks flows usually happen in late May or early June. By July, river flows in Pagosa are normally too low to raft.
July and August are warmer, but the river flows are usually much lower. We open our river tubing trips once the river drops below 400cfs on the Pagosa River Gauge. Normally this happens in late June or early July but can vary by a few weeks depending on how much snow the mountains received over the winter.
YES! We are a small company and many of our trips fill up. Making an online reservation right here on the website is the easiest way to secure your trip.
If you have questions, you can call the shop – (970)264-4202 – during our May-August operating season or drop us an email at [email protected] year-round.
We usually have our trip schedule open for bookings by mid March, once the Forest Service and BLM confirm our permits, launch dates and capacities.
Rafting Trips: If you have already filled out your online waivers and taken care of payment, be ready to meet your guides and start gearing up at the scheduled trip time.
Shuttled Tubing Trips: Be ready to load the shuttle at your scheduled departure time. We have changing rooms and lockers for your use. You are welcome to arrive as early as you need to change, get fitted for life jackets and river shoes, apply sunscreen, and prepare for the trip.
Guiding is a part of the service industry. If you feel that your guide has done a great job to enhance your experience, a gratuity is greatly appreciated. We are happy to add tips onto the card held on your reservation.
Yes. Every participant must complete a state-required liability waiver form. A link to the e-waiver will be included in your trip confirmation email so they can be completed before checking-in for your trip.
ALL MINORS not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian must have the e-waiver form signed by their parent or legal guardian. Without this form, the minor will not be allowed to participate.
Where We Go Out to Eat:
- The best Burger you’ve ever had at Sage Eatery
- Pagosa’s best Baja Style at Kips Grill and Cantina. Try the tacos!
- Bakery style breakfast at Pagosa Baking Company.
- Awesome NY style Pizza at Rosies Pizzeria.
- The best local beer at Riff Raff Brewing Company
- Fine dining at the Alley House Grille
- Sweet treats at PS FroYo.
- Our favorite Mexican and Margs – Chavolos
Where Our Friends Stay:
- A motor lodge with character – Motel SOCO
- Modern cabins on the San Juan River at Fireside Cabins
- Camping on the edge of the wilderness at Sportsman Campground and Cabins
- Boutique lodging inspired by the atmosphere of the 1950s roadside motels The Nightingale Motel
- Convenient camping at River Side Campground
- Large VRBO with MASSIVE views – Legacy Mtn. Lodge
Cheap or Free Local Activities:
- Play disc golf, hike, and bike on Reservoir Hill
- Hike on the Piedra River Trail and to Piedra Falls
- Stand with one foot on each side of the Continental Divide
- Soak in the Hippie-Dip Hot Springs
Recommended Local Activities:
- Horseback Trail Rides – Elk Heart Outfitters
- Hot Air Balloon Rides – Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures
- Guided Fishing – High Country Charters
- ATV Rentals – Outback ATV Rentals
- Hot Springs – The Springs Resort
- Fly Fishing – Piedra River Anglers
- Snowmobile Tours – Snow Country Adventures
- More Ideas from our Visitors Center