Well, it has been an awesome winter season here in the Vail Valley and it seems nothing can stop all these smiles! Sage owner Darryl Bangert said it best, “Through our second year amid the pandemic, we’ve witnessed a big demand to get outside and reconnect with nature,” he said. “Seeing our guests come alive during these trips is very rewarding for our staff.”
Colorado’s Whitewater Rafting Season
As we look forward to spring and the summer Colorado river rafting season, we can’t help but get excited. This winter was unique, as every year is. Winter seemed to arrive late, with a relatively dry start to the winter sports season. But as is so often the case, when the snow did arrive, it came with a vengeance.
When is Whitewater Rafting Season in Colorado? When the Snowmelt Comes!
Since the holidays, snowpack across the state has hovered at or above median levels for much of the winter. Lots of snow on the mountains means great conditions ahead for Colorado river raft trips! Take a look at the expected conditions for our awesome Colorado river rafting 1-day and half-day trips, and prepare for an awesome Colorado white water rafting season.
Gore Creek and Eagle River Rafting Conditions
Right here in the Colorado River basin, the current snowpack sits at about 95% of average levels with more spring storms in the forecast. With a high 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! They’re some of the best places to consider when looking at where to whitewater raft in Colorado.
Arkansas River Rafting Conditions
Meanwhile, over in the Arkansas River basin, we have a solid snowpack, which currently sits at about 94% of median. 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 River 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, particularly with Browns Canyon rafting trips.
It’s shaping up to be a great season for whitewater rafting in Colorado! If you’re planning a trip to Colorado this year, be sure and reserve dates early for your whitewater adventure.