2013 Looks To Be A Great Year For Colorado Rivers
Great Water Levels Signal For A Great Rafting Season In Colorado
With all of the late snow fall and rain Colorado fortunately received this spring, water levels in Colorado are looking healthy! Compared to the excessive levels in 2011, and the dismally low levels in 2012, the water levels in 2013 seem to have hit the nail directly on the head. This is going to make for an epic season of white water rafting for rafting enthusiasts throughout out the state.
From the Poudre and Yampa, to the Colorado and Arkansas Rivers, water is finding its way into our streams and Coloradans are getting excited to play in the water this summer. To better explain this anticipation, it needs to be understood why the perfect water levels are so important.
How Water Levels Affect Rafting Conditions
It should go without saying, but water levels directly affect rafting conditions as after all, water is what makes up a river. When water levels are too low, rafting companies operations are drastically inhibited. Areas where you can enter your raft as well as exit from a river are restricted, the duration of trips are often cut short, and the overall appeal of the activity is decreased.
When water levels are too high, similar problems exist as when they are too low. Some entering areas may be moving too fast to set the raft up, and exiting spots may be difficult to navigate to if the water is moving too quickly. Not to mention, when the water is high, sections of rivers where hazardous obstacles persist become even more dangerous as it is increasingly difficult to navigate when moving at quicker speeds.
So when it comes down to it, depending on specific rivers, the height and volume of water directly impacts what can be done. In essence, there is a sweet spot for the amount of water that is needed in a river to make it both enjoyable and navigable Granted, some would prefer to have more water than less if they want the thrill of paddling through some big rapids. But this season seems to be in line with hitting that sweet spot for most of Colorado’s rivers.
Things Looking Up Compared To Years Past
As mentioned before, the past few years have seen both dramatic ends of the water level spectrum for Colorado rivers. 2011 witnessed extremely high water levels, and as a result, many trips were probably cut short or never started because of the special dangers high water levels create. Where the exact opposite occurred in 2012, where water levels were so low, unless you wanted to raft down a lazy river, there were few options for exciting rafting unless you cared to navigate some of Colorado rivers toughest sections.
This hopeful perfect water height has come as a great relief to many rafting companies throughout the state. When comparing 2011 to 2012, the rafting industry as a whole was down around 20 percent in Colorado. This equates to roughly $30 million lost in tourism revenue for the state. If that seems like a lot for the state to have lost, it’s equally if not worse for river rafting companies. Losing 20% for any business in any industry is difficult to deal with, and for rafting companies it’s particularly hard to forecast and take precautions against. The reason being rafting companies are completely and entirely beholden to the weather. Which depending if it’s good or bad, can spell boom or gloom. This creates special stresses for rafting businesses as in all reality, for a business which is reliant entirely on proper weather, there is nothing you can do but hope in the off-season that the rain will come, and not too much of it.
That said, many rafting companies are more than elated that this season is appearing to be a perfect one, where the drought has passed, and it hasn’t exactly flooded like a few years prior. This should help many rafting businesses generate some extra revenue which can be saved up for the uncertain times in coming years. Because if anything can be said about Colorado weather, it is that it is uncertain. Which would be one of the reasons for the states motto: If you don’t like the weather, just wait a little bit.
At Wilderness Aware Rafting, we’re excited for Summer to finally reveal itself in Colorado. If you are interested in epic Colorado Rafting Trips, scenic Arizona Salt River Rafting, memorable Land-Based Adventures such as Horseback Riding, be sure to see what white water rafting trips are available, or contact us to speak with a representative.