When Can You go White Water Rafting In Durango

One of the best seasonal activities in Colorado is Durango white water rafting . From as early as May, locals and visitors alike can experience the ultimate outdoor adventure on the beautiful Animas river. Whether you’re scouting the rapids upriver or floating freely near the city, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Find out more about how to determine the best times to go white water rafting in Durango.

White Water Rafting Durango

Colorado Weather

Colorado is one of the top ten sunniest states – with an average of 300 sunny days per year. It’s no wonder that white water rafting is a go-to pastime for locals and tourists. Despite the sunny days, weather is still a determinate when it comes to best rafting times.

Snowfall during the winter and snowmelt during the spring are both factors when it comes to water levels in the warmer months. This makes weather an important aspect when planning white water rafting trips. Typically, rafters will find fairer temperatures in the mid-morning to mid-afternoon when the sun is at its peak. Although you can start your rafting trips as early as May, rafting is best during warmer months as late as September.

White Water Rapid Classes

Before you head out, it’s important to recognize the rapid classification levels . This will determine the difficulty level of the rapids and rafting trip. There are six rapid classifications ranging from easy to extreme. Only navigate rapid classes that you are comfortable with – typically beginner to intermediate rafters are comfortable between Class 1 and Class 4 rapids. Class 6 is not considered viable for any rafter and even advanced level rafters should be wary of Class 5 rapids.

About Water Levels and River Accessibility

Because of the influx of snowmelt from the high country, the Animas river level is constantly in flux. This means that some days will be impassable, while others provide the perfect conditions for world-class rapids. There are three water levels that are typical depending on the time of year. They include:

Low – April and September

Low water levels typically occur at either the very start of the warm season or the very end. Adventurous rafters who want to avoid the crowded tourist season can enjoy more technical rapids at these times. You’ll spot more wildlife and get to enjoy a quiet atmosphere, but be prepared for colder water and air temperatures.

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Medium – Late June to August

As the drier season arrives, the river water levels out. This is the best time for family trips or for beginner rafters. However, summer in Colorado is peak tourist season. If you want to experience these perfect white water rafting conditions, be sure to book your trips as soon as possible.

High – Late May to June

The beginning of the warmer season often yields high water levels because of the recent snow melting into the river. Although high water season does result in more intense rapids and waves, novice rafters should be cautious. The swift current is more dangerous for those without experience.

To recap, you can go white water rafting any time between May and September. The best times to go rafting are mid-day to mid-afternoon when the water levels are medium to low. Only raft on rapid classification levels that you are comfortable with or have training on. For more information about Durango white water rafting, contact Colorado Outback Adventures.

When Can You go White Water Rafting In Durango

One of the best seasonal activities in Colorado is Durango white water rafting . From as early as May, locals and visitors alike can experience the ultimate outdoor adventure on the beautiful Animas river. Whether you’re scouting the rapids upriver or floating freely near the city, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Find out more about how to determine the best times to go white water rafting in Durango.

White Water Rafting Durango

Colorado Weather

Colorado is one of the top ten sunniest states – with an average of 300 sunny days per year. It’s no wonder that white water rafting is a go-to pastime for locals and tourists. Despite the sunny days, weather is still a determinate when it comes to best rafting times.

Snowfall during the winter and snowmelt during the spring are both factors when it comes to water levels in the warmer months. This makes weather an important aspect when planning white water rafting trips. Typically, rafters will find fairer temperatures in the mid-morning to mid-afternoon when the sun is at its peak. Although you can start your rafting trips as early as May, rafting is best during warmer months as late as September.

White Water Rapid Classes

Before you head out, it’s important to recognize the rapid classification levels . This will determine the difficulty level of the rapids and rafting trip. There are six rapid classifications ranging from easy to extreme. Only navigate rapid classes that you are comfortable with – typically beginner to intermediate rafters are comfortable between Class 1 and Class 4 rapids. Class 6 is not considered viable for any rafter and even advanced level rafters should be wary of Class 5 rapids.

