1. For the best whitewater rafting trip, start by choosing difficulty level
There are several options to consider when putting together the best whitewater rafting trip for your group. All the jargon can be confusing if this is your first rafting experience: class I, II, III, IV, V, what do they mean? Which one is right for you? In making this decision, it is important to consider the following metrics of your entire group: physical fitness, swimming ability, age, rafting experience and desired challenge. Generally, class I and II trips will be family floats, class III is intermediate whitewater appropriate for some kids but still exciting for adults, class IV is advanced whitewater for thrill seekers and strong swimmers, and class V is expert level whitewater rafting appropriate only for strong swimmers and experienced rafters.
2. Choose the length of your whitewater rafting trip
The best whitewater rafting trip for your group could be a couple hours or multiple days. The length is up to you! At The Adventure Company, we offer half day, full day, ¾ day, and multi-day overnight rafting trips in which you raft consecutive days whilst camping along the way. Half-day trips are around 2 hours of rafting time, ¾ day trips are 2 hours of rafting time and include lunch, and full day trips are 5 hours of rafting time and include lunch. If you choose a half-day trip, the morning will typically provide the best weather.
3. Choose the time of year for your trip
Whitewater rafting is a great way to experience Colorado in the late spring and summer months. Our rafting trips begin in May and end on Labor Day (end date may fluctuate with water levels). Which month you choose will dictate the water level; in Colorado, the water in our rivers comes from melting snow. Typically, rivers are low in May prior to the spring runoff that comes from this melting snow. Starting around the middle of May, our rivers usually begin to rise and come to a peak in early June. Then they gradually drop until the end of August, when the water may become too low for rafting.
Contrary to many people’s assumptions, higher water levels do not necessarily lead to more difficult rapids; each section of river is different. Keep in mind that many trips are only available at certain water levels. At high water, some trips may be unavailable while others are at their best. At low water, only certain trips may be available.
4. Choose your location
Here at The Adventure Company, we raft on 4 different rivers around the state of Colorado. Thus, we have a location for everyone’s vacation! Our rivers are located in Breckenridge (Blue River), Buena Vista (Arkansas River), Kremmling (Colorado River), and Idaho Springs (Clear Creek). Transportation is also available on many of our rafting trips, so call our adventure coordinators today to set up your adventure!