Independent Whitewater
Independent Whitewater
5
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
About
Independent Whitewater is Salida's local river connection, we offer trips for all skill levels. Whether you’re scenic Salida floats, advanced whitewater rafting, or the longest half-day trip through Browns Canyon National Monument, we have a trip to fit your needs. Family-owned and operated, Independent Whitewater has been in business in Salida for 40 years and has a strong dedication to safety and good old-fashioned American fun. Come spend the day with Wiley and Mike, Independent Whitewater's owners, along with their highly trained and professional staff. Another great reason to raft with Independent Whitewater is that our Browns Canyon rafting trips end on private property, which means you'll beat the crowds and go through rapids that other rafting companies don't. More Miles, More Smiles! Give us a call today to schedule your trip!
Salida, Colorado

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2023

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Travelers talk about
(114 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
1,228 reviews
Excellent
1,195
Very good
23
Average
5
Poor
4
Terrible
1

Jeanie M
6 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
We have visited BV and rafted many times throughout the last 20 years. Wylie was our guide a couple times back 20 years ago and now he is one of the owners! This company takes you farther down the river, more rapids for your buck and has the most experience and best safety record. "The Donkey" (lol) was our guide on this latest "Scenic Float". (Yes, there are still other choices for the more adventurous rafters!) We were thankful for this choice on a milder section of the river so we could take a 2 year old and 4 year old along and just sit back and enjoy the scenery. No paddling! The 2 year old got tired and started crying non-stop toward the end of the trip. Our guide got us to the put out spot first and quickly whisked us into a van and back to our car for the tired baby's sake. This was possible due to the other guides working as a team and loading up all the other boats and passengers without the help of our guide. This was a very kind and thoughtful act and so appreciated. All the other boaters and guides could hear the baby screaming and they were very kind about letting us cut the line and skip out first!
Written August 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tony H
Austin, TX674 contributions
Jul 2020 • Family
Our whole extended family went here and they had raft tours to suit everyone from our 80 year old mother, small children and seasoned rafters. My group took the level 3 rapids half day and our guide Kiwe expertly took us through the rapids so we had fun, got wet. It never felt on danger. This company takes you 2 miles further than others since they have a private takeout. Also I would recommend renting the splash jackets. We had them in June and were glad for it once we got splashed a few times. Awesome company and experience!
Written July 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pppmomof3
Denver, CO220 contributions
Aug 2020 • Family
We were a party of 5 3 teens and two adults. Our guide was Ellis. We live in Denver and have rafted with other companies on the same river. After our experience today this is the only place we will go! Not only was our guide exceptional, but this is the only company that does two additional miles (and two of the best rapids) on their half day trip. No big school buses with 6+ rafts all going down at once like a puppy mill of rafters. It was a much more enjoyable experience to be in a group of two rafts. Don’t go anywhere else - seriously.
Written August 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MPujol
Salida, CO49 contributions
Jul 2020
Took our two 20 and 22 year old godchildren on the half day Browns Canyon water rafting trip this morning. Had a great time!

A shout out to John, our guide, who made the trip memorable and fun. It was a beautiful day and he pointed out some big horn sheep. that we had missed. After trying various outfitters I now only use Independent White Water. Their guides are the most knowledgeable and patient, and you get a longer river run with them than any of the other outfitters. I was also impressed by the additional COVID procedures they have put in placer to keep their staff and customers safe.

When we got back walked down to the river, to the Drift Bar and Grill. It' amazing how good the food is. We had a brisket sandwich (my favorite), a couple pulled pork sandwiches (2nd favorite) and a hamburger. Absolutely love their tater tots and their wings as well. Lots of drink options, including beers, hard seltzers and mixed drinks.

Spent an hour hanging out by the river, eating and drinking till we were full. All around a great day!
Written July 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ellen L
Thornton, CO550 contributions
Aug 2020 • Couples
We decided to do the float trip rather than white water rafting as we were more interested in seeing the scenery on a leisurely trip. We were on what must have been one of the first rafts out that morning as we never encountered another raft. It took us just under 2 hours to go from the start site to downtown Salida. The reason for not giving 5 stars is that $150 seems a bit steep for a 2 hour float.
Written August 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bdbanshee
Bartlesville, OK430 contributions
Aug 2020 • Family
We booked a half day afternoon whitewater trip in Browns Canyon for the four of us. We were assigned Jay as our guide, and Jared was our shuttle driver. We were all fitted with gear and Jared drove us up to Buena Vista to put the rafts in. Jay gave us detailed instructions on what to do before each set of rapids, and called out exactly when and how to paddle the raft. The whole group stopped for a break at a large rock, and those that wanted to climbed up and jumped off into the river. The trip resumed and we even got to see several bighorn sheep along the way. All the other raft companies pulled out at the same spot and our group kept going for a couple more miles through really fun additional rapids. We definitely chose the best company to take us down the river, and Browns Canyon was the perfect backdrop. Jay and Jared kept us entertained between rapids with Jay’s stories, and Jared’s knowledge of the history of the area. We had a great time and would definitely come back and do this again!
Written September 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tif M
Mason City, IA9 contributions
Jul 2020 • Family
This was our first trip to CO, ever. It was also our first white water experience. Independent, was the best choice we made. All the guides were funny, helpful, encouraging and knowledgable. Mike was our guide and we enjoyed learning about Browns Canyon via Mike’s, Mathew McConahay’s voice. They kept us spaces from the other rafts and took us on some of the best rapids Cao has to offer. Thank you guys for a
Memorable experience. We will return!!!
Written July 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joel949600
1 contribution
Jul 2021 • Family
We rafted with IW on July 29 and our guide and were originally supposed to float the Numbers. Our guide John explained to the entire party how the water levels had dropped and that the float through Browns Canyon would be a better ride because of the volume of water in Browns at that time. We chose to take the Browns Canyon trip and had a great time. John was an excellent guide and surfed several rapids, he allowed us to cliff jump in a safe area of the Canyon and was a great talker during the entire trip. My kids and I enjoyed the whole trip immensely and would go back again. Thanks IW and John for a great time.
Written August 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CDM
Edwards, CO1 contribution
Aug 2020 • Family
My family booked the Browns Canyon rafting trip for mid August during our Colorado Staycation. This was definitely the highlight of our trip. Our guide Mike was just right. He was clearly an expert in his role and made the trip through the Canyon fun and feel very safe. He was particularly great with my 10 year old daughter. He made her feel included and made sure she had fun! We are definitely planning to book another trip with Independent Whitewater next year!
Written September 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TDA12
Lexington8 contributions
Jun 2020
I started out with an email exchange with Savannah and she recommended the Bonus Browns Canyon Half Day trip. The longer trip was worth it. I thought the extra two rapids were top three of the whole trip. Our guide's name was Bible which suggests prayer may have been needed, but he did a great job of instructing and entertaining us.
Written July 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Independent Whitewater - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)