Turn onto the Trough Road, (Hwy 1,) and wind up and down a well-maintained gravel highway. All around you are emerald green ranches and farms, quaking aspens, pines, fascinating rock bands, and wildlife including moose, deer, and bald eagles. Take a sharp turn and pull over at a paved overlook. Below you spreads your first glimpse of the mighty Colorado River valley. The river is moving more slowly now after its hair-raising class V rapids drop through the Gore Canyon.
Drive on to lively Rancho Del Rio, about fifteen minutes further down the Trough Road. A private holding surrounded by BLM lands, Rancho has amenities like a couple of small stores where you can pick up a few last minute items, a BBQ restaurant, and picnic tables besides the boat launch. Head over to Colorado Rafting Company’s boathouse and check in. Your guides will introduce themselves, give a quick safety presentation, get you outfitted with splash gear if appropriate, and take you to the put in with rafts in tow.
Depending on your timing, you can picnic before the tour, or you can leave your food behind at our boathouse to enjoy after the adventure.