Colorado’s Winter Brings Rapids for Summer

 Photo courtesy of Mile Hi Rafting

Photo courtesy of Mile Hi Rafting

Whitewater rafting trips for those who like to plan ahead

By Mary Anderson

Summer is just around the corner, which, for Coloradans, means beer festivals, hiking 14ers and whitewater rafting. Despite a mild winter, soon, our state’s rivers will be flooding with snow melt. More water means big rapids and with rapids comes crowds. For those who want to secure their spot on some of the state’s new, popular and unique rafting experiences, here are three trips you can start planning now:

1.   The Eagle River Park

Opening this summer, the new whitewater park on the Eagle River aims to beautify a section of the Eagle River that was heavily affected by the construction of I-70 back in the 1970s, as well as establish Eagle as an outdoor recreation destination. Wrapping along the Eagle River near the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo Grounds and Chambers Park, the waterpark will stretch over 4.3 acres. While optimizing the river’s natural morphology, the park will feature rather tame waves, eddies, chutes and drops for tubing, as well as big waves for kayakers and SUPers during high flows. Paths, bridges and river beaches will also be constructed along the way, connecting downtown Eagle to the riverfront. 

Click here to stay up to date with the park’s progress

2.   ATV and Rafting in Dumont

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Just 30 miles west of Denver, Clear Creek is Colorado’s steepest rafted river rushing through the historic mining valley of Idaho Springs with more rapids per mile than many other rivers in the state. But why limit your adventure to just one activity? Mile Hi Rafting also offers scenic ATV tours. A full day multi-element package includes a one-hour ATV tour with lunch on the riverside, followed by a whitewater raft trip. There are two options for rafting: for intermediate rafters, “Blast” features five solid Class IV rapids and lots of Class III. “Sure-Shot” offers a chance for beginners to travel 6 miles on the river, starting with some Class II before hitting some Class III rapids toward the end. Starting in mid-May through August, you can reserve your spot for $149. 

Click here for more information

3.   FIBArk Whitewater Festival in Salida

Sponsored by Eddyline Brewing, Salida’s FIBArk Whitewater Festival will celebrate its 70th anniversary June 14-17 (Father’s Day weekend). FIBArk, standing for First in Boating on the Arkansas, is a unique weekend long extravaganza featuring tons of intense water races. Dating back to 1949, every year the town of Salida comes together to host world-class whitewater athletes for this unique festival. Events include skilled slalom races with 25-30 gates over a half-mile course, kayak freestyle challenging participants to a series of tricks and the classic 25.7-mile downriver race, the longest whitewater race in the United States. You don’t have to be a participant to enjoy the festival either. All events take place in areas with great views for spectators. There are even some land events including mountain bike and running races, live music and a big parade. 

Interested in learning more about the history of this event? Click here

For more information on event details, click here