Summer is here and so are outdoor adventures. One of the experiences Colorado is known for is whitewater rafting, and there is plenty of it to be found. What a great way to experience nature! Float down the waters and see wildlife, flora and fauna before battling the elements face on as you reach that first drop. What an adrenalin rush! A little bit of fear mixed with pure joy makes for an experience never to be forgotten. It is a great way to bond with family and friends. It also can be a way to get in some exercise as you try to keep your balance. You are sure to be exhausted with a big smile on your face when it is through. Here are a few places to river raft that you may want to take on:
Ready for an adventure? The Arkansas River is in the heart of the Rockies and offers over 100 miles of river to navigate surrounded by 13,000 to 14,000 foot mountain peaks. It begins high up in the mountains in Leadville. It is the most popular whitewater rafting river in the United States, according to Arkansas River Outfitters, who said the most in demand whitewater sections are found in the towns of Buena Vista, Salida and Cañon City. You can float peacefully down the water and watch the scenic landscape go by or take on the thrill of more challenging waters. They have mild class I-II rafting up to the more extreme class V whitewater available. Go through narrow canyons and see wildlife, like the Bighorn Sheep. With beautiful landscapes such as these, you may want to consider staying overnight, hiking, fishing and enjoying the solitude. Find a whitewater rafting trip that suits you best and enjoy.
The Yampa River
Looking for a colorful natural experience? The Yampa River fits the bill. Unregulated by any dams, the water runs freely where it may into multi-colored canyons. The river is a tributary of the Green River and runs through northwestern Colorado. Depending on where you are on the river, which goes into Utah, you can see different things. There is a black and white striped wall near Warm Springs Rapid, a Grand Overhang, a 1,200 foot sandstone wall and much more, not to mention the wildlife, like birds, fish and Bighorn Sheep, as well as plenty pine trees. They have different levels of rafting, from Class II to IV. Experience Teepee Rapid, with over a half mile of wave action. You can expect big whitewater on the Yampa River during winter runoff due to its unregulated nature. It runs right through Dinosaur National Monument, a great place to do some hiking and learn about dinos!
Next time you think about going whitewater rafting, you may want to tackle the Colorado River if you have not already. Imagine putting on your gear, grabbing your raft and setting out on an epic water journey. The mighty Colorado goes not only through the State of Colorado, but also into Utah before careening down to Arizona, looping into Nevada and coming out in California. Saying this river is scenic does not do it justice. After all, it winds through five national parks, as well as national monuments, state parks, recreational areas and more. If you are a whitewater enthusiast, you will want to take on this adventure. From mild waters to more challenging, it offers something for everyone, with Class I to III. Of course, there is plenty to see along the way. Ironically, before 1921, the Colorado portion of the river was not named Colorado, but was simply named “Grand,” a fitting moniker.
Cache la Poudre River
Those in the Fort Collins area who are ready to ride the rapids may want to head over to the Cache la Poudre River, otherwise known as the Poudre. The river begins in the Rocky Mountain National Parks and continues along the Continental Divid until it eventually careens down into Fort Collins. One of its benefits is that it is usually much less crowded. So if you are looking for a serene retreat or simply just don’t want anyone in your way while battling the waters, this is the place for you. It has received accolades for its pristine and scenic quality, being designated as a “national wild and scenic river” back in 1986. In addition, it is protected so there are regulations on using it for commercial ventures. Whether you are a more casual rafter or one always looking for a challenge, there is something for you, with Class II to Class IV rapids.