It’s that time of year again. The summer warmth has faded, the snowmelt in the rivers has receded, and most of the whitewater rafting trips have ended. While its easy to consider your rafting season over during these winter months, there are still a few places in America’s west to stay out on the water.
The Rio Grande in Texas is and extremely popular destination year in and year out. You can raft this river in the Big Bend section which boasts 5 major and minor canyons within its 250 miles of protected river. Most of this trip can be completed in a single day and isn’t particularly hard, but there are some sections that can get a bit more challenging depending on the water level. Big Bend River Tours offers a wide variety of river trips down the Rio Grande that range from half day trips to options as long as a 21-day trip for the extremely adventurous rafters. The company offers shuttling to and from the river, rafting equipment, and of course all of the delicious food you can eat for the longer trips.
When it comes to California, there are no shortage of rivers that flow throughout the entire winter. The Russian River is a great option for beginners looking to challenge themselves with something a little more intense. This river is fed by the Van Arsdale Reservoir and is typically a class II-III. In the winter months it can give beginners a serious run for their money but if you’re looking for more of a simple float, there is a class I section that runs for over 50 miles and you can pick public picnic areas to stop for a meal.
The Lower American River flows through the scenic American River Parkway but is a bit different than the Russian River in that it is heavily dam-controlled and not a full wilderness experience. The fact that this river is controlled with a dam makes it an extremely reliable river. Even with the reliability of the Lower American, the winter the water levels can still change a decent amount. The water level will often rise and fall, and the current can get much stronger, so bringing a personal floatation device and your common sense is a necessity.
If you’re looking for a once in a lifetime, dream rafting trip, you needn’t look much further than the Grand Canyon. This trip is only available with selected permits which allows for a true sense of serenity due to only a limited number of rafters on the river at one time. Enjoy those serene moments while you can because Grand Canyon rafting trips are guaranteed to bring the thrills. Your experiences down the river will bring everyone in the raft together while your group is faced with the many challenges and moments the trip has to offer. Your chances of getting a permit for these trips improve during the winter due to the colder weather, but if you’re a diehard rafter, this is sure to be an unforgettable experience.