Colorado may not have typical beaches, but summer is still a great time to hit the water in the Centennial State.

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One way to cool off (or work up a sweat) is whitewater rafting. According to Uncover Colorado, rafting season usually lasts from June to September — the earlier you go, the more intense it will be, thanks to fresh snowmelt.

Fort Collins residents are lucky enough to have a river in their backyard, but colorado.com notes there are other options reasonably close to Northern Colorado. Here's where you can go:

Cache la Poudre River — Fort Collins

According to Visit Fort Collins, rapids on the Poudre River range from Class I (beginner) to Class V (expert), although most rafting trips stay between Classes I and IV.

"The Poudre is a newer river, so it's very narrow, shallow, and rocky," Erin Maskill, a raft guide at Rocky Mountain Adventures, told Townsquare NoCo. "This creates a very fast-flowing, technical river with continuous rapids. You can expect big rapids and high adrenaline, especially at high water."

Rocky Mountain Adventures // Facebook
Rocky Mountain Adventures // Facebook
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Clear Creek — Idaho Springs

According to Clear Creek County, Clear Creek has more rapids per mile than most other rivers in Colorado.

"Certain 'whitewater' zones have been given class distinctions based on how difficult they are to navigate while rafting," reads the website. "Enjoy spectacular views and the opportunity to spot Colorado wildlife while you paddle along."

Mile Hi Rafting // Facebook
Mile Hi Rafting // Facebook
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Blue River — Breckenridge

According to Uncover Colorado, the Lower Blue River offers a casual rafting experience, while the Upper Blue River is more intense.

"Trips along the Blue River are not very strenuous in comparison to some of Colorado's other whitewater rafting destinations," reads the website. "The river passes through some of the most quintessential Rocky Mountain territory."

Performance Tours Rafting // Facebook
Performance Tours Rafting // Facebook
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Upper Colorado River — Winter Park

Uncover Colorado reports that the Colorado River is one of the most popular rafting rivers in the U.S.

"There are several popular sections of the Colorado River to raft," reads the website. "The Gore Canyon section of the Upper Colorado River has some of the fiercest Class V rapids in the country and the steepest gradient drop per mile in Colorado."

MAD Adventures // Facebook
MAD Adventures // Facebook
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Overall, it's important to remember to be safe — and have fun.

"Underestimating the power of the water and what's beneath is where most injuries come from," said Maskill. "Otherwise, if you're with a team of experienced guides, you are pretty safe out on the river and will have a great time."

If you're willing to travel further, you could try whitewater rafting in southern Colorado. Check out this rafting-friendly Airbnb in Coaldale in the gallery below:

Enjoy Whitewater Rafting and Gold Medal Fishing at Coaldale Colorado's Airbnb

Explore the incredible Sangre de Cristo Mountains from this Coaldale, Colorado Airbnb. Enjoy a weekend of gold medal fishing or bring some friends and take on some Colorado rapids.

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