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Colorado's upcoming rafting season expected to 'be perfect for families'

Clear Creek June 2019
Posted at 5:37 AM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-11 07:37:07-04

DENVER — The Colorado River Outfitters Association is expecting a return to the normal rafting season this summer.

CROA said the season is projected to run through the end of July or mid-August.

CROA Executive Director David Costlow said the association is encouraged by people making advanced reservations to enjoy the water.

“We predict that river flows this summer will be perfect for families to get out and discover a new favorite adventure together," he said.

CROA has forecasted an outlook for Colorado's rivers:

  • Western Slope (Taylor and Animas): With snowpack at 70% this year, lower water levels may hit earlier than normal, but outfitters are expecting great family runs through mid-August and perhaps even later
  • Colorado River: The river near Glenwood Springs is currently seeing higher flows from the Eagle River and Roaring Fork. Flows are currently slightly lower than normal near Kremmling due to early season water being held in the reservoirs, but when that water is released later in June, levels will come up. Runs will last through September
  • Clear Creek: Clear Creek is currently running strong. It will likely run through the end of July and maybe into early August if weekly moisture continues. (Access restrictions are currently in place for tubing)
  • Poudre: Benefiting from late-season moisture, the Poudre River will likely provide strong runs through August. (Access restrictions are in place in Fort Collins for tubing)
  • Arkansas River: The Arkansas’ Controlled Flow program should ensure water for recreation through mid-August

Recent rainfall and yearly snowmelt is delivering a one-two punch in many streams and rivers across Colorado. Streamflows are above normal in many parts of the state and have prompted restrictions in some places.

Always check river conditions before heading out on the water.