Get ready for an epic rafting season!
So far this winter, we have had over 155% more snowfall than last year in our Northern and Central Mountains (Rocky Mountains). With such a high early season snow fall, we are looking at a great rafting season for 2019 because of the snowpack.
So first thing is first: “What is Snow Pack?”
Snowpack is what we look at to predict how our summer rafting season will pan out. Snowpack happens mainly before February because this is the snow that will be super packed down into ice and will give our rivers and creeks a nice stream of water.
This early snow is much more important to an extended rafting season than Spring snow fall. The snow fall that happens come March-May gives us a high water rush in the middle of the summer. By doing so that gives us a strong rush of water for a few weeks but it doesn’t impact our later season in rafting. We of course are grateful for any and all snow fall that we can get!
How was the snowpack last year?
Last year, rafting season ended very early. In late July the water levels dropped, and many rivers became un-raftable. Once the water gets low enough we can’t guarantee an enjoyable rafting experience and the rafts are getting stuck on rocks a majority of the rafting trip. So you can see why snow pack is so important!
How does snowpack affect ski season?
Not only does a heavy snowfall hugely impact our rafting season it also is huge for our ski season! Our ski resorts in the Summit County/Vail Valley area are seeing much more snowfall this year compared to previous years!
Many ski resorts have even opened early this year because they received so much snow they were able to open. Last year was hugely different, most resorts were struggling through the holidays to give customers skiable runs. Not this year though! While the resorts are still making snow it is just to make the snow that much better compared to last year, it was done out of necessity.
When should I plan my Colorado Whitewater Rafting Trip?
If you are looking to raft any of the Rivers that receive snow shed from the Rocky’s, then 2019 is the year to do it! With the amount of snow we have already gotten and the projections for the next few months, you can plan an early trip this Spring or even wait until the very end of the summer for some great whitewater.
When does rafting season start?
It all depends on the River. Below are the months that these popular Colorado rafting spots usually open.
- Rafting can start as early as late February on the Salt River in eastern Arizona.
- Starting in April, you can raft the Arkansas River just outside of Buena Vista, CO.
- In late April or Early May, rafting can begin on the Dolores River located in remote desert of Southwest CO.
- Come May, Clear Creek River is is open for rafting just 30 minutes from Denver in Idaho Springs, CO.
- Also in May, rafting begins on the Colorado River near Kremmling, CO.
- The Blue River opens in June and the outpost is located near Breckenridge, CO.
If you want an exciting rafting adventure but also want a later season trip out to Colorado, the snow pack is telling us you should have an incredibly fun time in August and September!