1. Choose your difficulty level
All the rafting jargon can be confusing: 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 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 whitewater appropriate only for strong swimmers and experienced rafters.
2. Choose the length of your trip
At The Adventure Company, we offer half day, full day, ¾ day, and multi day overnight 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 your time of year
Our trips begin in May and end on Labor Day (end date may fluctuate with water levels). Which summer 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 watermay become too low to raft.
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 trips, so call our adventure coordinators today to set up your adventure!