The kids are back from camp, you’ve been to baseball games and hit the swimming pool more times than you can count. But there’s still plenty of time for an epic summer adventure before school starts up again.
Centennial Canoe Outfitters offers guided and outfitted one-to-six-day canoe adventures on nine stretches of river in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming (plus, sea kayaking in Washington’s San Juan Islands and a multi-sport adventure in Costa Rica).
Since 1985, the company’s multi-day river trips (often themed—think stargazing, kid-friendly or wine tasting) include paddling, camping, hiking and plenty of play time and are led by experienced guides who are also pros in other fields—from geology to photography to IT. You bring your own camping gear, they provide the canoe equipment, guides, porta-potty, dry bags, all meals and cooking gear, water and lemonade, wine with dinner, and first aid and rescue equipment.
Ready to canoe through the red sandstone canyons of the Colorado Plateau? Here are six trips still available for a summer experience your family won’t forget.
Colorado River Canoeing: Denver Museum, Dinosaurs
WHEN: July 29-31
WHAT TO EXPECT: Get a history lesson in dinosaur-age rock formations as you paddle along the Colorado River near Grand Junction, camp along the river’s banks and explore deep box canyons. Gentle Class I rapids make it kid-friendly, and the red sandstone walls and granite stands will leave geology fiends giddy. Click here for more info.
COST: $436, adults; $406, kids ages 16-12
Gunnison River Canoeing: Nature’s Adaptations—River to Desert with Denver Botanic Gardens
WHEN: Aug. 4-6
WHAT TO EXPECT: Learn about the the natural environment of the river and desert, investigate the river’s vegetation, spot rare plants, taste edible plants, hike, camp and swim.
COST: $420-$450, ages 18 and older
BOOK IT: You must sign up through the Denver Botanic Gardens here or call 720-865-2580, or email firstname.lastname@example.org; click here for more info.
Upper Gunnison River Canoeing (Upper Section): Denver Museum Geology & Archaeology
WHEN: Aug. 9-13
WHAT TO EXPECT: Paddle, hike, explore, float in your lifejacket and camp along the river’s edge with an earth sciences expert during this five-day journey that covers 60 miles of the Gunnison starting near Hotchkiss. On the agenda: paddling through the Escalante Wildlife Refuge and into the majestic Dominguez Canyon with petroglyphs, wildlife, waterfalls and hiking. Click here for more info.
COST: $691, adults; $661, kids ages 6 to 12
Colorado River Canoeing: Geology for Fun!
WHEN: Aug. 11-13
WHAT TO EXPECT: This adults-only adventure takes paddlers through dinosaur-era rock formations, led by an earth science teacher. You’ll see Ruby and Horsethief Canyons and Black Rock along the gentle river stretch near Grand Junction. Click here for more info.
COST: $394; ages 18 and older
Gunnison River Canoeing: Wine Tasting
WHEN: Aug. 18-20
WHAT TO EXPECT: Co-sponsored with Littleton’s Carboy Winery, this trip includes two nights of wine tasting and education from the urban winery. By day, you’ll canoe, hike and float amid the Colorado Plateau, surrounded by massive cottonwoods, blue herons, hawks and eagles. Hike into Dominguez Canyon, Colorado’s newest designated Wilderness Area and one of the most beautiful stops on the river, where you’ll discover deep, cool swimming holes, waterfalls and ancient Indian petroglyphs. Click here for more info.
COST: $389; ages 21 and older
Colorado River Canoeing: Beer Tasting
WHEN: Aug. 25-27
WHAT TO EXPECT: Breckenridge Brewery teams up with Centennial Canoe for this trip through the canyon country of the Colorado Plateau near Grand Junction with gentle waters and occasional small Class I-plus rapids. At the end of each day, sample a variety of craft beers and learn the differences between beers, how they’re made and a little history about the microbrew industry from a Breckenridge Brewery rep. Click here for more info.
COST: $394; ages 21 and older