Colorado is an adventure lover’s dream destination as it is home to whitewater rapids, dramatic canyons, and national parks. If you love water thrills, you must surely try rafting in the River Colorado. It is one of the most alluring whitewater rivers in the country. The Grand Canyon section of the river, also known as the “granddaddy of rafting trips,” attracts thousands of visitors annually.
Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned whitewater rafter, you must follow some rules before diving in. The 1,450-mile stretch of the Colorado River serves a mix of thrill, challenges, and calm as you can enjoy paddling, rowing, and floating. The rapids can give you an adrenaline rush, while the flat water stretches offer a chance to relax.
Being ready for the ride is the key, as it gives you clear expectations and helps you deal with the challenges of the most exciting river adventure you may ever experience. While accident rates are low and fatalities are uncommon in this sport, you must prioritize safety.
Here is the ultimate guide to river adventures for thrillseekers planning a rafting trip in Colorado:
Personalize Your Adventure
The Colorado River traverses through five states and two countries, has 28 major tributaries, more than 150 rapids, and many dams and diversions. It spells a lot of variety when it comes to rafting in Colorado because you can choose a stretch that matches your expectations, skills, and experience level as a water enthusiast.
According to Echo Canyon River Expeditions, people planning a trip with young children should choose a laid-back version of the adventure to keep safety in mind. Those having teens on board can pick a proper high-adrenaline option. Personalizing your Colorado trip ensures the best ride on the wild whitewater and rapids.
Learn the Techniques
Whitewater rafting is a popular activity for travelers to this part of the country. But you cannot jump in without proper preparation. Learning the basics is essential for a safe ride. Here are the things you need to know before embarking on your first trip:
- Sitting in the Raft
Rafting is not the same as sitting on a boat because you need to master the balancing act while riding over the rapids. It helps you to stay safe in the raft instead of struggling in the water. Ensure a firm grip with your body and feet planted firmly. Tucking your front foot under the foothold of the raft keeps you extra secure. You can sit on the outer rim to maintain your balance during the ride.
- Holding the Paddle
Holding the paddle is another skill you need to learn as a rafter. If you know how to utilize the paddle, it can be an extra balancing point when the ride gets bumpy. You only have to put it in the water and paddle harder to get out of the rough spot. Also, use your upper body for stronger strokes and stretch forward for extra power.
You may have these skills as a regular with rafting, but a little practice always helps every time you try your hand at the adventure. Colorado rapids can be unpredictable, so you should never leave things to chance.
Gear Up for the Ride
Rafting safely and comfortably depends on equipping yourself for the ride. You cannot leave safety to chance, even if you are an excellent swimmer. Always wear a life jacket and a helmet, as these protective essentials keep you safe if your raft overturns or the water gets rough.
Wear quick-drying clothing to stay dry and comfortable in and out of the water. Dab lots of sunscreens and wear sunglasses with UV protection. Sunburn can be a real concern during Colorado rafting, so be sure you have your defenses on.
Another piece of advice you must always follow during water adventures is to stay alert, listen to your guide, and follow the safety rules. Seasoned adventure lovers also recommend checking the weather forecasts before planning a rafting trip. You will be far safer on a sunny day than during rainy weather because the river can get rough.
Also, remember that whitewater rafting is a team activity because everyone on the ride must invest effort in paddling to make it through the tricky rapids. Choosing your teammates is another area you should pay attention to. Find a reliable tour provider to have a good trip.
A river adventure in the Colorado River is an unmissable experience. It requires some planning and preparation, so be ready with the basic skills, gear, and awareness. Follow this guide to make the most of your adventure. Most importantly, be fearless and enjoy the thrilling ride.