Advanced+ Class V. The most advanced section on the Arkansas River begins in the little mountain town of Granite, which quickly fades away as you enter the exciting Granite Gorge. These Class III and IV rapids are merely a warm-up for what comes next. Get ready to paddle hard as you journey through the Rite of Passage, the gates of Pine Creek, where the river narrows by half. Here you'll encounter the most continuous rapids in the state. This is where the river becomes a creek and its gradient drops an astounding 200 feet with a must-make crux move. This run demands good physical condition and a minimum age of 15 years is required (AVA reserves the right to change minimum age requirements depending on water levels and individual qualifications.)
Watch the live action! CLICK HERE to see video of Pine Creek and The Gauntlet!
Pine Creek is the steepest, most technical, and most continuous section of whitewater on the entire Arkansas River! We launch in the sleepy mountain village of Granite, which quickly fades away upon entering Granite Gorge. A few miles of Class III & IV warm us up for the spectacular crux of the run, the Gates of Pine Creek, where the river narrows to half its width and drops 200 feet over the course of one rapid! The bottom portion of the rapid features a must-make move around a boat-flipping hole that demands precise paddling and expert maneuvering! This rapid is followed immediately by the pulsing, complex Class V rapid called Triple Drop!
Before you head out the door, double-check the meeting time listed on your confirmation. This is the time you will want to arrive at the outpost. If you arrive earlier than the listed time, you may spend a lot of time waiting around for the other groups to arrive. If you arrive 20+ minutes after the listed time, you will forfeit your reservation.
Once you arrive at our outpost, check in with our friendly office staff and sign liability waivers. You can also download and print your waivers in advance. If anyone in your group is under 18 years old and will not be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, they will need to get their waiver signed in advance and bring it with them the day of the trip.
After you've checked in, our staff will direct you outside where you will receive wetsuits, life jackets, helmets, and splash jackets (if the weather warrants). You'll have time to change into your swimwear and lock your other belongings – wallet, valuables, dry clothing – in your car. Make sure to hang up your keys in the outpost so you don't have to keep track of them while you are on the river.
It's time to go to the river! We'll shuttle you by bus or van to the put-in, where we'll unload the boats and match you up with your guide. You will receive instructions on how to paddle and what to expect on the river, as well as a detailed safety talk. Wondering what kind of safety information you'll receive? Check out the summary here.
Once your group gets out on the water, you'll have a chance to practice your paddling skills, and before you know it, you'll be headed into the whitewater! Splash through thrilling rapids, take in the stunning scenery, and let your guide entertain you with local history, ecology, and more. When you reach the end of your river trip, we'll pick you up and shuttle you back to our outpost.
After you get back to the outpost, turn in your gear and change back into dry clothes. Check out the hilarious and action-packed photos from the day, and get your favorites printed right in our shop, or have them burned to a disc to take home and print yourself. Browse our retail shop for tons of AVA and rafting paraphernalia, from t-shirts and hats to picture frames and coffee mugs.
Looking to see more of the Arkansas River? Upgrade your trip to a full day adventure and experience the Numbers section of the Arkansas! Our Arkansas River Full Day trips include a hot fajita lunch prepared riverside, by your talented raft guides. Want to make your half-day rafting trip a full day outing and save money? Add rock climbing or zip lining to your day in the Colorado Sun. We offer many package trips, which include a half day of rafting and an afternoon of rock climbing or zip lining. Or looking to change it up? How about rappelling down to the boat before your trip? Check out the Pine Creek with Rappel trip!
Want to see the beauty of the Arkansas River Valley from another perspective? How about via horseback? Just down the road from our outpost we offer a variety of rides from your basic two-hour trail ride, to a sunset ride and a waterfall ride.
Staying in Breckenridge? We also offer trail rides on Peak 9 of Breckenridge Mountain. Embark on a 1.5 hour ride that offers awesome views of the town of Breckenridge and surrounding mountains.
AVA provides wetsuits and splash jackets free of charge if the weather warrants their use. Wearing a wetsuit is often not necessary; they are most often needed early season, if the weather is rainy, and for or our Class IV-V trips. For these advanced trips, we highly recommend you bring additional synthetic layers (as described below). Please also bring the following with you:
All trips depart as scheduled regardless of weather. AVA reserves the right to change or substitute river sections at any time due to weather conditions and water levels.
For groups of less than 10 people: Cancellations made prior to 14 days before the trip will be refunded 90% of the total trip cost. Cancellations made within 14 days and outside 2 days before the trip will be refunded 50% of the total trip cost. Cancellations made within 48 hours of the trip are nonrefundable.
For groups of 10 or more: Cancellations made prior to 14 days before the trip will be refunded 90% of the total trip cost. Cancellations outside of one week and inside of two weeks will be refunded 50% of the total trip cost. Cancellations inside of one week are nonrefundable.
NOTE: Cancellation policy applies to the full amount of your trip.
Change policy: Inside of two weeks of the trip, changes made to the date of the trip will result in a $10 change fee per person. Changes may not be made inside of 48 hours.
With Cancellation Insurance: If you have purchased cancellation insurance, you can cancel up until 12 hours before your reservation and receive a refund of 90% of the total trip cost. You can change your trip day up until 12 hours before the trip free of charge. The date change must be in the same year as the original trip date.
AVA reserves the right to cancel any trip due to an insufficient number of bookings. Should we need to cancel your trip, the full cost will be refunded or credited to another trip according to your wishes.
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