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About Water Levels and River Accessibility

Because of the influx of snowmelt from the high country, the Animas river level is constantly in flux. This means that some days will be impassable, while others provide the perfect conditions for world-class rapids. There are three water levels that are typical depending on the time of year. They include:

Low – April and September

Low water levels typically occur at either the very start of the warm season or the very end. Adventurous rafters who want to avoid the crowded tourist season can enjoy more technical rapids at these times. You’ll spot more wildlife and get to enjoy a quiet atmosphere, but be prepared for colder water and air temperatures.

Medium – Late June to August

As the drier season arrives, the river water levels out. This is the best time for family trips or for beginner rafters. However, summer in Colorado is peak tourist season. If you want to experience these perfect white water rafting conditions, be sure to book your trips as soon as possible.

High – Late May to June

The beginning of the warmer season often yields high water levels because of the recent snow melting into the river. Although high water season does result in more intense rapids and waves, novice rafters should be cautious. The swift current is more dangerous for those without experience.

To recap, you can go white water rafting any time between May and September. The best times to go rafting are mid-day to mid-afternoon when the water levels are medium to low. Only raft on rapid classification levels that you are comfortable with or have training on. For more information about Durango white water rafting, contact Colorado Outback Adventures.

3 Tips for Rafting in Durango, Colorado

Rafting in Durango, Colorado is the perfect adventure for your entire family. It is blessed with warm summers beginning as early as May and ending by the onset of September.

Animas River DSRR

Animas River DSRR by Clyde frogg / CC BY 3.0

Understanding The Animas

The Animas is a long stretch of river that goes all the way down to merge with New Mexico’s very own San Juan River. The Animas has differing class levels of water which provides the right exciting adventure for any rafter. So, to make your whitewater rafting trip enjoyable, safe and ‘THE’ experience of a lifetime, here are some quick tips for rafting in Durango, Colorado.

Tip #1: Get to Know the Rapid Classifications of Animas

Essentially, there are 6 different rapid classes. The 6th class is not navigable. The 5th class is extremely long and difficult which poses a significant hazard to life when an accident happens due to its violent rapids. The 4th class poses difficult and long rapids with some passages that are obstructed that could necessitate scouting from shore. The 3rd class rapids have constricted channels with erratic and high waves that can swamp an open canoe. The 2nd class has open channels with waves up to 3 feet and easy rapids. And lastly, the easiest of all is the 1st class rapids with small waves and ripples of moving water.

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Only go for the class of rapid that’s suitable to your state of health, level of fitness, and skill to avoid any untoward accident. The Upper Animas River has up to Class 5 rapids and the Class 5 is only suitable for experienced rafters.

Tip #2: Wear Suitable Clothing and Gear

When going on a Durango rafting trip, you will get wet. So, it is only prudent that you dress to get wet. Not only that, also take into consideration your comfort when dressing up. It is best to use clothes with a quick drying or cotton material. A loose fitting and comfortable gear is highly recommended or a swimsuit will also do the trick. As for your shoes, put on something that can’t be swept away—meaning no slippers or you just might have to say goodbye to it. We suggest wearing waterproof sandals that’s appropriate for the outdoors and preferably with secure straps. Lastly, life jackets are a must when going on a river rafting excursion in Animas—even if you are a skilled swimmer.

Tip #3: Some Simple Rafting Etiquette to Learn

This could be your first time rafting or your 100th time. Either way, it’s a good idea to know these simple and logical rules. The Animas River is host to various water activities and at some point you will pass by an angler. What to do? Try to maneuver your craft to the opposite side of the river, as far from the angler as possible. There are private property that line the Animas River, please do not trespass and try to respect the owners and their property. And lastly, glass containers are prohibited in the Animas River, likewise for alcohol. And remember to leave only your footprints behind, so pick up your trash.

Armed with these tips, your rafting trip in Durango, Colorado is sure to be more enjoyable and accident free. Have fun and enjoy the ride!

Source https://www.coloradooutbackadventures.com/blog/when-can-you-go-white-water-rafting-in-durango/

Source https://www.coloradooutbackadventures.com/blog/when-can-you-go-white-water-rafting-in-durango/

Source https://www.durango.com/3-tips-for-rafting-in-durango-colorado/

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