Clear Creek River, Idaho SpringsColorado
has more than its fair share of great whitewater rafting, but the stretch of Clear Creek at Idaho Springs, only about 35 miles from downtown Denver, has more thrills per mile than just about any other. Running through a historic mining valley, it’s the steepest commercially rafted river in the state, meaning you won’t find many flat stretches in between rapids. A number of rafting companies operate here, and all of them run trips suitable for beginners, intermediate-level rafters, and experienced paddlers looking for heart-pounding adventure; trips run in length from 1/3-day beginner runs to full-day advanced runs. And if you can take your eyes off the churning water in front of you long enough, you might just spot a bighorn sheep, or even a bear or mountain lion.