Frequently Asked Questions

What sets Clear Creek Rafting Company apart from the rest?
As Clear Creek’s original largest and most experienced outfitter, Clear Creek Rafting Company knows how to help you and your group have a memorable experience. With free wetsuit and splash jacket use, and free digital photos for every trip, we offer the best value in rafting. We have always set a high standard how we run and operate our trips, from the facilities and equipment to the amazing guides, drivers and office staff who make it happen. You will get the same great experience at either of our two locations Clear Creek near Denver, or the Royal Gorge near Colorado Springs. Clear Creek Rafting Company was founded in 1992 by John Rice when he decided to attempt to make a living doing what he loved. His passion for whitewater has not changed since that first season and his love of rafting is still apparent today. As a company we look for that same passion in all of our staff. Our staff loves being on the water and sharing that experience with others, and we feel this is what makes every trip with Clear Creek Rafting Company stand above the rest. So regardless if you have John as your guide (yes he still guides boats) or one of the many other incredible team members we can’t wait to share what we love with you and your group. We look forward to seeing you on the river.
Do I need to sign a waiver?

All participants (and a Parent or Legal Guardian, if participant is a minor) are required to sign an Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risks and Release and Indemnity Agreement before participating, and understand that they assume responsibility and liability in the event of an injury or other loss. We recommend obtaining medical insurance through your personal insurance company. Click here to download a copy of our waiver. Any medical or mental condition or physical disability should be disclosed to your guide/trip leader prior to your trip. Rafting is not recommended for persons with serious medical conditions or pregnant women.

Which trip is right for me?

The main factors to consider when choosing a rafting trip are:

1) The desired level of adventure for all participants in your group.
2) The ages of all participants.
3) Your desired rafting location.

Our helpful staff is happy to answer any questions and help you choose the best trip to make your rafting adventure the highlight of your Colorado vacation.

Is rafting safe?

All of our guides are extensively trained in river rescue, first aid, and CPR. Many have advanced certifications such as Swift Water Rescue Technician, Wilderness First Responder, and EMT. Engaging in rafting and related activities involves inherent risks that cannot necessarily be predicted or controlled and can lead to injury and property damage. Please review our waiver for more information. We ask that you choose a trip within the ability levels of all participants in your group.

Do I need a reservation?

Reservations are strongly recommended but not required. Walk-ins are welcome on any trip, based on availability. Call 800-353-9901 or click here to book online! You can book your rafting trip on-line 24/7/365.

How do I make a reservation?

You can book a Clear Creek rafting trip on-line 24/7/365 or call 800-353-9901 to speak with our staff. We are happy to answer any questions and help you choose the perfect Colorado rafting adventure.

Do you offer group discounts?

Yes, we offer group discounts to groups of 10 or more as follows:

10-19 participants 10% discount
20-39 participants 15% discount
40 or more 20% discount

To qualify for group rates we do ask for 1 person to be responsible for all payments. Group rates do not apply if everyone in your group is paying individually. * Discounts cannot be combined with any other offers.

What are the cancellation and change policies?

Clear Creek Rafting Company runs all trips rain or shine, regardless of the weather. Please be on time. If you arrive late for your trip we may not be able to accommodate you and your trip will be forfeited. With at least 10 days notice, a full refund minus a $10.00 per person booking fee is available. Within 10 days of your trip you are responsible for full payment of each spot reserved and no refunds are available. Cancellations and changes cannot be made online or by email. They must be confirmed by a Clear Creek Rafting Company representative. Clear Creek Rafting Company reserves the right to cancel or alter any trip.

Should we tip our guide?

Gratuities are accepted and appreciated. If your trip was made better by your hardworking guide, a tip is a great way to say thanks. If you did not enjoy your experience for any reason, please bring it to the attention of our management.

What type of equipment do you need to go rafting?

We can provide everything you need for you rafting adventure! Each guest is fitted with a type V Coast Guard approved life vest and helmet. Complementary wetsuits and splash jackets are provided for all trips and may be required depending on trip difficulty and water levels. Neoprene booties are available for a small rental fee. We are pleased to offer hot showers at the Idaho Springs office for your post-trip convenience. Our rafts are state-of-the-art self-bailers equipped with foot cups that can accommodate up to 7 participants plus a guide depending on water levels and trip difficulty.

What should I wear?

You should plan on being wet! Swimsuits and nylon shorts generally work best; avoid cotton as it draws away warmth. For layering, stick to synthetic fabrics that insulate when wet, like fleece and polypropylene. Wool also works well. You must wear secure footwear such as river sandals with an ankle strap, our rental booties, or tennis shoes that can get wet (no flip-flops or crocs). Sunglasses with a strap and sunscreen are important for sunny days on the river. Dry clothing and a towel for after the trip round out the list. Most of these key items can be purchased at our shop.

What should I bring?

A change of clothes and towel that can be stored in our community lockers for after your trip. We provide complimentary digital photos of your group rafting however you are welcome to bring your waterproof camera if you choose. We have disposable cameras available for purchase in our store. You should also bring along any prescribed medication you may require such as epi-pens or asthma inhalers. Anything you bring on the raft will get wet and could be lost, so we recommend leaving all valuables such as jewelry, cellphones and other electronics at home or in your car. You may leave your car keys at our front desk prior to trip departure. Please leave pets at home, as our parking area does not have adequate shade to keep your canine friends cool in the hot summer sun.

Do I need to know how to swim?

All guests are outfitted with and required to wear a Coast Guard approved Type V life jacket that is specifically designed for whitewater rafting. All rafters must be willing and able to participate in their own rescue and need to be able to get to the boat or shore by themselves. Participants who can swim are more comfortable in the water and it makes it much easier to get out of the river should you find yourself out of the boat.

What are the current conditions?
Low Water < 300 CFS
Medium Levels 300 CFS to 700 CFS
High Water > 700 CFS

Click here to see the current water levels on Clear Creek. 

Idaho Springs Weather

Chance of Snow
Chance of Snow
High 23°/Low 3°
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy
High 24°/Low -1°
Snow Showers
Snow Showers
High 29°/Low 12°
High 31°/Low 7°
Can I request a specific guide?

Yes! All of our guides are fun and professional, but if you have a specific guide in mind you are welcome to request him or her. We will do our best to make sure you get to raft with your requested guide, but it may not always be possible, based on scheduling and availability.

How are rapids rated?

Class I

Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. There are few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.

Class II

Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed. Rapids that are at the upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class II+”.

Class III

Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. Injuries while swimming are possible; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims. Rapids that are at the lower or upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class III-” or “Class III+” respectively.

Class IV

Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. A fast, reliable eddy turn may be needed to initiate maneuvers, scout rapids, or rest. Rapids may require “must make” moves above dangerous hazards. Risk of injury to swimmers can be moderate to high, and water conditions may make self-rescue difficult. Group assistance for rescue is often essential and requires teamwork. Rapids that are at the lower or upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class IV-” or “Class IV+” respectively.

Class V

Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids which expose a paddler to added risk. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is recommended but may be difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is often difficult even for experts. Proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential.

Class VI

This classification is generally reserved for rapids that are considered un-runnable.