Going white water rafting has been on the bucket list and this summer we crossed it off our list while vacationing in Keystone, Colorado. We had the most amazing experience with Performance Tours! They offer several trips in different areas, all within an hour or two of Keystone Resort. The closest rafting trip was the Blue River half day, but we wanted a full day trip, so we looked at the Royal Gorge Full Day and The Brown’s Canyon Full Day trips. The Royal Gorge is a little further away from Keystone and the rafting is a little more challenging than Brown’s Canyon. Since it was our first time rafting, we decided on the Brown’s Canyon Full Day. It costs $98 for a child and $108 for an adult, but as SummitCove guests, we got a special discount for everyone in our group!
We met our guide at the Performance Tours Boat House in Buena Vista, at 10:00 am and then we shuttled to the put in at Fisherman’s Bridge. Everyone was chatting about it being a perfect blue sky Colorado day and the views of the Collegiate Peaks were astounding. It was amazing how many companies and people were all there at the put in and yet how quickly we still got out on the river. Our guide gave us a safety talk and told us she had been guiding this part of the Arkansas River as well as the Royal Gorge for 5 years. I felt confident in her abilities and she was super friendly and had vast knowledge of the river.
The river was fast moving and our guide was shouting paddle commands at us and we were following her directions with wide eyes! Our guide had complete control of the raft. It would look like we were going to hit a rock and then at the last second she would turn the boat and we would skim past the rock and catch the current, it was so exciting! This stretch of river has several class 3+ rapids and I was launched out of the boat in the rapid called Pinball. I was paddling and the next thing I knew I was in the river, completely under water. Before I had a chance to freak out I looked up through the water and I was right next to the boat. I could see our guide. Before my head was above water I reached my hand up and our guide grabbed my life jacket and before I knew it she pulled me back in the boat. I was in and out of the river so quick, it was like it never even happened. I had an incredible rush of adrenaline and I am grateful for the quick response of our raft guide. She was awesome and saved me from a nasty swim!
We stopped for lunch, on a sandy beach, on the side of the river and had make our own sandwiches, with all the fixings. I don’t know if it was the swim I had or the mountain air but that was the best sandwich I ever ate. After lunch we continued on and hit more rapids, with the last rapid being Seidel’s Suckhole. Our guide said it is named that because years ago a guy named Seidel got sucked into the hole and he is still down there! We nailed that hole and fortunately everyone stayed in the boat and noone got to meet Seidel.
The joke became that the swimmers had to buy beer at the end of the trip and I was the only swimmer that day, so it looked like the beer was on me. We shuttle back to Performance Tours Boat House and I ran and got some beers and we sat out on the deck with the guides and the other paddlers on our trip, recapped our awesome day and looked at our pictures from the trip.
Thanks to Performance Tours white water rafting is crossed off our bucket list but it left us wanting more. So we added rafting the Royal Gorge to our bucket list. We will be back to do the Full Day Royal Gorge Trip with Performance Tours. They take safety and having fun seriously. We have an amazing story to tell and an adventure we will never forget! Thanks Performance Tours, for the thrill of a lifetime!