Logistics

Traveling east or west on I-70, take exit 232 and follow US-40 West to the town of Empire. We are in the second building on your right as you enter town. Map services such as Google Maps may recommend that you use the address: 409 Park Avenue, Idaho Springs, CO. This is different than our actual address, but it will take you to the correct location.

Total trip time should be about 45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. It is important to arrive at our base 15 minutes before your scheduled trip time in order to sign waivers and change clothes. Please note that I-70 can have heavy traffic, so it is best to check travel conditions when planning your drive.

Clear Creek is a fascinating place of natural beauty and history! Take advantage of this stunning location with another adrenaline-fueled activity like ziplining, or drive up the highest altitude paved road in the US and reach the top of the 14,271 ft peak of Mt. Evans!

You can also explore the remnants of our rich gold mining history with a tour of Argo Gold Mine and Mill and Georgetown Loop Railroad. If you’re thirsty after all that rafting, check out the Coors Brewery! In our shop, we offer discount cards for Tommyknocker’s Brewery (a highly recommended pub and restaurant — free pint with your meal!). But go ahead and explore Clear Creek county and Idaho Springs for yourself!

For lodging needs in the Winter Park area, we recommend Winter Park Escapes. If you’re staying in Summit County, we recommend Five Diamond Lodging Company.

Safety

Downstream Adventures has gone to great lengths to make our trips as safe as possible. We ensure all our guides have been certified in CPR/first aid and trained in life-saving swiftwater rescue techniques, and that’s just our minimum requirement. That being said, it is important to remember you are entering a wild and uncontrolled environment.

Yes, all participants need to sign a waiver before any of our tours. Participants 18 years or older are required to sign their own waivers, and minors will need to have a waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian. We recommend that you sign your waiver online prior to arriving.

It does happen occasionally, but it’s not very common. In most cases, you’ll be quickly pulled back into the boat by your professional river guide. But don’t worry — we cover this in our safety orientation at the beginning of each tour.

Yes, but you’ll have a wetsuit and all the gear to keep warm and comfortable on the water. Early in the season, the water is primarily melted snow. As summer goes on though, you might not need a wetsuit — and we’re guessing you may even want to take a dip!

Our Tours

Downstream Adventures offers a variety of exciting trips! Our Middle Clear Creek trip is great for beginners and families with young kids. Upper Clear Creek is our intermediate trip that is a perfect tour for groups with some rafting experience or enthusiastic first-timers. This trip requires a fair amount of paddling, so we expect rafters that are active and healthy enough for the activity. Our advanced tour option is Lower Canyon and it is an adrenaline ride. The Lower Canyon is great for athletic thrill seekers with some paddling experience. Our Full Clear Creek trip is an extended version advanced tour, as it’s a full day of rafting through class IV rapids. So really, it’s up to you!

For our beginner trips, nope — just a sense of adventure and a positive attitude! For our more advanced trips, we recommend rafters have previously completed a class III-IV trip.

Yes, depending on what trip you choose. Our beginner trips are suitable for children over the age of 5.

It is important to arrive about 30 minutes before your scheduled trip time. That way, you have time to sign waivers and get changed.

Sure, but we recommend bringing a disposal! The river is hungry and likes to swallow valuables.

Customers will receive a full refund minus a 10% cancellation fee for cancellations before 48 hours from the trip time. No refunds are given 48 hours or less from the trip time. Contact us by phone to cancel or inquire about a cancellation. No-shows will be charged the full price.

Yes! In the unlikely event that we have to cancel, you’ll be offered a full refund or the option to reschedule your trip.

We don’t let a little bit of rain hold us back! The weather is fast-moving in the mountains, and so rain never lasts for too long. Part of the experience is getting splashed and being wet, and we have the gear for you. On the very rare occasions we cancel the trip, a full refund is offered or the option to reschedule your trip.

We recommend you wear lots of layers of synthetic fleece and wool for the colder months. Cotton does not retain heat when it’s wet, so we always recommend against it. Tops, bottoms, socks and anything else warm (not cotton!) come in handy during early season and on rainy days. Please make sure you wear a bathing suit underneath the wetsuit we provide.

In terms of shoes, you should bring shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. Sports sandals with secure straps are great, but please don’t bring Crocs or any kind of flip flops. You will want your footwear to stay on in the event of a swim! Wool, fleece, or neoprene socks will help keep you warm on chilly days. If you’d like to rent neoprene booties from us, we have them available for $3 per pair.

We offer a delicious wrap lunch and sides. If you have special dietary requirements, please get in touch with us beforehand and we’ll do our best to accommodate your needs.

Yes! Dates for courses are tentative and based on minimum booking requirements, so please contact us for availability.

Yes! We have a professional photographer that captures the moments you don’t want to forget! We guarantee about 12-15 photos with each purchase, and you can buy the photos directly from us after your trip or here online.