Are Rafting Trips Affected by Different Water Levels?

When it comes to water adventures, Colorado has a lot of options, and whitewater rafting is one of the most exciting, for sure. Every year, from mid-May to mid-August, Colorado rivers are the place for adventure.

One of the fun things about whitewater is that its difficulty level can vary depending on water levels. That allows for different adventures for different kinds of rafters, those who seek a huge adrenaline rush and those who are in for a nice, fun, family-friendly ride.

River flows are where the difference lies. Once the snow starts to melt —in the springtime— the rivers begin to boil. Water levels will continue to change throughout the year.

High Water

In Colorado, peak flows usually happen around the second week of June. Rivers can be affected in different ways when there’s high water. It can turn a boulder into a big obstacle or a dangerous hole or reversal. It could also go the other way. High water could cause particular technical rapids to be covered by water, making them easier to navigate. In general, the difficulty can increase when there’s high water, creating higher risk whitewater rafting trips. With faster flows, time to recover from swim decreases. Trips like this require you to adhere to your guide’s instructions strictly, following all safety measures. It’s an excellent time for a super exciting and challenging trip.

Mile HI Rafting tripsMedium Water

Since medium water happens during vacation time —mid-summer— this is how most people will experience the river. The average river flow is the farthest thing from boring. The river is much more manageable but still offers big waves and tons of excitement for a great trip with family or friends.

Low Water

August and September is the late season. Water levels drop, and although you won’t experience big waves, that doesn’t mean the river will be super easy or boring at all. Tight maneuvering will be required as more rocks will be showing during this time. Low water definitely, does not mean less attention is needed.


This season is almost over, but we are super excited about 2020 rafting season. Are you joining us?

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