River Rafting in Colorado: You Need to Know These 3 Things
If you have gone white river rafting you know it is one of the most thrilling experiences you can have outdoors.
As a kid, I would go inner tubing on lazy rivers all the time. I distinctly remember our family friend Steve attaching a styrofoam cooler to the back of his intertube for beer. I remember my mom dropping our crew off and picking us up at a specific spot on the river.
It was thrilling. When I got older, I went white river rafting for the first time. And boy... It was a different experience. You must be much more alert and prepared when going white river rafting. I went in blind and had a bad first experience.
If you're a newbie like I was you've come to the right place. White river rafting is an amazing experience.
You get to navigate roaring waters and immerse yourself in breathtaking landscapes. Here are some things you should consider before jumping on the raft. Also, Colorado has white river rafting down to a science. There are many different experiences you can have whether you are new, or a seasoned explorer.
KNOW YOUR COLORADO RIVERS AND YOUR LIMITS
There are various levels of white river rafting. Some questions you should consider before you book a trip:
- Am I comfortable with swimming and water in general?
- Have I done this? Would I be able to handle the pressure?
- If adrenaline kicks in, am I going to panic?
If you said no to most of those questions, I would recommend you start with a scenic float and work your way up. In my opinion, there are two major components of white river rafting. Skills and confidence. Starting with a scenic or beginner-friendly river will make your experience fulfilling.
BEGINNER AND SCENIC TRIPS I WOULD RECOMMEND
- Beginner Raft Trip by the Colorado Adventure Center: This experience starts in Idaho Springs, CO. Wetsuits are included and the minimum age is seven.
- Taste of Whitewater by A Wanderlust Adventure: This is located at the Cache La Poudre River near Fort Collins.
- Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting by Royal Gorge Rafting: Offers half-day trips on the Arkansas River. The minimum age is six.
DRESS AND PREPARE FOR SUCCESS
You need to remember that you're going to be in the sun for three hours on a half-day trip and a minimum of six for a full trip. Some white river rafting companies offer free wetsuits. You may have to rent some from other companies.
Learn about what is provided ahead of time to avoid any surprises. Remember to wear quick-drying clothes and avoid cotton. Cotton retains moisture and can make you cold.
Also, remember to bring water. Bringing water is something that a lot of people forget. Again, you're going to be in the sun for a minimum of three hours. Make sure to stay hydrated so you can be comfortable during your adventure. Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and use sunglasses to shield yourself from harmful UV rays.