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Colorado Rafting Companies Expect Extended Season on the Arkansas River

SALIDA, Colo., Aug. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Above average water supplies in the mountains of Colorado will extend the whitewater rafting season on the Arkansas River, according to the Arkansas River Outfitters Association (AROA).

A raft exits Sunshine Rapid in the Royal Gorge of the Arkansas River.

"We are having an amazing year for water," said Brandon Slate, president, AROA. "Conditions are ideal right now and we expect that to continue through Labor Day and into September."

Mid-August trips are still providing splashy rafting typically seen in late-June or July, according to Travis Hochard, vice president, AROA.

"You don't see these types of flows late in the season very often," said Hochard. "It's always beautiful weather in August and September, but this year we have plenty of water, which means we can offer a high-quality experience well into fall."

The Arkansas River Basin received near-record snowfall this past winter, which has helped replenish upper basin reservoirs, according to Bob Hamel, executive director, AROA.

"Water storage is in good shape and recreation benefits greatly from that," said Hamel.

The Arkansas River provides more than 100 miles of world-class whitewater during spring, summer and fall to more than 200,000 visitors each season. Outfitters offer river trips on Class II-V sections near the towns of Buena Vista, Colo., Salida, Colo. and Cañon City, Colo.

Beginner trips in Browns Canyon National Monument and Bighorn Sheep Canyon are available to kids ages six and up.

The Royal Gorge offers more technical Class IV boating and spectacular views as the river flows through a 1,200-foot granite canyon and under the Royal Gorge Bridge. These trips are recommended for adventurous people - ages 14 and up.

Visitors can choose from half-day, full-day and multi-day rafting trips on the river.

For information about current water levels and booking a Colorado whitewater rafting adventure, contact an Arkansas River outfitter at www.ArkansasRiverOutfitters.org.


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