White water rafting is quite possibly one of the funnest, most thrilling outdoor activities you can get into, especially for groups. People from all over visit Colorado to experience the raging rapids of the many rivers in the state. The best thing about Colorado white water rafting is you don’t need prior experience to enjoy it. First-timers and kids alike (minimum of 6 years old) can participate in rafting excursions and enjoy the adventurous activity. Depending on the time of season, you can experience a nice float down the lazy river, or fight the rapids with class V CFS.
Grading System for Rafting
When you go to plan a white water rafting trip in Colorado, you should know about the grading system. The American Whitewater Association uses the standardised International Scale of River Difficulty to rate the safety of river rapids in grades. The grade system works as follows:
It is ideal for first-timers or children, as the flow rate (CFS: cubic feet per second) and rapids less turbulent. The risk is low, and the instances of accidents are rare.
The stage is ideal for novice rafters as the rapids are straightforward and easily manoeuvrable. The presence of rocks in the river and mid-size waves make it thrilling. Experienced swimmers don’t need any assistance to experience Grade 2 rafting.
It is perfect for intermediate-level rafters as they can maneuver or handle moderate rapids and irregular waves. Experienced swimmers easily self-rescue in times of need. It is better to accompany instructors or guides to consider Grade 3 rafting trips.
The advanced-level stage consists of powerful and intense rapids. Though there are predictable rapids, the rafter has to be swift and accurate with raft maneuvering.
The stage features violent rapids and unexpected drops. Expert-level rafters with optimal fitness should attempt the Grade 5 rafting. The rescue is challenging, and experienced swimmers are also at risk of serious injuries.
Brief training from white water rafting instructors helps beginners and novices navigate through turbulent, unpredictable, and challenging rapids. Classes I and II are the most comfortable and convenient for first-timers and kids. If they want to experience the adrenaline rush, considering Class III is not a bad option. Adventure people with an appetite for adrenaline rush tackle Class IV and V rapids well with their advanced and experienced rafting and swimming skills. Depending on the tenure of white water rafting excursions, tour operators combine different grades. The tour guides instruct the highest grade level an individual should consider.
Planning a Rafting Excursion
Considering Weather Conditions
The season and climate are vital in planning a white water rafting excursion in Colorado. No two destinations are the same for rafting, and the trips are filled with surprises. Before adding a rafting trip to an itinerary, learning more about the weather conditions of the chosen destination is a must. Colorado offers the best rafting trips during the summer and extends till October before the weather starts dropping significantly.
Choosing the Rafting Provider
Another pivotal planning component is choosing the right rafting provider. Choosing a service provider with a good reputation is beneficial because it includes trained guides and instructors. The presence of well-trained guides during rafting makes the trips safer and wholesome. In case of any risks or accidents, the instructors are there to find solutions and eliminate risk factors when planning a rafting trip.
Experiencing the Beauty Around
Apart from the adrenaline rush, white water rafting gives an excellent opportunity to experience the beautiful landscapes and greenery that are not accessible otherwise. Floating down the river with birds humming all around, surrounded with flora and fauna, swimming in the river, camping under the star-gazed sky, and gazing up the deep canyons with the Rocky Mountains in the backdrop makes the white water rafting trip in Colorado unique.
White Water Rafting Conclusion
Colorado is a popular rafting destination, with millions visiting and experiencing adrenaline rush rafting trips. Undertaking Colorado white water rafting is a fun and exhilarating adventure, but abiding by the safety tips is necessary. Following the instructions of the guide is one of the tips that alleviates risky situations and keeps rafters safe. Depending on a person’s rafting experience, fitness level, and swimming skills, different rafting grade levels are available.