So you’ve decided to go on a whitewater rafting trip, but you’re unsure on when to go. Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong… if there’s water in the river and air in the boat, it’s a good time to go rafting! But if you happen to be leaning towards doing a spring trip, here are five good reasons to help convince you:
Because our Western rivers are primarily fed by the snowmelt from surrounding mountains, the highest water levels of the year occur in the spring. This means a faster current, allowing more time for hikes, leisurely mornings, and camp games. It also means bigger rapids, so if an adrenaline rush is what you’re after, late May or early June is the time to go! Experience high water on the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon and on the free flowing Yampa River in the heart of Dinosaur National Monument.
June and July may be the most popular times to go rafting. Schools are out, the temperatures are high, and the whitewater is more manageable for novice boaters. This adds up to far less people on the water during the springtime than in the summer. It’s not uncommon to go days without seeing another group, which can add a special element to the adventure. Join any of our Utah white water rafting trips early season for a peaceful river rafting experience!
Avoid the Heat
As much as we all love the desert, the summer heat can get to be a little much. Seeking out slivers of shade, swimming at every opportunity, and setting up sun shelters is fun in small doses, but if you’d prefer to embrace the sun rather than hide from it, then head out in the spring instead. Daytime temperatures are generally in the mid-80’s, perfect for hiking and still warm enough to enjoy rapids. Trips like Green river rafting through Lodore Canyon in the high desert are guaranteed to be cooler.
That infamous desert heat that comes on in the summer does no favors for wildflowers, so the season for them is relatively short. Typical blooms can start as early as March, but the best viewing times are late May to early June. See plentiful wildflowers on desert white water trips like the Green river through Desolation Canyon.
The spring is also the best time for wildlife viewing on the river. Due to lower daytime temperatures, animals tend to be more active, increasing the chance to see a large mammal, such as a bighorn sheep or mule deer. There’s nothing quite like watching an adult sheep teach a newborn how to navigate the canyon’s rocky talus slopes! See bald eagles on the Colorado river through Westwater Canyon and Bighorn sheep on San Juan River rafting trips.
By: Justin Malloy
Originally from the suburbs near Cleveland, Ohio, Justin made his way to Utah after graduating from Ohio University with a degree in exploring and having fun… If not on the river or in the kitchen, you’ll find him wandering the mountains, drinking coffee, or writing down words he hopes will come across as sensical.