Seven Questions to Ask Before Booking Your Whitewater Rafting Trip

 In Colorado Rafting

Whitewater rafting in Colorado is one of the most exciting outdoor activities you can experience in the Rocky Mountains. Not only does a trip down a Colorado river take you past some of the country’s most incredible and scenic views, but it also provides lots of long-lasting memories. 

However, before you book your trip, there’s no doubt you have some questions… especially if this is your first-time whitewater rafting. The following are questions we encourage you to ask the next time you chat with a rafting representative.

How Much Time Are You Going To Spend On The River? 

This is an important question as trips can vary in length, especially at Wilderness Aware Rafting, where we run trips from just a few hours to five days long. 

How Far Is Your Outpost From The River? 

We love this question because it’s better when an outfitter is close to the river—Wilderness Aware’s outpost sits alongside the Arkansas River! Nonetheless, the closer your put-in, the shorter a bus ride you will have. So, you should always look for a company within 10 miles of the river you are rafting.  

Will You Get Pictures Of Your Trip? 

Every company should get pictures of you going down the river and if they don’t you should be worried. What you really want to know is about how many pictures and at how many different locations. Also, you will want to know if those pictures are going to be available for you to view online and purchase at your leisure.  

What are the inclusions? Such as side hikes, lunch, or camping.

A rafting trip’s inclusions often speak to the quality of the trip. Side hikes up different creeks that you pass along your river trip are an awesome addition to the trip and make it feel like an adventure. The quality of meals and camping will speak volumes about your outfitter. With Wilderness, we are proud of our VIP services, and provide high-quality adventures and meals along with our professional rafting trips. An outfitter that provides options for alternative diets and provides all of your bedding will typically provide a more comfortable and consequently more enjoyable experience. 

How many people do you put in a boat? 

This is another extremely important question to ask your outfitter. In general, there are no industry standards. From a fun perspective, the 6 per boat plus a guide is about optimal for most rivers. Big water rivers tend to increase the number to add more weight and power to plow big waves and smaller rivers tend to have 6 or less to make life easier on the guide. The 6:1 ratio is often the best for the most interaction with your guide and a good mix of people to hang out with.   

Can I rent a wetsuit? Do I need a wetsuit? 

At Wilderness Aware Rafting, wetsuits are available with all rafting trips. In May and June and in Class IV and V whitewater trips, we recommend wetsuits. It’s not so much about the temperature of the air but the water temp and how much you will be exposed to the water. We have had guests wear wetsuits in the middle of July on a 90-degree day and were comfortable. Some guests know they get cold easily and know they need a wetsuit.    

What is the classification of the river? 

The classification of the river you are going to run gives you a good idea of what type of rapids to expect. New to rafting? You might want to stick to Class I or II. Want a high octane, wild ride? Then book a trip that will take you down a class IV section of the river. Learn more about these classifications by reading our blog, Stay Classy In The Water – See Which Rapids Are Right For You.

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