Well, it has been an awesome winter season here in the Vail Valley. Even a global pandemic can’t stop all these smiles! Sage owner Darryl Bangert said it best, “COVID has led to a huge demand to get outside and reconnect with nature,” he said. “Seeing our guests come alive during these trips is very rewarding for our staff.”
As we look forward to spring and the summer rafting season, we can’t help but get excited. This winter was unique with big early season storms during the late fall – followed by a relatively dry period around the holidays. Fortunately, we’ve had a snowy February and early March. Snowpack across the state is catching up. Lots of snow on the mountains means great rafting conditions ahead!
Right here in the Colorado River basin, the current snowpack is about 85% of normal with more spring storms in the forecast. With a near average snowpack in the high country, we can expect good early season rafting on Gore Creek and the Eagle River, which are some of Colorado’s best early summer trips.
In fact, when the Eagle River is at its peak, it’s some of the best whitewater in the country. But what makes the Eagle River is unique, is the steady downward gradient. The upper section from Minturn to Avon features a consistent elevation drop, essentially creating a 10-mile long wave train.
If you’ve never experienced Gore Creek or the Eagle River, don’t wait – come experience it this year!
Meanwhile, over in the Arkansas River basin, snowpack currently sits about 90% of normal. This is the most famous stretch of whitewater in Colorado for good reason. Once the spring thaw begins, we’re in for a memorable summer of whitewater rafting on the Ark.
The world-famous Pine Creek and Numbers sections of the Arkansas boast some of the best class IV and V whitewater rafting in the country. Further downstream, Browns Canyon National Monument offers a trip through an incredibly scenic gorge with 10 miles of class III rapids. Add to this a backdrop of 14,000-foot peaks and rocky desert landscapes, and it’s easy to see why the Ark is a popular rafting destination.
The 2020 rafting season in Colorado is shaping up to be a great one. If you’re planning a trip to Colorado this year, be sure and reserve dates early for your whitewater adventure.