All signs are pointing to an epic whitewater rafting adventure this year. According to Western River Expeditions, the prospects are excellent for a robust whitewater runoff season for major rafting rivers in the West.
What causes these primes conditions?
Near-record snow pack in the mountains—which measured 151 percent of the historic average.
Brian Merrill, CEO of Western River Expeditions notes that if spring temperatures are normal or cooler than average, the mountains will preserve much of the massive snow pack moisture until normal run-off time in May through mid-June.
"If the spring is wet, then it will be an epic high water year," Merrill said. "If it's dry, I'm confident that it will at least be average—and average is awesome!"
If you're interested in adding whitewater thrill to your group itinerary, consider the following questions:
1. How much excitement are you looking for?
Timing is important here. Huge thrills are available earlier in the season because melting snow creates high water levels, larger waves and faster rapids. Wild water can still be found in the summer with summer dam release (and the added enjoyment of warm weather). If mild is your style, consider a Class I & II trip in June, July and August.
2. How much time do you have?
Rafting trips take more than just an hour or two. Plan on spending at least three or four hours, with some sections taking as long as six hours to complete.
3. Do you want to make more than splash?
If you have more than a couple of days to spend on the river, consider trips that incorporate other activities such as biking and hiking.
Photo courtesy of Justa Jeskova.