Though most people journey to the Grand Canyon to raft class II and III rapids, you can get on the legendary Colorado River in this town 100 miles northwest of Denver. With outfitter Liquid Descent, rafting is paired with dips in riverside hot springs. $50; liquiddescent.com
Best time to go: For beginners, June.
Stay: Sitting at the base of the cliffs, the 10 Muddy Creek Cabins have mountain views. From $109; muddycreekcabins.com