Rafts seat between four to eight people depending on the type of raft. They can be used as paddle boats or oar boats, the former being where the guide and passengers all paddle together, so it involves serious team work. The latter is where the guide has control of big oars at the back, and so he/she is doing most of the work, which is ideal when you have younger children. Some rafting companies allow children as young as four years old to take part. There is a foot hold for you to use, so you don’t feel as if you are going to go flying out of the boat every time you hit a wave.
Rivers in the US are rated using roman numerals I to VI according to the International Scale of River Difficulty, and these ratings can change according to weather conditions of course. First timers will be happy on class II, III and, depending on conditions, some class IV rivers and rapids. Class V river trips are for those with more experience.
Hotspots for white water rafting in Colorado include Durango, where Mild 2 Wild Rafting
take you down the Animas River and also have twenty years’ experience in doing so. Very committed to safety and Leave No Trace, they have safety videos
on their website which are very useful if you have not rafted before. The Animas River’s natural features have been adapted artificially to help control the flow of water in certain spots, which makes guiding easier and the waters more predictable. This company also leads rafting trips on the Upper and Lower Piedra River in Pagosa Springs and the San Miguel River in Telluride.
Whitewater Rafting Safety | Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Trail Tours from Mild to Wild Rafting on Vimeo.
The Arkansas River in Salida has also been controlled for top white water rafting and kayaking experiences. Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center
offers Class I – III trips around the town, without too many splashes, or you can up the wet factor and head to Class III and above at Brown’s Canyon, a wilderness area surrounded by granite domes and vast peaks. Buena Vista, also on the Arkansas River is a top spot for white water rafting too. Over sixteen year olds and those looking for even more adrenaline can head off on The Numbers trips, with constant white waters, sheer drops and screamingly good rides through the waves.